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This photo journal, part 1 of the 2 part Vernon set, features Vernon's wonderful heritage murals. More info about the city itself will be provided in part 2.)
Downtown Vernon has one of the largest collections of outdoor public art in Canada. Over 25 amazing heritage murals, some as large as 85m long and 15m high, depict the history, culture, scenery and folklore that made Vernon the city it is today. They are sponsore by the Downtown Vernon Association. Unless stated otherwise, the lead artist for the murals was BC artists Michelle Loughery, with the assistance of many other artists including assistant artist Liz Allardice. All of the artists for each mural are listed in the excellent mural web page which includes a locator map. http://www.vernonmurals.ca/murals.html Michelle's web site :http://muralist.ca/
The mural project was a multi-year collaborative effort which included both a youth employment and revitalization strategy. Initial core funding came from Human Resources Development Canada as part of a job creation program. Over 54 youth were hired and gained valuable life skills and real work experience. Many of these youth have gone on to rewarding careers. Two of the them, Steven Skolka and Tyler Toews, have created their own company called Canadian Murals. They painted the Sovereign Lake mural.
The mural project created pride in the communitys heritage and was a catalyst for the revitalization of Vernon's downtown business center. The City of Vernon and downtown merchants each contributed approximately 1 million dollars respectively to restore the streets and landscape of the downtown core. The Vernon Mural Project was made possible thanks to The Government of Canada and the City of Vernon along with the support of the community and the businesses of Downtown Vernon. Special Acknowledgment goes to Michelle Loughery, lead artist on most of the murals.
article published 8/8/2012