September 05, 2015 - 9:30 AM
KAMLOOPS - There are already 14 murals in downtown Kamloops — almost all along back alleyways — and now there are more on the way.
The newest mural, in the alley behind the 200-block of Victoria Street, is being completed by Kaylene Cachelin, a mural artist for 15 years.
“We really want to paint her to represent the cultural aspects of the downtown,” Cachelin says of her pink-haired muse.
The mural depicts an artist working on a project in her studio. Currently a work in progress, Cachelin says the girl will have a sketch on her sketch pad, more jars of paints and detail in her clothing.
“At first I thought not many people are going to see it but there’s actually a lot of traffic back here. I’ve had some really great conversations with people back here. I actually really like the alley,” she says.
Cachelin says people walking through the alley, or in the parkade behind the mural, have been very friendly and inquisitive.
Transportation Minister Todd Stone made a presentation Friday, Sept. 4, of $19,000 to help fund the mural projects. Along with the pink-haired artist behind Victoria Street, a mural of a dragon has been completed behind All Aboard Games at 238 Lansdowne St. and a third mural will be painted downtown behind the Service Canada building at 520 Seymour St.
“We wanted to make the back alleys as part of a walkable, liveable space of our downtown,” Gay Pooler of the Kamloops Central Business Improvement Association says. “We wanted to encourage people to feel safe and excited about walking down our back alleys.”
Pooler says this is part of her organization’s overall complete streets program which aims to make more accommodating downtown spaces, even in alleyways.
“People love the murals, it’s a tourist attraction. A lot of people are using them for photo backdrops, whether its family pictures or wedding pictures.”
She says an unintended benefit of the murals has been musicians staging album covers in front of the murals and photographers using them for professional shoots.
The murals are scheduled for completion by Oct. 16, but Pooler says the association is open to many more.
“As long as we have property owners who want a mural on their building and we keep coming up with great ideas.”
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News from © InfoTel News Ltd, 2015