Waard Ward is: Syrian florist Abd Al-Mounim, community organizer Hanen Nanaa, artist Petrina Ng, educator Laura Ritacca, and curator/educator Patricia Ritacca
Waard Ward is a collaborative, social practice project that engages newcomers to train as florists. Throughout September 2021, at the Visual Arts Centre of Clarington, Waard Ward collective will offer a series of workshops to Arabic-speaking refugees and newcomers to develop flower-arranging skills and social-entrepreneurial futures. Waard Waard aims to embody a space for collaboration and co-learning, which will display each workshop's floral arrangements, with new flowers added and vessels continuously re-arranged weekly.
Waard Ward's name proposes the idea of a diasporic "flower district"; waard is a romanization of the Arabic word for flower. Waard Ward builds on the group's previous collaborations with flower arranging, decolonial research, and newcomer community building.
Waard Ward's advisors are Allison Chow and Joseph Pitawanakwat. Allison is a cut flower grower and garden designer. Her urban flower farm and design studio, together named Posy Gang, are located in Whitby, Ontario. Joseph is Ojibway from Wikwemikong and founder/director of Creators Garden, an Indigenous outdoor education-based business, focused on plant identification, beyond-sustainable harvesting, and teaching every one of their linguistic, historical, cultural, edible, ecological and medicinal significance through experience.