PSA: New Artists-In-Residence In Lions Park Explore The Social Connection Between Trees

Lions Park will come to life this summer with a unique new art installation called The Social Connection. Port Coquitlams new Lions Park Artists-in-Residence, Elvira Monteforte and Dolores Atkin, will be engaging local residents to make colourful costumes for the trees. The costumes will reveal the trees’ individual personalities and their secret social network. 

The Social Connection project is inspired by recent scientific discoveries by UBC forestry researcher and NY Times bestselling author, Dr. Suzanne Simard. Simards research reveals that the forest is a social network that functions as a cohesive society of individual trees who communicate with each through chemical signals in their root systems.  

Led by artists Dolores Altin and Elvira Monteforte, The Social Connection will transform Lions Park into an enchanted forest with groupings of trees that will be dressed up” in colourful costumes designed to reflect each trees imagined personality. In doing so, the artists celebrate the interconnectivity of the forest, and reflect upon our human relationship with the natural world with renewed motivation to protect it.

Residents and families are invited to meet the artists in Lions Park on July 1 from 1-4 p.m. to learn more about the project. Residents ages 12 and up are also invited to participate in free workshops with the artists to create the costumes for the trees. In each three-hour workshop, participants will weave and apply colourful fabrics, ribbons and up-cycled plastics to mesh that will be installed on a selection of trees with the park. Participants are asked to bring their creativity and interest in celebrating local forest ecology. All materials will be supplied. Pre-registration is required as space is limited and COVID-19 protocols will be in place. 

Workshop dates are:

June 26           1:00-4:00pm               #54218
July 14            1:00-4:00pm               #54220
July 21            5:30-8:30pm               #54221
August 4          1:00-4:00pm               #55394 
August 18        5:30-8:30pm               #55395

To register for a workshop, visit:
To learn more about the artists and their project, visit:

About the Artist in Residence Program

The City of Port Coquitlam Artist-in-Residence program is a self-directed residency offering artists the opportunity to research, develop and produce new or ongoing bodies of work, with dedicated studio time. The Artist-in-Residence program offers opportunities for artists to work in the community, develop arts-based engagement activities, and deliver creative projects that generate meaningful connections. The program sees artists work collaboratively with community members in initiatives where the participants take a central role as creators, producers, and performers or as active audiences for the project. With a goal of contributing to the growing vibrancy of our neighbourhoods, the Artist-in-Residence program seeks to inspire participation and relationship-building where art (the process of creating together) acts as a catalyst for individual and community engagement. Residencies are for artists or artist collectives working in the visual, performance, literary, and musical arts. For more information on the Artist-in-Residence program, visit



Pardeep Purewal
Manager of Communications & Admin Services
City of Port Coquitlam
Tel 604.927.5335 Cel 604.218.0533