Luke Ramsey (left), Marcie Gaukrodger, Melanie Fleming and Alan Rycroft stand in front of the Cool Aid Society’s newly unveiled mural titled “Mineral Mountain, Hope and Home.” The mural is one of the ways the society is celebrating their 50th anniversary. It is positioned on the side of their first purpose-built building, Swift House. (Nicole Crescenzi/News Staff)

Luke Ramsey (left), Marcie Gaukrodger, Melanie Fleming and Alan Rycroft stand in front of the Cool Aid Society’s newly unveiled mural titled “Mineral Mountain, Hope and Home.” The mural is one of the ways the society is celebrating their 50th anniversary. It is positioned on the side of their first purpose-built building, Swift House. (Nicole Crescenzi/News Staff)

Victoria’s Cool Aid Society unveils mural in celebration of 50th anniversary

The mural was created by Victoria’s artist-in-residence, Luke Ramsey

Commuters travelling near China Town will notice a colourful new addition to the side of Swift House, a supportive housing unit at the corner of Wharf and Swift Streets.

Swift House was the first purpose-built building put forward by Victoria’s Cool Aid Society, who commissioned the mural in celebration of its 50th anniversary.

READ MORE: Victoria Cool Aid Society looks to beautify city with art

“We have spent that time going about quietly providing services, from a very small organization with one small building and one emergency hot-line for youth, to now an organization with 18 buildings, a mix of supportive housing, shelters an health clinics,” said Don McTavish, director of residential services. “In celebration of our 50th year we’ve been doing a number of things to try to give back a little bit to the community, enhance our profile and enhance our community as we always have done.”

The painting was created by City of Victoria’s artist-in-residence, Luke Ramsey, who was also recently involved in the Concrete Canvas project that saw a dozen murals go up in the Rock Bay area.

READ MORE: Local and international artists paint murals across Victoria

After professionals took an entire day to put up proper scaffolding, it took Ramsey nine days to complete the piece.

“It’s called ‘Mineral Mountain, Hope and Home, and it’s an abstract interpretation of a landscape,” Ramsey explained. “The whole goal of it was to make something bold and vibrant, but also have a sense of vulnerability in that abstraction as well.”

Ramsey used some of the colours from Cool Aid’s logo within his piece, and so far residents and neighbours have been very happy with the results.

READ MORE: Cool Aid Society cleans up Woodwynn Farms

“I think it’s really important to have public art, because it makes people feel a sense of ownership towards it too,” Ramsey said. “Art is subjective, and people will have different opinions about it. I think it’s good to spark conversation, especially with topics like homelessness. It’s important to talk about, just like it’s important to talk about art.”

nicole.crescenzi@vicnews.com


Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

Victoria Cool Aid Society

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

My FED Farm, created by Food Eco District (FED), is aiming to help people affected by the COVID-19 grow food in their own back yard. The program is in collaboration with Sooke Region Food CHI, Transition Sooke and the Sooke Garden Club. (File - Black Press Media)
Sooke backyard food program returns

The Sooke Backyard Food Program is returning for a second year. Sooke… Continue reading

Colwood resident Maria Curcic shows off a one-of-a-kind hat that she created. Curcic is one of several artists that took part in the annual Stinking Fish Studio Tour. (Contributed - Maria Curcic)
Curtain closes on Stinking Fish Studio Tour

The Stinking Fish Studio Tour will live on through the lasting legacy… Continue reading

Victoria police are asking for help locating high-risk missing man Derek Whittaker, last seen in Victoria April 12. (Courtesy of VicPD)
MISSING: Police searching for Derek Whittaker, last seen in Victoria

Whittaker believed to be driving 1994 red Volkswagen Golf

Victoria police arrested a wanted man April 19, seizing drugs, firearms and body armour. (Courtesy of VicPD)
Drugs, loaded weapons, body armour seized from Victoria suite

Man was wanted for the possession of drugs for the purpose of trafficking

Saanich police are asking for help locating missing woman Megan Letham who was last seen in the Mount Douglas Park area on April 17 at 7:30 p.m. (Photo courtesy of Saanich Police Department)
MISSING: Saanich police searching for Megan Letham

Letham’s last known location was near Mount Douglas Park April 17

In this image from NASA, NASA’s experimental Mars helicopter Ingenuity lands on the surface of Mars Monday, April 19, 2021. The little 4-pound helicopter rose from the dusty red surface into the thin Martian air Monday, achieving the first powered, controlled flight on another planet. (NASA via AP)
VIDEO: NASA’s Mars helicopter takes flight, 1st for another planet

The $85 million helicopter demo was considered high risk, yet high reward

Carver Ken Sheen had almost finished work on a large cowboy carving commissioned by the City of Williams Lake to replace the original overlooking the Stampede Grounds when fire broke out Friday, April 18 at his property between Williams Lake and Quesnel. (Pine River Carving Facebook photos)
Cow boss statue destined for Williams Lake Stampede Grounds goes up in flames

Carver Ken Sheen lost the statue, all his tools and his shop in the blaze

B.C. Labour Minister Harry Bains. (Hansard TV)
B.C. moves to protect employee pay for COVID-19 vaccination

Most won’t need to take time off work, labour minister says

Orca 1
Orcas: Our Shared Future finally surfaces at Royal B.C. Museum

Museum dives into the world of the killer whale as delayed feature exhibition now open

Polystyrene has been outlawed as a take-out option for restaurants in Tofino and Ucluelet. (Black Press Media file photo)
Styrofoam done as a takeout option on Island’s Pacific Rim

Tofino and Ucluelet ban polystyrene take-out containers

The IIO is investigating after a police dog bit a man during a traffic stop near Ladysmith on April 17, 2021. (Black Press Media stock photo)
IIO investigating after police dog bites man near Ladysmith

RCMP dog bit man during traffic stop on Friday, April 17

Joudelie King wants to get out and live life to the fullest, but there are places she can’t go because they don’t meet her accessibility needs. (submitted photo)
New online tool provides accessibility map for people with disabilities

The myCommunity BC map provides accessibility info for nearly 1,000 locations in the province

Most Read