Aylmer artist builds birdhouses for charitable cause
Hoping to provide local birds with cozy shelters, while raising money for a good cause, Aylmer-based artist Éric Tardif and his 12-year-old son Naoki undertook a birdhouse selling initiative last weekend. With 20 per cent of the proceeds going to the Gatineau Social Pediatric Centre, Tardif emphasized the importance in helping disadvantaged children in the region – especially with the pandemic. “They’re struggling a lot, children with difficulties,” Tardif said. “There’s more violence, and there’s more prejudice towards them.”
Noting that the project was his son’s idea, Tardiff said they started working on the pieces a few weeks ago. Having studied ecology in CEGEP, and often incorporating birds as a theme in his work throughout his 22-year sculpting career, Tardif said the project is important to him and feels like an extension of his artistic repertoire. Having seen their birdhouses gain considerable popularity recently, Tardif said he’ll contemplate the possibility of turning the initiative into an annual one.
Tardif highlighted the ecological emphasis, stating that the birdhouses are made largely from recovered pieces of wood. Pointing to Aylmer’s gradual deforestation resulting from constant infrastructural development, he said it’s more important than ever to help provide native birds places to be safe. “A lot of natural nests are going away,” Tardif said. “They’re disappearing, so it’s good to have the birdhouses to keep our bird population.”
Tardif’s birdhouses come in various designs and in different colour schemes, with a selection of sizes to accommodate specific bird species. Those include eastern bluebirds, American kestrels, and larger boxes for wood ducks.
Tardif said he will be selling the birdhouses until December 7, inviting those who are interested to contact him at 819-682-7831.