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AIDS quilt bound for international conference

JOE AVERAGE'S ONE WORLD-ONE HOPE

The One World-One Hope AIDS quilt has been hauled out of storage and professionally restored for the first time in a decade in anticipation of its exhibition at the International AIDS Conference in Toronto, Aug 13-18.

The quilt, measuring 29 feet by 32 feet and weighing in at 125 pounds, was displayed behind the podium at the International AIDS Conference in Vancouver in 1996.

“It’s a tremendous piece of Canadian art history,” says Maxine Davis, executive director of the Dr Peter Centre. “It’s a tremendous piece of Vancouver’s history, and displaying it simply is the right thing to do.”

The huge quilt was spread out on the floor of St Paul’s Anglican Church in the West End and painstakingly restored by conservator Rebecca Pavitt.

“It looked like it had freezer burn, but now it looks quite good,” Pavitt tells Xtra West. “There are still a few little spots, but it’s such a monumental piece that it won’t be noticeable.” Pavitt says the freezer burn look is a result of a chemical fire retardant that was applied to the quilt when it was made.

Davis is raising money to cover the costs of the quilt’s restoration, handling and transportation. She says the Dr Peter Centre is short about $6,000 of the $23,000 needed to cover the whole project, but that the quilt will be ready for permanent exhibition in Vancouver once the Toronto conference is over.

To make a donation to the quilt fund e-mail donations@drpeter.org or call 604.331.3453.