With the start of the Skeena Salmon Art Festival just around the corner, things are looking up in Terrace.
Ten banners, designed by local artists, will be hung along Greig Avenue to start off the festival and improve the city’s aesthetic.
“I think a big part of it is to fit in with the whole salmon theme that we’ve got going now with beautifying the town, as well as focusing on the importance of salmon in our area,” says Joan Billey, the art project coordinator. “We want to give [Terrace] more of a focus, that there’s a lot going on here besides just resource industry.”
She says she first thought of the idea when she was visiting Fernie, B.C. a few years ago and saw banners decorated throughout the town. Billey later contacted festival organizer Dave Gordon with the suggestion and was encouraged to make it happen for this year’s festivities.
Reaching out to different artists’ groups and festivals, Billey says they had approximately 30 submissions and then had a committee choose the top 10 they felt best represented the Northwest region through graphic illustrations, paintings and images of carvings. The winning designs were printed on special banner material.
The City of Terrace agreed to help out by buying the support for the banners and hanging them from the lamp posts, which will start going up this week.
Although it was considered to be put in the downtown core on Lakelse Avenue, Billey says there is a lot going on the main street and that they rather highlight the art in other parts of Terrace instead.
“There won’t be any in the downtown, it’s just very crowded with other things and it’s a bit distracting there so we have a wide-open space that we think is a better venue to start with,” Billey says.
“Plus, a lot of people drive through [Greig Avenue] coming into town and then head up towards the Bench, so it would kind of slow a lot of traffic on that road [too].”
Billey says they would like to do it again next year, either replacing the existing ones or adding more on. The banner are expected to stay up all year-round.
The Skeena Salmon Festival art show will hold its grand opening at the Terrace Art Gallery on Aug. 2.
The Terrace Standard is running a series showcasing different Skeena Salmon Art Festival projects in Terrace.