It is still more than a year away, but the District of Sooke is already preparing for Canada’s 150th birthday in 2017.
Council voted last week to take part in the Canada 150 Mosaic, a cross-country project that will see 150 communities create murals that represent their small part of Canada.
The overall design of the project, which is being run by Mural Mosaic, will be a series of train cars with each community creating an image representative of their own distinct culture using the talents of residents.
Upon completion of the project each community mural will remain in the town it was created as a reminder of the 150th anniversary.
The cost to the district for the 8×8 mural is $10,000. The remainder of the costs will be funded by Mural Mosaic. The district will likely apply for federal grants to lower the cost even further.
The size, cost and where the mural would be located came up for debate when two councillors – Kerrie Reay and Bev Berger – questioned the original recommendation of an 8×12-foot mural, which would cost the district $12,500.
“I feel this is a lovely feel good project and would be an asset to our community, but for me it goes back to needs and wants,” Berger said. “This is definitely a want. I’m focused on the needs of beautifying the town centre.”
Reay said she supported the project, but questioned the need for a large mural.
“Why does it need to be the most expensive?” she asked. “What’s wrong with doing something a little bit more moderate?”
Coun. Kevin Pearson said any project that could potentially involve 700 people in the community should be supported, but he didn’t think the mural should end up on district property on Wadams Way. He suggested it would be more appropriate in the city centre.
Coun. Brenda Parkinson, who is championing the project, said Wadams Way was chosen because the district owns the property there. It doesn’t own property in the city core.
She pointed out there are no rules where the mural must be located.
“We don’t necessarily need to hurry into this because the project is two years long,” Parkinson said. “We don’t need to have a location right now.”
In the end, council voted to fund the project to the tune of $10,000 for the 8×8 mural and prioritize city centre as a site. Burger voted against the motion.
Sooke’s application still requires approval by Mural Mosaic.
Other communities participating the project include Penticton, Parksville, Campbell River, Abbotsford, Revelstoke, Fort St. John, Port Coquitlam, Port Moody and New Westminster.