By Kiply Lukan Yaworski, Catholic Saskatoon News
The Catholic Women’s League (CWL) council at Holy Family Cathedral in Saskatoon was the winner of a harvest painting donated by a local artist for a recent Grow Hope Saskatchewan prize draw.
A chance to win “Harvesting Hope” — an acrylic painting by artist Jill Mitchell depicting a Grow Hope Saskatchewan lentil field under a dynamic prairie sky – was offered to those sponsoring an acre or more before the end of June 2023.
On the recommendation of the chair of the local CWL council’s service committee, Willie Glasman, the cathedral’s CWL council had made a donation in support of Grow Hope Saskatchewan —and it turned out that they were the ones to win the draw for the artwork.
Accepting the prize, Holy Family CWL president Mary Kehrig – who herself has created and donated hand-crafted blankets for fund-raising projects in support of Grow Hope – said the local CWL council will decide what to do with the prize painting in the days ahead.
Artist Jill Mitchell said she fully supports whatever the CWL council decides to do with the painting, noting that the Catholic women’s organization is “known for taking what they are given and making it bigger!”
It’s a philosophy that is also behind Mitchell using her artistic talents to help Grow Hope Saskatchewan raise crops to fund efforts by the Canadian Foodgrains Bank to feed hungry people around the globe.
“This is a way I can use my talents and gifts to do something bigger than I could do on my own” she said. Two years ago, another of Mitchell’s paintings was also sold as a Grow Hope fund-raiser, purchased by Eigenheim Mennonite Church of Rosthern. Mitchell has also offered high-quality small-sized prints and cards of the same harvest images for sale, with a portion of the proceeds going to Grow Hope Saskatchewan.
Born in Estevan, Jill Mitchell (nee Pamela Jill Bjorklund) attended the University of Saskatchewan, earning a degree in education with a major in English and a minor in art. In 2014, she started Jill Mitchell Art, working exclusively in acrylic paint, specializing in realistic Saskatchewan scenery and commissioned “personal paintings” of people, places and pets.
“Food security and food insecurity is huge for me,” said Mitchell, who has been an active supporter and ambassador for Grow Hope Saskatchewan in recent years. She and her husband also took part in a Canadian Foodgrains Bank awareness trip to India and saw first-hand the impact of efforts to tackle hunger and boost food security for vulnerable people around the world.
The Grow Hope Saskatchewan season is well underway, with opportunities still available to donate to cover the cost of growing crops that will soon be harvested and sold, with funds raised going to Canadian Foodgrains Bank, and matched by the federal government.
A Grow Hope Field Day will be held Sunday, Aug. 13 in conjunction with the Bruno Cherry Festival (www.cherrysunday.ca) on the site of St. Therese Institute (the former Ursuline convent) in Bruno, SK. There will be a booth set up to celebrate the growing season and provide opportunities to learn more about the work being done by Canadian Foodgrains Bank abroad.
In addition, there will be an opportunity to meet one of the Grow Hope Saskatchewan farming families in the Bruno area and tour acres of land donated to help feed those in need around the world.
Grow Hope: How it Works
With support from donors to cover the input costs, a number of generous Saskatchewan farmers are growing crops for sale, with proceeds going to those in need. Funds raised through the sale of the crop fight hunger through emergency food relief, support for young mothers, and local agricultural projects provided through the Canadian Foodgrains Bank. It costs about $350 to grow an acre of food. Donations of any amount are welcome.
For more information, go to www.growhopesk.ca/donate or donate online at Development and Peace / Caritas Canada website; LINK (Note: Development and Peace is the Catholic agency in the ecumenical project). Cheques can also be sent to Development and Peace, 1425 René-Lévesque Blvd West, 3rd Floor, Montreal QC, H3G 1T7 – please write in the Memo: “Grow Hope SK.” Questions? Contact Myron Rogal (306) 659-5841 or Mike LeBlanc (306) 205-2334.
Kiply Lukan Yaworski is the communications coordinator for the Roman Catholic Diocese of Saskatoon – rcdos.ca