Port Alberni’s Arrowsmith Rotary Club will be starting work on a mural near the entrance to Harbour Quay in August.
The club put out a call for artists’ proposals more than a year ago for a mural project based on the theme of reconciliation, which will be located on the large brick wall of the Canadian Maritime Engineering (CME) building located at 3101 Bird Avenue. The wall faces the Port Alberni Train Station.
Local artist Shayne Lloyd was selected to design and paint the mural. Lloyd has also been working with Nuu-chah-nulth artists Tim Paul and Gordon Dick to put together the mural, which is now being referred to as a “building relationships” project.
On the left side of the mural will be a depiction of the traditional “wolf ceremony” held by the Tseshaht First Nation, while the right side will feature dancers. In the centre will be five drums with the faces of historical Nuu-chah-nulth leaders.
“It’s going to be a really beautiful mural,” said Arrowsmith Rotary president Terry Deakin during a presentation to city council on Monday, July 13. “I can’t wait to see it done.”
Painting on the brick wall of the CME building is scheduled to begin on Aug. 3 and artists hope to have it finished by the end of August. Part of Harbour Road will be temporarily closed during painting.
Funding for the project was provided by a few grants, but project proposals for the mural came in at a significantly higher cost than expected. The Arrowsmith Rotary club has $21,500 available, but the projected cost of the mural will be around $50,000.
“We had to put the project on hold,” explained Deakin. “We had to do a lot of revisions. We’ve had to reinvent some fundraising.”
The Arrowsmith Rotary Club is still looking for sponsorship for the painting through the sale of the bricks on the CME wall. To purchase a brick for $25, reach out to email@example.com or visit the Arrowsmith Rotary Facebook page. Orders can also be placed in person at INEO Employment Services and Swale Rock Cafe (both on Argyle Street).
To date, the club has sold around 100 bricks and Deakin says 600 need to be sold for the painting to be finished.