Campbell River chosen to join Canada-wide mural

Campbell River is one of 150 communities across the country that has chosen to participate in a nation-wide mural

Campbell River is one of 150 communities across the country that has been chosen to participate in a nation-wide mural celebrating Canada’s 150th birthday.

Campbell Riverites will be invited to design individual tiles which will make up one section of the overall mural that will connect Canada through art.

“Each of these sections will stand alone as a mural for that particular community,” according to a Canada 150 Mural Mosaic report. “However, each of these sections of the mural will become one of the many storybook pages within the overall mural to form the ultimate visual time capsule and create a legacy for a proud nation.”

The project began March 6 in St. Albert and has been moving across Canada. Only five to 15 communities per province and territory will be selected to take part in the project and design a section of the mural that represents their community.

Council endorsed Campbell River’s participation in the Canada 150 Mural Mosaic Project at last week’s Tuesday council meeting when it approved spending $10,000 from its Parks Parcel Tax fund.

While council supported the initiative, some councillors however, were uncertain that the Parks Parcel Tax was the appropriate fund to be drawing from.

Coun. Larry Samson said he was concerned that council had a policy that may not allow Parks Parcel Tax funds to be used for such a project.

Ron Bowles, the city’s corporate services manager, said it was an authorized expense but Coun. Charlie Cornfield still wasn’t too sure.

“The Parks Parcel Tax is for improvements inside parks so as long as this mosaic project is going to be inside a park then it would meet the terms of the reserve fund, otherwise I’m not so sure,” Cornfield said. “I share the same concerns as Councillor Samson.”

Coun. Ron Kerr said he thought the mosaic was a great idea and asked city staff where it intends to hang Campbell River’s portion of the art work once it’s finished.

Lynn Wark, the city’s manager of parks and recreation, said she hadn’t yet been able to determine whether it could hang outside but if it can, it would likely be put up in the downtown core, near Spirit Square, which she confirmed is city park land.

That seemed to satisfy council which voted in favour of taking the money from the Parks Parcel Tax fund.

There is currently $25,000 budgeted annually for the city’s Public Art Program from the Parks Parcel Tax reserve.

Wark said the project will serve as a springboard for the new public art committee, which is expected to be recruited by the end of May and fully functioning by this fall.

“Recreation and culture staff feels that this is a fantastic opportunity to involve the community in the production of a major art installation and to kick off the beginnings of a public art program,” Wark said. “In the future, the public art committee will be responsible for all decision-making around public art.”

The Canada 150 Mosaic project will be open to residents of all ages. A Canada 150 team will come to Campbell River for a one day painting party where participants will paint a 4 x 4 inch tile. Once all the tiles are painted and made in to one large community mural, it will be virtually connected to other communities’ masterpieces, creating a single 1,200 foot long national mural, connecting the country from coast to coast.

Each community will get to keep its piece of the mural as a lasting legacy landmark of Canada’s 150 year celebration.