Giant community canvas will be unveiled Friday

Arts Council of Ladysmith and District will unveil 30-foot community canvas this Friday at the Waterfront Gallery.

Kath Stroman paints on the  Arts Council of Ladysmith and District’s community canvas. The canvas will be unveiled this Friday at 3:30 p.m. at the Waterfront Gallery.

Kath Stroman paints on the Arts Council of Ladysmith and District’s community canvas. The canvas will be unveiled this Friday at 3:30 p.m. at the Waterfront Gallery.

The Arts Council of Ladysmith and District will celebrate community in a big way this  Friday when it unveils a 30-foot community canvas.

About 50 people helped create the four-foot-by-30-foot community canvas, which the Arts Council will be hanging outside the Ladysmith Waterfront Gallery at 610 Oyster By Dr. this Friday at 3:30 p.m.

The community canvas project began during BC Arts and Culture Week in late April after the Arts Council received a $200 ArtsBC grant.

“I wanted something to engage the community, and we decided to do a huge canvas,” explained Kathy Holmes, president of the Art Council.

Volunteers created the whole project, putting on the first two coats to strengthen the canvas, stretching the canvas and putting down the sketch. They began painting with some of the Arts Council’s students, and artist Kath Stroman came in and offered to help.

Over three weeks, the Boys and Girls Club came by and did some painting, people who visited the Ladysmith Waterfront Gallery picked up paintbrushes and added to the canvas, and local well-known artists such as Gail Ralphs, Ed Chan, Josslyn Meyers, Leona Petrak and Trisha Oldfield contributed to the painting.

The Arts Council is inviting the community to come and see the finished canvas during Friday’s hanging at 3:30 p.m.

The community canvas will hang on the outside of the gallery for much of the summer, hoping to attract people to the gallery and increase awareness about arts in the community for all ages.

“Thirty feet is huge — it really is a big canvas, so it makes us distinct,” said Holmes. “It should be big, and it should greet people when they come off the water. People driving by often wonder what the building is, and this will give them an idea.”

Holmes says the community canvas was so much fun that the Arts Council would love to do one in the winter to celebrate the Festival of Lights and would love to make this an annual project.

Holmes thanks all the people who participated in the project.

“This has gone beyond our wildest expectations,” she said. “It’s turned out so well, and so many people who love to paint showed up and the kids who showed up had a great time. All the people who put this together, it was amazing. We also want to show our appreciation to ArtsBC for sending us the money because it wouldn’t have gone without it.”