Photo: City of Surrey A digital mockup of what Surrey’s Canada 150 mural will look like when complete.

Painters needed for Surrey’s Canada 150 ‘Mosaic Mural’

Surrey is creating a 600-tile mural, and the public is invited to help paint a piece

Alex Wilks, Surrey Now-Leader contributor

Surrey is one of 150 communities across Canada creating a mosaic tiled mural to celebrate Canada’s 150th birthday, and locals are invited to take part from Aug. 15 to 17.

Every participating city or town has created their own colourful mural — made up of 400 to 750 individual tiles that symbolize their community — and if they were pieced together section by section they would build one gigantic mural with over 80,000 paintings.

“What we like about it is it’s a piece of a bigger picture across the country,” explained Shira Standfield, Surrey’s Neighbourhood Enhancement Planner.

If all 150 murals were connected they would be 365 meters wide — equivalent to four football fields — and stand about eight feet high.

The city reached out to the Canada 150 Mosaic project — which launched in 2015 — and has since worked towards spreading Canadian cultural and geographical diversity through art.

We're live at Bear Creek Park, where people are painting tiles that will make up Surrey's mosaic mural for Canada's 150th birthday. There will be 600 tiles in all!

Posted by Surrey Now-Leader Newspaper on Thursday, August 17, 2017

“Each mural is a really interesting representation of life within each province and territory,” added Standfield.

Surrey’s eight by 12 foot, 600-tile mosaic mural plans consist of some iconic downtown landmarks such as City Centre Library, the SFU Campus and the SkyTrain weaving through the downtown core.

“It’ll look nice on a big wall,” Standfield said.

Langley, Port Moody, New Westminster and Abbotsford are a few other local communities that have already finished their mural contributions, each tile carefully painted by someone in the community.

“The demographic is a really interesting mix,” explained Standfield. “Both seniors, youth, families and artists have all shown interest.

“I think it appeals to a lot of different age groups and communities.”

Although there are opportunities for drop-ins, each registered participant will be guaranteed to receive a tile. They can paint whatever they want on it but they are assigned a particular colour palette she explained.

“Each tile represents specific elements of importance that make up the City of Surrey,” said Standfield. “For example, your colour palette could be blue which might be added to the sky part of the mural.”

Painting sessions will be taking place at Bear Creek Park Pavilion from Aug. 15 to 17. Each session is one hour long featuring 15 minutes of instruction from a Canada 150 Mosaic project Artist.

“Each day and time is different in order to appeal to everyone’s schedule,” explained Standfield. “We even have evening sessions at the Newton Seniors Centre.”

The City of Surrey and the Newton BIA will be unveiling the mural on Saturday, Sept. 30.

For more information and to register, visit surrey.ca/culture-recreation/24218.aspx.