Kamloops business owner seeks suggestions for mural, likely to include Snowbird crash - InfoNews

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Kamloops business owner seeks suggestions for mural, likely to include Snowbird crash

Capt. Jenn Casey.
Image Credit: FACEBOOK
June 23, 2020 - 2:38 PM

For a Kamloops businessman, community involvement is critical for creating his proposed mural to commemorate the River City, Snowbirds, the local First Nations and more.

Ray Dhaliwal owns Brown’s Locksmith and has been overwhelmed with crime and break-ins. He decided that what this city needs is a bright and bold mural, and he wants it to cover the east side of his business on Lansdowne Street.

“It’s something I’ve been toying with for a while, and I think it’d be such a good fit. We have such good exposure on that wall. It needs a good refresh and I think something bright and cheery because of what is happening in the city and in the world,” Dhaliwal says.

Dhaliwal says he is taking in feedback from the Kamloops community and has already heard that the community would like to see a representation of the T’Kemlups te Secwepemc as well as the ranching and mining history of the area.

“I wanted to make this a community effort. As the president of the (Kamloops) Multicultural Society, it comes from that as well. It’s not just about one person or one idea, it should be a whole community idea,” Dhaliwal says.

If you are an artist or have any ideas for the new mural planned by Dhaliwal, you can let him know his Facebook page.

Although Dhaliwal says the mural isn’t prompted because of the death of Capt. Jenn Casey, who died in the Snowbirds crash in Kamloops on May 17, he plans to include a tribute to her and the fleet.

Last week, Kamloops city council voted unanimously in support of sending letters to the Royal Canadian Air Force and Casey’s family about a proposed memorial park. The idea came from City staff and was brought forward without public consultation.

“I wasn’t too keen on that, why they didn’t put it out to the public, the public was involved in that and it has affected everybody across the country. Hopefully, they will still go to the public to see what kind of memorial it will be, but I’m not sure,” Dhaliwal says. “This one will be for the community, but it won’t just be for the Snowbirds, although they will be a part of it.”

READ MORE: Kamloops residents deal with trauma of Snowbirds crash in their neighbourhood
EAD MORE: Snowbirds crash likely caused by bird strike

Kamloops mayor Ken Christian says the idea to create a memorial space in the soon-to-be Observation Park seemed to be a natural fit.

“There are all kinds of possibilities but I think what the citizens of Kamloops want is something that’s sensitive and permanent and would be an opportunity to explain that situation in a bit more detail,” Christian says.

The proposed park is set to be built with funding from the Trans Mountain Pipeline Community Benefits Agreement. Christian says he is not certain on the exact size or cost of the park and doesn’t yet know what the layout will look like. Christian does, however, mention that the park will be placed on Tranquille Road by the airport, in an area where people often watch the planes taking off and landing.

An online petition urging to change the name of Airport Road to Capt. Jenn Casey Memorial Way received more than 45,000 signatures, but Christian says it would be better to name a new road rather than an existing one.

“There are some issues with changing road names, maybe we could wait till there’s a new road to be named, that’s much easier,” Christian says. “The biggest factor is we need to talk to Capt. Casey's family. This is not something you just do without recognizing the needs and wants and desires of the families involved and in the case of Capt. Casey she had two families, the Snowbirds and she had her family in Halifax.”

Christian believes the proposed memorial park, planned near the airport, is a good fit as it will be nearby where the spontaneous memorial was put up by local residents.

To contact a reporter for this story, email Jenna Wheeler or call (250) 819-6089 or email the editor. You can also submit photos, videos or news tips to the newsroom and be entered to win a monthly prize draw.

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