Art is living large in Nelson this summer.
The city will be playing host to a host of full-size murals for the 2018 Nelson International Mural Festival, an expected collection of nine murals from August 17-19.
Organized by the Nelson and District Arts Council, there are two murals proposed to be located on city property, with one mural slated to span the upper wall (alongside Victoria Street) of I.O.D.E. Park. A second mural is proposed for the city parkade, specifically the west wall facing Stanley Street and the alley.
NDAC has worked with local artists to produce the designs.
The proposed design concept for the city’s I.O.D.E. Park incorporates local imagery as well as “colours that can be found throughout the shores to stores corridor,” noted a city staff freport.
It is expected that the mural would replace existing graffiti that stretches across the park’s upper wall, beautifying the park area.
“For this piece I aimed to provide a window into some of the more recognizable images of Nelson, such as the Kootenay Lake shoreline framing BOB, as well as the rugged angles of Ymir peak,” said artist Matty Kakes, who will carry out the mural this month.
The other mural — to be located on the west wall of the city’s parkade — would be on a blank wall, but it is often subject to graffiti. It will be painted by Kelly Shpeley.
“My mural is about finding your passion and embodying it whole heartedly,” she said.
Her project will be completed in early July and will take 10 days to complete.
There weren’t many hurdles encountered in NDAC’s road to staging the festival, since the city’s Official Community Plan and the mural policy allow for mural applications in the downtown development permit area.
However, the city will not be committing to ongoing maintenance of the murals. The arts council has noted it will maintain the murals on an annual basis, or when notified of any issues with graffiti.
In December the city approved $25,000 towards the festival. The festival will be selecting up to eight artists that are local and regional with one international artist expected to participate.
All supplies and equipment are provided by the festival and they will be will be using both public and private walls.
NDAC is the proponent of both applications, with funding coming through its BC Arts Council operating grant, the City of Nelson and the Columbia Basin Trust.
Artist selection process
Artists will be selected by a five-member, arm’s length jury who represent a cross section of interests in the community.
The selection process takes into account: Artistic excellence; quality of skills and techniques; and the ability to communicate a unique vision, overall professionalism and presentation of ideas; appropriateness of artwork to the community; experience and potential to successfully complete the project within the required time.
Selections will be based off of previous work and portfolios.
Source: Nelson and District Arts Council
Adding to the outdoor inventory
The province will be protecting 21 hectares of ecologically sensitive land in two areas in the region this spring.
A four-hectare section will be added to the Purcell Wilderness Conservancy Provincial Park in the West Kootenay, along with a 17-hectare section of land at Kikomun Creek Provincial Park in the East Kootenay.
Purcell Wilderness Conservancy Provincial Park
Located northeast of Kaslo, near the community of Birchdale, this four-hectare parcel of land, worth $60,000, was donated by the Farr-Jones family.
It will provide a habitat connection to the larger portion of the Purcell Wilderness Conservancy Park. With pasture areas and fruit trees, the donated parcel of land is expected to return to its natural state.
Kikomun Creek Provincial Park
The province purchased the 17-hectare property in the middle of Kikomun Creek Provincial Park, near Baynes Lake, for $880,000. Features of the newly acquired property, which will be added to the park, include part of a drumlin, grassland, a natural pond and wetland area.
Kikomun Creek Provincial Park protects a rare open forest and grassland, and features four kilometres of lakefront.
In total there were six parcels of land acquired by the province through purchase, donation or subdivision dedication across B.C. The most significant acquisition includes 144 hectares of land known as Eagle Heights, near Koksilah River on southern Vancouver Island.
The province purchased the property for $7.15 million, supported by a $400,000 contribution from the Habitat Conservation Trust Foundation, via the Cowichan Valley Regional District, and a $225,000 contribution from the Cowichan Community Land Trust.