Several new murals are designated for downtown Terrace this summer

Hillary Johnson

Several new public art projects are designated for downtown Terrace this summer. The Skeena Salmon Arts Festival Society is commissioning five murals to be painted on buildings in the downtown business area. Festival Society president Dave Gordon says they are in the process of selecting the last few artists to join the team. The planned mural sites include Dairy Queen, Cedar Coast Dental, Investors Group Terrace, the Terrace Women's Resource Centre and the Ninja Japanese & Korean Cuisine. This year's theme, however, won't be focused around salmon.

"Our theme is celebrating our sense of place in the northwest. So we asked artists to step up from salmon or up from salmon, I should say and celebrate aspects of our northwest sense of place. We are going to see wolves painted, an alpine theme with mountain goats and two other murals in which we haven't finalized the content yet."

Gordon noted that there are many blank canvases throughout the downtown for the society to utilize.

"We are starting to see several owners of these great concrete block buildings come to us and say we want a mural; how do we make it happen? Our mural program for buildings next year is nearly subscribed already with building owners putting up their hands and saying pick me next. We are quite excited about that."

He is encouraged by the many benefits realized when it comes to beautifying Terrace.

"It differentiates us from other Northern communities and will hopefully drive some destination tourism into town, when the time is right, to have that back again. It helps local folks like their sense of place is celebrated. In particular, for the First Nation's people in our town, it does recognize this is First Nation's territory."

This year's budget is estimated between 75 and 80,000 dollars, half of which is provided by the Terrace and Downtown Improvement Area Society, as well as funds from the Steelhead Society of BC, grants and by the building owners themselves.

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