Sunrise students add colour downtown with new mural

“We are delighted to inform you that public art is back in downtown Duncan,” read the email from MaryAnn Hartley of the Duncan Business Improvement Area.

Naturally, we rushed over to see what was happening at 148 Ingram St. Grade 4 students from Sunrise Waldorf School were painting their interpretations of the downtown Duncan’s iconic totem poles on the Telus building wall.

“The Duncan BIA has tried for quite some time to beautify this wall with a mural and finally gained approval from the City for the project this spring. Peter Fox and his staff at Telus have been hugely supportive throughout,” Hartley said.

It all started with a totem tour. “Lisa Hitch, the Grade 4 Waldorf teacher, brought her children downtown for a Totem Tour with our guide last September and then they sat in the park and sketched some of the totems.

“They then went back to the school, painted the sketches and Lisa emailed me a letter of thanks with a picture of their totems. I was so captured by the colour and vibrancy of the art that it sparked another attempt by the BIA to seek approval from the City for the installation of a mural, featuring children’s art and our renowned totems. The project was approved and we can now see the beginning of this awesome mural,” Hartley said.

She said that the school and its supporters added their efforts to selling to the project to council, especially Jerry and Liz Ringrose, who, along with Hitch have guided every detail along the way with Jerry Ringrose prepping and designing the site and ensuring that all technical, artistic and safety details are addressed and implemented.

“The Duncan BIA is thrilled to be a part of this wonderful community project which will enhance and beautify downtown Duncan while showcasing the artistic talents of Cowichan Valley children. Our hope is that this will lead to more public art,” Hartley said.