Terrace is set for an injection of colour this month, with one mural finished and six more slated for completion by the end of August.
According to Dave Gordon, Skeena Salmon Arts Festival Society president, the high volume of mural activity this summer is made possible thanks to a significant Heritage Canada grant coupled with Terrace Downtown Improvement Area Society funding.
“I think we’re leading the way on murals in the northwest, and we’re seeing other communities following behind our success,” Gordon said.
“One of the things Terrace has going for it is our builders built concrete block buildings and did a great job at it, and they created these huge palettes of readily paintable surfaces and we still have some very big walls yet that we can paint.”
Among those buildings is the RE/MAX Coast Mountains Building at 4650 Lakelse Ave. Artist Casey Braam painted a lifelike nature scene on that building last month, complete with moose, birds and beavers.
Now Braam is set to work on another mural on the Cedar Coast Dental and BBA Engineering building.
Other buildings to get murals include the Terrace Women’s Resource Centre (Carly Nabess and Aaron Geeraert), Carters Jewellers (Stephanie Anderson), Beyond Burgers (Michelle Stoney) and Your Decor (Casey Braam and Roderick Brown).
The Kermode Friendship Centre on Kalum St. is set for a full wraparound mural commemorating Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls (MMIWG). That work will be done by Raven-Tacuara Collective, which also painted a MMIWG themed mural in Smithers earlier this summer.
Gordon also said that there are plans to paint over the existing artwork at the base of the tennis and basketball courts on Kalum St., but that project is not yet ready to launch. The current painting there uses First Nations formline art, but was not painted by an Indigenous artist.
The new mural will be painted by Roy Henry Vickers.
“He along with many other artists were profoundly impacted by the residential school system, he’s a survivor himself, and wanted to commemorate the known victims now through the identification of the buried bodies with a mural,” Gordon said.
There is not a hard deadline to have all of this year’s murals completed, but Gordon said that the goal is to have everything completed by the start of September, when the weather begins to change and people are starting to get their kids back to school.