Four painted banners have disappeared from the Rotary Arts District in Uptown Port Alberni.
But four of these banners were discovered to be missing on Monday morning, May 28. They had been hanging in the Harbour Quay, near the covered walkway adjacent to the grassy area.
Ocean Valley Ink’s Rachel Rose was disappointed to learn Monday evening that her banner was one of the four missing.
“We just spent all that time painting them to brighten up the area,” she said.
Rose drove around the Rotary Arts District after the banners were installed, looking for her own, but was unable to find it hanging anywhere. She sent a message to the Rotary’s Facebook page on Sunday only to learn that her banner, as well as three others, had gone missing.
“I’m pretty choked,” she said.
Rotarian Larry McGifford said they discovered the banners were missing after receiving Rose’s message.
“We were able to go through the area and see that four banners were missing from the four different lamp standards,” said McGifford. “These are banners we know were put up. We don’t know why this has occurred.”
The Rotary Club, he added, is attempting to review the other three banners that are missing to find out who they belong to. It is a bit of an unprecedented event for them.
“This is our ninth year of painting banners, and we’ve never had this kind of thing happen before,” he said.
Port Alberni RCMP Cpl Amelia Hayden confirmed that a file has been opened with the RCMP, but at this point it is not known whether the banners were stolen, knocked away by wind or lost some other way. The banners are located 20 feet up on lamp standards, and installation usually requires a boom lift. There are no cameras in the area, so the incident was not recorded.
City CAO Tim Pley said a citizen responded to the News’ story online that she had seen a shopping cart with the banners in them, but city staff weren’t able to find them. “We’re thankful that one citizen stepped forward with some information,” Pley said.
Rose said she is disappointed that the banners disappeared before she was even able to see hers hanging up.
“If they offer another banner, I’ll paint one for sure,” she said. “But I’d like to get this one back.”
—With files from Susie Quinn, Alberni Valley News