by Esther Bryan
It was on the evening of April 1st, 2005, that Quilt of Belonging was launched at the Canadian Museum of Civilization. Over 1000 guests, from across Canada gathered for that momentous event. The completed Quilt was to be seen for the very first time. Even the volunteers had never seen it all together.
The festivities began with a VIP event for sponsors and dignitaries. It was followed by official presentations, speeches and reception in the Great Hall of the museum. Then a long queue of guests wound their way to the exhibition hall where the beautifully lit Quilt waited. I remember the mix of excitement and nervousness that night as we anxiously awaited the reactions of the visitors. The first guests filled the room and there was total silence. Not a word was spoken for what seemed an eternity. We held our breath… And then, the room exploded with a spontaneous, rhythmic applause. The joy, the warmth and the sheer relief shared by all who had laboured for years, was a memory never to be forgotten.