A recent mural by Sham outside the Waverley Hotel in Cumberland. Photo by Mike Chouinard

A recent mural by Sham outside the Waverley Hotel in Cumberland. Photo by Mike Chouinard

Cumberland council considers mural project for Village Park

Staff will bring back a report to explore the project and potential grants

  • Jun. 26, 2020 12:00 a.m.

The buildings at Cumberland’s Village Park could be getting some artistic touches.

The Cumberland Culture and Arts Society proposed some buildings in Village Park as candidates for beautification and submitted a request to council for support.

“I love the idea of doing murals and, in particular, supporting artists in this time because they’re not getting to do much out there in the world,” said Coun. Vickey Brown.

The only concern she raised was whether the Village might remove the current washroom building as part of its parks plan

“I would hate to do a mural and then have that building removed,” she said.

Mayor Leslie Baird responded that the recommendation before council was to have staff bring forward a report, which could include information on the future of structures on site.

“If there’s no plan to tear it down within the next five years, it might be worth it to put it up,” she said.

The proposal from the Cumberland Culture and Arts Society highlights not only the washroom building in the park but also the concrete bunkers behind the baseball diamonds, the concession building and the horseshoe club building. All are concrete structures, and the work would be themed around sports and recreation in the community. The colours and style would be consistent, with simple, clear lines that would be easy to see from a distance.

“This location is a highly visible reflection on the community spirit of Cumberland. This is an ideal location for murals as it would add colour and life to otherwise drab grey buildings that adorn this central and well-used and well-loved facility,” project coordinator Kevin Flesher said in a letter to council.

The murals are also seen as a way to engage young people and reduce the risk of vandalism.

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The society is proposing the work be done by volunteers. It estimates a budget of $5,000, including $1,000 for an artist fee and $4,000 for materials, including paint, brushes, rollers and drop sheets. The group does not expect any traffic disruption. Lead artist Sham has been working on sketches, Flesher said in the submission.

Coun. Sean Sullivan supported the idea, saying it could give the community a jump on putting together an arts policy.

“We’ve been attempting at an art policy for the last five years,” he said. “This might even be a little bit of a shortcut.”

He made motion to have staff bring back a report on the mural proposal for Village Park.

Coun. Jesse Ketler noted that as the request only asks for costs on supplies the Village could explore grant opportunities to provide some revenue to pay the artists.

“There’s probably something out there that would fit that for grants,” she said.

Chief administrative officer Clayton Postings said they could include this as part of the funding proposal when staff brings back a report to council.

After the discussion, council unanimously approved a motion to have staff produce the report.

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