Rotary Arts District pitches crosswalk idea

The Creative Crosswalks Project is an initiative from members of the Rotary Arts District Community Corps.

The Rotary Arts District could soon see a pop of colour and new designs under a new initiative to bring more public art to the area.

The Creative Crosswalks Project is an initiative from members of the Rotary Arts District (RAD) Community Corps, who formed earlier this year to support specific initiatives in the Rotary Arts District.

“The RAD Community Corps, in partnership with uptown businesses, would like to propose something exciting and fresh,” said Brent Ronning, vice president of the RAD Community Corps, at an Oct. 24 council meeting. “We have an opportunity in Port Alberni to do something uniquely Port Alberni and add our own flavour. Creative crosswalks from around the world have become a part of public art.”

Communities on Vancouver Island, including Campbell River and Victoria, have added colour and design to crosswalks around the cities.

Ronning requested the city’s support for a Community Investment Program grant application for the artist fee, commitment to installation and maintenance and participation on the Creative Crosswalks ad hoc committee.

A call to artists is estimated to cost $1,000 for each design concept and each stencil for the different designs would cost approximately $1,000.

“Selected artists would be paid the design fee,” Ronning said. “We’ve also applied to the city’s Community Investment Program for a grant to cover that design fee.”

The four intersections that are being considered for a creative crosswalk are Kingsway, Fourth Avenue, Third Avenue and 10th Avenue along Argyle Street.

“They would frame and invite our community and our visitors to the arts district and send a clear message to everyone that we’re in a really special place,” Ronning said.

The designs would be applied using regular paint that is currently used for crosswalks and colours would depend on the artists’ design concepts.

“I love the concept of creative crosswalks. I know earlier this year we had a lot of discussion in our community about a rainbow crosswalk,” Coun. Sharie Minions said. “It started a great conversation around how do we move forward with more inclusive themes. We can talk about First Nations in our crosswalks or industrial heritage, we have a lot to showcase.”

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