The City of Merritt is putting out a call out to all local artists for submissions for its new sports-and-recreation themed mural that is hoped to be painted on the Nicola Valley Memorial Arena (NVMA).
Economic Development and Tourism Manager Will George will be spearheading the project and is hoping for local submissions.
“We always try to hire local where possible,” said George. “We highly encourage local artists to apply for this.”
In an interview with Q101 News, George said that the timeline is tight for the project as the money for the mural came from the Rural Dividend Grant and must be used by years end or it will be returned to the government.
"The money has to be allocated,” said George. “Our goal is to get an artist selected, and then have the drawing completed."
In May, City Council opted to switch from painting a new country music mural to a sports-and-recreation themed piece on the NVMA. An ongoing dispute between the Country Music Hall of Fame and artist Michelle Loughery led to the decision to use a city-owned building.
“Now that it’s on a city building, we can charge forward,” began George.
“It will be sports and recreation, not just symbolizing hockey or swimming, symbolizing all sports and recreation. Council wanted multiple sports and multiple figures highlighted so that will be part of the bid process."
While the arena project is moving forward, George added how the city is looking to add more artwork to the community.
“If other artists want to do murals or if businesses want murals on their buildings, now is a great opportunity to have those conversations,” said George. “We would be looking forward to see if we can pair artists with business owners to help beautify our town.”
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