A colourful wall mural with a message of action is now on display in B.C.’s Shuswap region.
The mural is of Canadian rock icon Gord Downie, lead singer of the Tragically Hip, who died of a terminal brain tumour in 2017.
The mural is located at 1214 Riverside Avenue in Sicamous and was created by Kelowna artist Bobby Vandenhoorn.
The building that it’s painted on hosts a design work studio and a co-share workspace.
“When I bought the building, I wanted to pay tribute to the history of Sicamous,” said Brenda Dalzell, owner of the 70-year-old building and a local small business.
“I wanted to create a visual interest in downtown Sicamous. So I had thought of numerous different murals to put on there.”
Ultimately, Dalzell said, “it became clear to me that I needed to do something that left a message, that it resonated, that it was more than a piece of art; it actually told a story.”
Downie’s efforts on Indigenous rights, said Dalzell, was that message.
“If you follow Gord Downie and the (Gord Downie and Chanie Wenjack Fund), he left us with this message: A call to do something,” said Dalzell.
“It became clear to me that it was my time to take action, to send a message, to share the vision and the passion of Gord Downie — to bring Indigenous and non-Indigenous people together.”
“Who doesn’t like Gord Downie? He’s such a Canadian icon,” said Vandenhoorn, who spent approximately 15 hours creating the mural.
“He represents so much more than his music. He’s a proud Canadian, but he’s also a big supporter of the Indigenous community.”
Vandenhoorn says he enjoys creating murals of musicians. To see some of his artwork, visit his Instagram page.