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Proposal would bring more colour to Saanich streets

Coun. Ned Taylor submitted notice of motion to launch a mural and street art program
Greater Victoria muralist, Kay Gallivan, said that murals bring communities together through creativity and expression. (Photo courtesy of Kay Gallivan)

Mural art may soon gain more traction in the District of Saanich.

The push for more art in Saanich is coming from Coun. Ned Taylor, who submitted a notice of motion to council on launching a mural and street art program.

Taylor said that the arts sector has been struggling due to the pandemic and that more needs to be done to support creative endeavors.

“My impression in the community is that people are hungry to get involved and bring more art to Saanich,” said Taylor. “I know that the arts community is keen for new opportunities and other municipalities have shown that this is possible.”

Greater Victoria muralist Kay Gallivan said that projects of this scope are a unique and creative way to instill a sense of community.

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Gallivan is currently working on a mural project in Mexico and has also worked on projects across Greater Victoria. She said that art as a social practice is especially important to support mental health, community building, cultural learning, and self-expression.

The impact of isolation during the pandemic is something Gallivan said was tremendously unhealthy for people, and murals are one way that people can come together to share what is going on in their interior world through exterior works of art.

“Murals are very difficult to do when there’s just one person – there’s a person holding the ladder, more than one person painting, the person who owns the building, there are just so many people involved,” said Gallivan, adding that sharing a common goal is a very healthy thing because it helps people connect, communicate and learn to trust each other more.

Taylor said that projects like these are low-cost, esthetically pleasing, and help to deter graffiti. He hopes to see Saanich bring more works of art to empty walls and concrete around the district.

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