Arts council in Powell River wants murals

Large art installations could be painted on civic facilities

Powell River Council for Arts and Culture is advocating for murals on civic property.

Karen Kamon, president of Powell River Council for Arts and Culture, presenting to the City of Powell River committee of the whole on September 15, thanked councillors for the opportunity to create a mural on the back side of the library. She said it was a partnership with the Powell River literacy program. She said in that process a professional jury was established for creating this artwork.

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She said with this mural, the arts council worked with city staff to make sure they had all of the right people to make the right decisions. She said councillor CaroleAnn Leishman was also part of the decision-making process.

“It’s been a long time since Powell River has had big murals,” said Kamon. “They bring hope, they bring joy, they build community. We have applied for the community forest reserve fund grant to do some murals on civic properties.”

Kamon said people stop and interact with murals. She said possibilities for more murals include city hall, which is coming up for repainting. A mural might be more cost-effective than repainting it, according to Kamon. She outlined other potential civic buildings around town during a slide show for councillors.

“There’s some opportunities here that could really activate and change the look of the town,” said Kamon. “When visitors come into the community it is really going to change their impression as they come into the community as they see an active place.”

Kamon said in addition to buildings, there could also be a mural at the waterpark at Willingdon Beach, and that murals can be created on the ground.

“What I wanted to ask is council’s blessing to work with staff to see if we can identify and create opportunities to increase economic opportunities for our artists within the community, and learning opportunities for artists that may want to move to a larger scale,” said Kamon. “We have a lot of working surfaces where we can create opportunities in our community, as well as beautify it at the same time. So, I’d like direction from council to work with staff to create some opportunities.

“I have put forward a grant to the community forest, so we’re hoping that would be the funding source. It’s hard to get funding for murals because so many communities do them. If we have seed funding we can always try for matching funding.”

Councillor Cindy Elliott said she’d like to move that council provide direction to staff to work with Powell River Council for Arts and Culture to identify mural opportunities on city facilities.

Councillor George Doubt, in discussing the motion, asked if the arts council was seeking funding from the city. Kamon said that was not the case and she wanted to make city council aware that funding was being requested from the community forest.

Council unanimously carried the motion.

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