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New downtown mural brings sea life to Pier Street

Many Campbell River locals may not know that there is an aquatic health research laboratory located in downtown Campbell River
A pair of downtown shoppers skip past the new marine mural going up on the curved facade of Miki’s Sesame Sushi Friday afternoon.

Many Campbell Riverites may not know that there is an aquatic health research laboratory located in downtown Campbell River.

The BC Centre for Aquatic Health Sciences (BC CAHS) would like to change that.

Funding has recently been secured for the painting of the Discovery Passage Mural in downtown Campbell River.

When complete, the 550 square foot mural will span the curved wall of the building at 871 Island Highway located along Pier Street in the Sesame Sushi building.

BC CAHS’s laboratory has been located on the main floor of the building since 2008.

“The Discovery Passage Mural will be a stunning visual representation of the aquatic life that inhabits the local ocean and also can be used as an educational tool for awareness of what is living beneath the ocean’s surface,” said Jim Powell, CEO of the BC Centre for Aquatic Health Services.

Being a most prominent façade at the entrance to the Campbell River downtown, the Discovery Passage Mural would add immeasurably to a visitor’s impression of the city known as the “Salmon Capital of the World” and also would make this building a welcome landmark in the city.

The theme and subject of the mural is aimed at strengthening and bolstering the presence of the docks, Maritime Heritage Centre and the Discovery Passage Aquarium.

The mural will tie into the local neighbourhood design and the existing mural artwork that is already on Pier Street.

J. Alex Witcombe and Nick Hutton-Jay of Flywheel Studios will be painting the mural over the next couple of weeks.

Witcombe’s artwork is already located around Campbell River.

Last summer he worked on the mural at Mussels & More Pottery.  As well, his artwork is displayed in Spirit Square.

BC CAHS is especially proud that its 2015 Downtown Façade Improvement Grant application was successful. Without this funding from the City of Campbell River, the existing funding for the mural would not be enough for the mural completion.

Other funders of the Discovery Passage Mural include the Discovery Passage Sea Life Society, Grieg Seafood BC Ltd., Marine Harvest Canada, Pallan Group, Pier Street Association, Skretting North America and the general public.

The Centre for Aquatic Health Sciences exists to advance understanding of British Columbia’s aquatic resources by addressing issues of aquatic animal health and welfare, production and aquatic food safety, thereby facilitating the economic, social and environmental sustainability of British Columbia’s aquatic based resource industries and increasing research and service capacity in rural and coastal communities.

BC CAHS is a not-for-profit society located in Campbell River and is the only aquatic research facility of its kind in the province.

For more information, visit or see the Mirror’s upcoming edition of Wave magazine.