Downtown Bracebridge is set for a burst of colour and some artistic flair with the addition of a new wall mural.
During last week’s planning and development meeting, Town councillors agreed to a proposal from Drift Mural Co. that will see a trio of wall murals installed on the side of the Norwood Cinema 3 on Manitoba Street. Each of the three panels will measure 14 feet by 16 feet.
Planning for the mural began last year when the Bracebridge Business Improvement Area (BIA) and the Town agreed to a partnership for a mural project with the cost being shared between the two parties.
It was felt that the best location was the Norwood Theatre as it is considered a compelling entrance to downtown and located beside Memorial Park, which is home to festivals and events including the Bracebridge Farmers Market and Winter Village. The owners of the theatre, Brian and Gina Mitchell, expressed interest in the project and ultimately helped select the winning submission from 11 entries.
The budget was set for $15,000 for an artist fee and materials, and the winning submission was ultimately awarded to Drift. The company has successfully installed dozens of murals over the past 10 years, primarily in the Ottawa area, but also in other parts of Canada as well as the United States and Mexico.
The design concept for the three mural panels symbolizes the themes of water, air and land.
There was some discussion at the committee regarding the potential for more Indigenous representation.
Coun. Debbie Vernon, who sits on the Town’s Public Art Advisory Committee, said there had been discussion of the subject.
“We wanted to be very careful about how we portray our Indigenous community and we talked about cultural appropriation,” she said. “It was very important that if Indigenous people were going to be portrayed through art or sculpture that it be done by an Indigenous person. The proposal included an Indigenous component hoping it would spark interest from the Indigenous community but it didn’t.”
Vernon said the committee is hoping to reach out to Indigenous artists in the future to see if there is any interest in creating public art for the Town.
Final approval must still be given by all of Town Council during this Wednesday’s meeting, but once final approval is given Drift estimates the project will take roughly one month to complete.
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