A popular local art initiative is coming to a kitchen table or craft room near you.
Campbell River Arts Council (CRAC) normally works with schools, community groups and artists for its annual banner project. This year, with students at home, and everyone being encouraged to stay at home to prevent the spread of COVID-19, CRAC is opening the project up to the community.
Ken Blackburn, CRAC executive director, said the project has always been received well by Campbell River.
“We want to keep that momentum going that the banner project is inclusive,” he said. “It’s all of us. This is who we are and we should be proud of who we are all contributing together.”
For the last two decades, CRAC has been championing the Banner Project. It helps beautify the community every summer with unique works of art hung up high on lamp poles in Willow Point, Spirit Square and Pier Street.
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Blackburn said the arts council has encouraged Campbell River to keep its local charm over the summer with banners created by young community members rather than a mass-produced corporate beautification campaign.
“We’ve always argued that I think the identity of the community is best served through celebrating its individualism and most notably its children and school kids,” said Blackburn, “and seeing that as being a way that Campbell River can separate itself from everybody else and truly represent who we are.”
Last year’s banner theme was “Year of the Trees.” This year, the theme is “Unity Through Community.” CRAC is encouraging banners with a message of joy, family and unity.
“We’re all in this together. There’s no reason why we can’t continue to celebrate all of the good things and how the community comes together in a difficult time, but also the joy of family and trying to stay positive,” said Blackburn. “As we get through this, the banners will be reflective of how a community can stay positive even in difficult times.”
The Banner Project isn’t meant to add any stress for families right now, rather, it’s an opportunity to get creative with members of your household.
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“Everybody is going through difficult times now,” said Blackburn. “It’s not to create any extra work or pressure for people. We’re just trying to provide a positive opportunity.”
Since launching the banner project last week, 35 families have already signed up to take part.
If you’re interested in painting a banner, you can send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org
CRAC will drop off a banner, some basic supplies and instructions on how to create a piece that pops. Once it’s done, CRAC will pick it up. Priority is being given to families, but all are welcome to apply. Completed banners are due May 15th.