When Syrian-born Janso Isso came down the escalator at the Halifax airport with his young family on November 8, 2016, he had his tambour over one shoulder, a long, cylindrical portfolio case over the other, and, in his hands, a package of chocolates that he’d carried all the way from Beirut to present to his refugee sponsorship group.
Within a day of settling into their apartment, he and his wife, Himo, and their young daughters Mavie and Melly, had explored the trail along the Dartmouth waterfront. And two days after that, Janso produced his first piece of art made in Canada – a beautiful fall scene in acrylic and oil – one that captures the fast fading fall colours in the place they now call home. “I want to show Canadians that I am good artist,” he says.
Janso has donated the first piece he has painted in Canada to the Nova Scotia Mental Health Foundation. It will be auctioned off at the annual Festival of Trees Black Tie Fund Raising Gala on November 26th in Halifax.
“Canada already very good to me, good to my family,” Janso says. “Now, I try to give back with this art.”