From window walks to balcony serenades, Canadians spread cheer during COVID-19 crisis
Nine-year-old Erinn Webber displays some of the artwork she created in the front windows of her Stoney Creek, Ontario home on Thursday, March 19, 2020. Erinn and her mother Lee-Ann are encouraging members of their community to join them in creating works of art to display for all to enjoy as their city, the country and the rest of the world cope with changes to day-to-day life as a result of the COVID-19 virus. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Tara Walton
Victoria Ahearn, The Canadian Press
Published Friday, March 20, 2020 10:38AM EDT
Last Updated Friday, March 20, 2020 1:11PM EDT
TORONTO - From children's window art to balcony serenades and porch portraits -- Canadians are coming together while maintaining their distance to try to lift community spirits during the COVID-19 crisis.
Taking a cue from similar initiatives in other parts of the coronavirus-affected world, including Italy and Spain, some Canadian families have started displaying their children's drawings of rainbows and other cheery images in the windows of their home to entertain neighbours and show solidarity.
Lee-Ann Webber of Stoney Creek, Ont., started the Facebook and Instagram accounts "Brighten Our World With Art" this week to encourage parents and their kids to draw pictures of a designated theme every other day and post them in their window.
The themes include rainbows, flowers, animals and encouraging words.
She's also asking families to walk around the area -- practising safe social distancing, of course -- to hunt for the displays.
She stresses that adults without kids can also participate.
Several other neighbourhoods throughout Canada are striking up similar "window walks" organized on social media.
Some communities are also encouraging residents to fire up their Christmas lights so they're visible from the street to combat feelings of gloom and anxiety amid the outbreak.
Music is also starting to fill the open air.
On Wednesday night, the downtown Toronto condo community CityPlace encouraged residents to go to their balconies and windows at a designated time to shout out to neighbours, flicker lights and play music for a couple of minutes.
One member of the neighbourhood's Facebook group posted a video of themselves playing the song "I Will Survive" on a balcony as part of the event.
And on Tuesday, Toronto mezzo-soprano Julie Nesrallah took to her balcony to sing "O sole mio" to "bring a little sparkle" to her neighbours and passersby.