Rainbow Stage Mural by Mandy Van Leeuwen and Michael Saint Hilaire (John Dupras)
Rainbow stage is sporting a new look. According to General Manager Julie Eccles, the facelift was created to combine the natural backdrop of Kildonan Park with the drama that happens inside Rainbow Stage. Local artists Mandy Van Leeuwen and Michel Saint Hilaire were brought in to create a 'magic forest' on the exterior walls of the building.
This isn't the first time that Van Leeuwen and Saint Hilaire have used a building as their canvas. The two have individually and collaboratively created many dioramas, theme rooms and public murals. For example, The Boot Tavern, Second Encore Music and the Windsor Hotel.
But to date, the Rainbow Stage mural is their biggest creation, measuring in at 8000 square feet. Their artistic process begins with power washing and priming of the walls. Though hard to believe, artists Van Leeuwen and Saint Hilaire create the mural freehand, starting with base coats, faux finishes and background colour before bringing the details to life. If you look closely at the murals, you can see the famous Witch's Hut, familiar flower gardens, and well known streams. As you enter Rainbow Stage itself, you can't help but anticipate the excitement of the production you are about to see.
Painting of these new murals began on June 1 and all was unveiled in early August, just in time for Rainbow Stage's production of Hairspray. The project was supported by the City of Winnipeg and the Lord Selkirk West Kildonan Land Dedication Reserve Funds.
Like Assiniboine Park with its new Children's Garden and expanded Duck Pond, Kildonan Park has recently experienced a revitalization as well, with a renovation to the outdoor pool, a new play structure and future renovations planned for the Peguis Pavilion this fall. All going well, the next stage will see an indoor mural at Rainbow Stage, something to celebrate the history of Rainbow Stage over the years.