Vancouver Mural Festival goes wall-to-wall promoting public art

“I think in Vancouver we’ve always connected, traditionally, with the nature here, with the mountains, the water, the forests. But we’re trying to push a connection with our urban spaces as well.”

Vancouver Mural Festival takes places Aug. 20 in Mount Pleasant

(Left to right) David Vertesi, Scott Sueme and Gabriel Hall in front of the largest mural at the Vancouver Mural Festival, which covers two walls of the Hootsuite building. (Lisa Christiansen/CBC)

If you've noticed parts of Vancouver looking a little more colourful these days, you're not alone.

The city is getting ready for its first Mural Festival which will see nearly 40 new murals created  around Main Street in the Mount Pleasant and False Creek Flats communities.

Many artists are in the neighbourhood working on their pieces, like David Vertesi, Scott Sueme and Gabriel Hall.

They are creating the festival's biggest piece, which covers a wall of the Hootsuite building at Eighth and Ontario.

"Business owners and residents in the area are suddenly saying … 'There's this wall behind my place, it would be really great [for a mural],'" Vertesi told On The Coast's Lisa Christiansen. "That's part of what we're trying to do: trying to transform the way people connect with the city, with the space."

"I think in Vancouver we've always connected, traditionally, with the nature here, with the mountains, the water, the forests. But we're trying to push a connection with our urban spaces as well."

Hall says one of the big drivers for interest in a mural festival was the positive reaction to Brazilian artists OSGEMEOS painting several concrete silos on Granville Island with human figures.

Gabriel Hall says Brazilian artists OSGEMEOS' huge mural on Granville Island was part of what sparked interest in putting together the Vancouver Mural Festival. (CBC)

"I think it really opened the door for us and our project," he said. "It certainly set the bar for what we're trying to do in terms of making things that are really big and interesting and engaging and available to a lot of people to see."

The Vancouver Mural Festival takes place Saturday, Aug. 20 in Mount Pleasant.

Main Street between Seventh and 12th will be closed for performances and interactive art exhibits from 12-6 p.m. that afternoon.

With files from CBC Radio One's On The Coast