Mosaic mural captures essence of community

Campbell River’s portion of the Canada 150 mosaic was revealed in it’s home at the community centre on Dec. 8.

An eye-catching mural now hangs in the Community Centre lobby, a mosaic of 576 individually-painted tiles that combine to create a spectacular Campbell River scene.

Campbell River’s mural is one of 150 murals being created across Canada and one of 11 created in BC to celebrate Canada’s 150th birthday.

Each community chose an image that best represents its history and future.

Campbell River’s mural showcases a salmon, thanks to local First Nation artist Curtis Wilson. The mural also features Discovery Passage, a Tyee rowboat, Quadra Island and the iconic Cape Mudge Lighthouse.

“Through July and August 2016, Campbell River residents painted tiles. Mayor and Council, local professional artists, children, parents and even one family dog contributed to this creative endeavour,” says Michele Sirett, the City’s recreation and culture supervisor, who directed this project. “The row boat sits on top of a railway car because the overarching theme of all 150 murals is the railway that connected Canada from shore to shore. If the murals were connected, they would form a train 365 metres long.”

Campbell River’s Canada 150 Mosaic Mural was a collaborative effort between the City’s Public Art Committee, local artist Curtis Wilson, mosaic artist Lewis Lavoie and 400 Campbell River residents.

“One of the highlights of this project was the one that almost got away,” Sirett adds. “During a public painting session, one young girl lost her tile, and everyone looked high and low, but we could not find it. Turns out, the lost tile had stuck itself to artist Lewis Lavoie’s equipment and was packed up and sent to Alberta where it was discovered several weeks later and returned to Campbell River.”

After the long journey there and back again, the tile now hangs in a place of honour next to the mural, still part of the project. The lost and found tile would have been in the first column, 11 rows up, where artist Lewis Lavoie filled in the blank spot with one of his tiles.

The City of Campbell River unveiled the Canada 150 Mosaic Mural Dec. 8 at the Community Centre. The unveiling was attended by members of Council, City staff and some of the 406 people who painted a tile for this project.