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Work on mural honouring late SNFU singer to start on Edmonton’s Whyte Avenue next month

Click to play video: 'Edmonton mural honouring late SNFU singer nearly complete'
Edmonton mural honouring late SNFU singer nearly complete
WATCH ABOVE: (From June 24, 2021) A mural to honour the late singer of legendary punk band SNFU in his hometown of Edmonton is nearing completion. Lacey Jane Wilburn, one of the muralists working on the piece, spoke to Global News about the project on Thursday – Jun 24, 2021

EDITOR’S NOTE: This article was updated on June 24, 2021 to include photos and a video of the partially complete mural as the muralists continue their work on it.

A massive mural to honour the memory of Ken Chinn (a.k.a. Chi Pig), the late singer of iconic Canadian punk band SNFU, will be completed on Edmonton’s Whyte Avenue this summer.

In a Facebook post, the Edmonton Arts Council said the project will be completed by muralists Lacey Jane and Layla Folkmann and be called “Larger Than Life.”

Chinn died last summer at the age of 57. SNFU was formed in Chinn’s hometown of Edmonton before he later relocated to Vancouver.

Portrait of singer Ken Chinn from Canadian punk group SNFU in Sydney, N.S., On May 30, 2009. THE CANADIAN PRESS IMAGES/Lee Brown

He was one of the most well-known punk rock singers of his era to be openly gay and was admired for both his lyricism and his athletic presence as a frontman in the punk world.

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READ MORE: SNFU singer’s death sparks push to honour Canadian punk icon in hometown of Edmonton 

The EAC, which said it is helping fund the project, said work will begin in mid-June. The mural will occupy the entire east side of the building that houses pub and music venue The Buckingham at 10439 82 Ave.

Jane, a longtime SNFU fan who grew up in Edmonton but is currently based in Vancouver, said she and Folkmann started to raise money for a potential mural shortly after Chinn’s death.

“When we heard of his passing, we knew how much the music community was going to feel it,” she said. “(We thought), ‘We’re muralists, we can do something.'”

She said while she did not know Chinn personally, his performances had quite an impact on her.

“I remember being so blown away by how awesome they (SNFU) were and also being intimidated by what a force he (Chinn) was… just his stage presence.”

Jane said once the plan to get the mural project was put into motion, “the response was overwhelming.”

“It just shows the influence Ken Chinn had on everybody,” she said, adding the project will incorporate feedback she and Folkmann received from Chinn’s friends, family and fans.

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Jane said she expects the mural will take about two to three weeks to complete once they start.

“(If it’s) COVID(-19) appropriate, we’re hoping we can do some sort of unveiling event,” she added. “We’re spitballing ideas to have some sort of community event, whether virtual or in-person.”

A mural of SNFU’s front man Chi Pig is being painted on the side of The Buckingham on Whyte Ave in Edmonton, June 24, 2021. Global News

Cameron Noyes, a longtime friend of Chinn’s, told Global News on Wednesday that the vision becoming a reality is “fantastic” and the location is fitting because it’s a part of Whyte Avenue where “Ken spent a lot of his life.”

“That’s where he’d go when he was in town and where venues he used to play at were,” Noyes said.

“(I) wanted it to be really visible… People will definitely be able to see it.”

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Sandy MacKinnon, a member of the band Royal Tusk and the manager of The Buckingham, said when a GoFundMe page was started to raise money for the mural project, the pub decided to offer the building’s wall as a canvas.

“It’s super exciting, especially for myself,” he said. “I’ve been a touring musician for probably the past 20 years.

MacKinnon said he even skipped his junior high graduation to go see SNFU perform and would go on to watch the band play on about 20 more occasions later in his life. He said he believes the mural will not only serve to honour Chinn’s memory, but also serve as a powerful reminder to Edmontonians.

“For a lot of… people in the arts community… it could even be sports… (the mural will convey) the idea that you can actually do it (be successful) being from Edmonton. Someone took the next step and toured all over the world,” he said.

“It’s not just people from Edmonton that felt the loss when he passed… He touched so many people.”

MacKinnon said he believes the building that The Buckingham is in serves as the perfect spot for the Chi Pig mural.

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A mural of SNFU’s front man Chi Pig is being painted on the side of The Buckingham on Whyte Ave in Edmonton, June 24, 2021. Global News

“Whyte Avenue (is)… kind of the de facto arts centre in Edmonton,” he said. “Us running a do-it-yourself, seedy dive bar and venue… it only seems fitting.”

A mural honouring Chinn is already complete in Vancouver. It was also completed by Jane and Folkmann.

Watch below: (From July 24, 2020) Friends of the late singer Ken Chinn of legendary Canadian punk band SNFU are mounting an effort to publicly honour the musician in his hometown of Edmonton. Gord Steinke spoke with friend Cameron Noyes about the musician’s legacy.

Click to play video: 'SNFU singer’s death sparks push to honour Canadian punk icon in hometown of Edmonton'
SNFU singer’s death sparks push to honour Canadian punk icon in hometown of Edmonton

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