Ravine mural: Celebrating 150 years of Canada and the Lowrey family farm
As Canada celebrates its sesquicentennial, owners of Ravine Winery are unveiling a mural that pays tribute to Canada’s 150 and their family’s own special milestone of 150 years on their St. Davids property.
Since the birth of our nation in 1867, Lowrey family members have not only been stewards of some of the best farmland in Niagara, but have been leaders in the community.
The project of designing a mural on the property that not only celebrates Canada’s sesquicentennial but the history of a Niagara family that is also celebrating 150 years on their property – which is now home to one of the finest wineries in the region – was the vision of Brand Manager / Chef Proprietor of Ravine Vineyard Estate Winery Paul Harber, who is also the fifth generation in the Lowrey bloodline to work on the property.
The mural was completed and unveiled just in time for Canada Day, when thousands of people will gather to mark the festivities on the Ravine property.
For me, the mural project was not only an opportunity to mark one of the most significant milestones in our great nation that’s happened in my lifetime, and to celebrate the history of a prominent local family in a region I call home; it was a chance to promote Niagara’s vibrant arts community.
The new mural is located on the forefront of the Ravine Vineyard Estate Winery property on York Road. It adorns the side of an old barn on the property that has been in the Lowrey family for five generations, next to a family home.
Stylistically, my goal for the mural was to bridge an old world look – honouring the history of the family and the property on which it sits – with the current day.
The top of the mural is inscribed with a pride of time and place: the ‘Lowrey Farm Canada: 1867 to 2017.’
The overall look of mural art was inspired by label art from the Lowrey Bros. canning line, which ran in the early 1900s.
Its focal point is an oval centre that says ‘Ravine Vineyard St Davids.’ While the oval centre pays tribute to the vineyard, its appearance honours the historic branding of the Lowrey family’s sand and gravel quarry.
Four ribbons (also inspired by the can label art) extend from the centre core, each one honouring a Lowrey family member who was instrumental to the history of the farm:
- David Jackson Lowrey (1867), who purchased the upper farm and moved the family to St. David;
- Edwin David Lowrey (1901), who took over the farm and grew tender fruit, as well as owned the village general store, the post office, the Queenston Quarry, the Sand and Gravel quarry, and the Lowrey Bros. Canning factory;
- Howard Borden Lowrey (1950), who operated the farm, and replaced the fruit orchards with 140 acres of vineyards; and
- Norma Jane Lowrey Harber, who is the current owner of Ravine Vineyard with her husband Blair Harber, and purchased the 34-acre upper farm from her siblings and her mother Norma replanted the vineyards.
The mural is punctuated by two flags – one on each side of the oval centre: the Canadian flag and the Union Jack, which is not only part of Canada’s history but is significant to the Lowrey family history as United Empire Loyalists.
The words ‘Carefully made by Lowrey Bros. St. Davids Ontario Canada’ sit below the diamond shaped oval, ribbons and flags.
In my role of designing, researching and producing this mural, I felt it was important to promote the Niagara arts community in any way I could.
I am proud of the world-class arts community that is thriving here in Niagara. Niagara is the only region in Ontario that has a four-venue Performing Arts Centre. We are fortunate to the arts strongly anchored in downtown St. Catharines with the presence of the FirstOntario Performing Arts Centre, along with the Marilyn I. Walker School for Fine and Performing Arts, and a vibrant arts community as demonstrated with our annual In the Soil Arts Festival and more.
A sincere thank you to all the talented Niagara artists involved with this project!
Credits go to:
Designed, researched and produced by:
Luke Gillett – http://www.lukegillett.com
Project managed, painted and gold leafed by:
Kim Van Stygeren of The Brain Farm
Adam Buller and Katie Webb of http://www.brainkite.ca/
Melanie MacDonald – http://melaniemacdonald.ca/
Emily Andrews – https://swerdnaylime.wordpress.com/
For more information about Ravine visit: