Left to Right: Penticton Art Gallery’s Carla O’Bee with summer students Rebecca Britton and Isabelle Burnip-Gerhardt with the newly installed Togetherness mural created by kids who participated in the Ha Ha Ha Kidz Fest this month. (Monique Tamminga - Western News)

Giant mural of ‘togetherness’ celebrates Penticton’s Ha Ha Ha Kidzfest

Students from Summerland to Oliver painted tiles for the mural outside Penticton Art Gallery

A giant mural of ‘togetherness’ installed outside the Penticton Art Gallery celebrates the success of this year’s Ha Ha Ha Kidzfest in Penticton.

Over 1,500 wood tiles painted by students from Summerland and Penticton to Oliver have been glued together to form the 16-foot-by-8-foot mural.

It took the better part of two days for Art Gallery summer students Rebecca Britton and Isabelle Burnip-Gerhardt to glue all the wood tiles onto the mural and the results of the rainbow-coloured display are worth it, they said.

This year Ha Ha Ha Kidzfest adapted their event from a standard park festival with families and children attending at Gyro Park into a new concept entitled “Kidzfest Week.”

The week ran from June 7 to 11 and featured arts and culture activities through schools kits, family kits, live circus school shows and a Drive In live show event.

With over 1,300 primary students having received a weeks worth of arts and culture programming, 130 plus families and 100 families attending the Drive In Event, the results have shown that even though it was an altered concept from the traditional festival it proved to be popular and served a community need.

“We certainly achieved our goal of reaching the South Okanagan with our programming and offering experiences in many different ways and the feedback from the participants has been overwhelmingly positive,” said Kidzfest board chair Rachel Bland.

“It would not have been a success without the support of our partners and sponsors. We did it “All together,” said board member Jacki Kliever.

The theme for Kidzfest Week was “All Together Now” and was carried out through the activities created with community arts and culture partners including the Penticton Art Gallery.

The kids’ mural will hang at the back of the gallery for a year, said PAG education and programming coordinator Carla O’Bee. It’s located on the way to the Japanese Garden.

“We put it up this morning (June 21) and the sun in the morning shines downs and reflects a rainbow onto the gallery wall. So when people are walking by their shadow has rainbow colours in it,” said O’Bee.

“Thanks to Ha Ha Ha Kidzfest for asking The Penticton Art Gallery to be a community partner and to contribute a project idea for this festival. It’s definitely been one of our favourites. So happy to see it all come together. Rainbows and art forever,” said O’Bee.

Kidzfest will be back next year very likely on site in a city park. If you want to be involved in Kidzfest contact info@hahahakidzfest.com.

READ MORE: Ha Ha Ha Kidz Fest takes the fun to the kids

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