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Powell River Brain Injury Society prepares to launch mural project

Organization receives funding from provincial government
MONEY PROVIDED: Powell River-Sunshine Coast MLA Nicholas Simons announced a $15,100 grant to Powell River Brain Injury Society to launch a mural project.

Powell River Brain Injury Society will be receiving $15,100 from the province to create an historical mural.

Powell River-Sunshine Coast MLA Nicholas Simons, who made the announcement on December 3, stated in a media release that funding through BC’s ministry of social development and poverty reduction will increase accessibility, allowing more people to participate fully in their community.

“People with disabilities have so much to offer in our workplaces, schools, theatres, galleries, and all across our communities,” stated Simons. “Working with the Powell River Brain Injury Society, we’re supporting work that helps everyone realize their potential and enrich their own lives and the lives of those around them.”

In an interview with the Peak, Brain injury society executive director Debbie Dee said in an application, there was a category for disability arts. She said the society has an arts program, and one day, she looked at the back of the Royal Bank building, and she saw six panels that were “just begging” for murals.

“I created a project, and I talked with our first nations neighbours, and they are very interested in working with us,” said Dee. “We created a project called our people, our place, a history in art.

“What we are going to do is go look at some photos in the museum. It will be a history of Powell River.”

Dee said the project, which will involve painting a mural, could involve some historical community features, first nations elements, and people with disabilities.

“We are going to be increasing the self-worth of our clients, we are going to be teaching them some skills about working together, how to start something and see it through to finish,” said Dee. “We are also going to be increasing the inventory of art installations in Powell River and leave a legacy for the community that beautifies and hopefully teaches a little bit about the history.”

Dee said a renowned mural artist and client of the society is going to lead the project. Over the winter, work will be done to choose images to inspire the painting, plus amass the required supplies. Once the weather clears and the building warms up, painting will take place during the late spring and summer in 2022.

The society has some very creative people as clients, added Dee.

“We do have a lot of incredibly talented, creative people here,” said Dee. “They are all going to be participating in the project. I think this will be an attribute to the community.”

The brain injury society is one of 15 recipients across the province receiving grants to enhance inclusion for people with disabilities in areas such as employment, emergency planning and response, arts, culture and tourism, sports and recreation, education and learning, and community participation.

This is the fourth year in a row the provincial government has made grants available to not-for-profits to build a more inclusive society, and over the last three years, 44 community projects have been funded, according to the media release. This year’s funding total is more than $450,000.