Board shares bucket list wishes in Charlottetown

An arts centre in Charlottetown is pleasantly surprised at the popularity of a newly installed chalkboard inviting people to share things they'd like to do before they die.
A chalkboard installed on The Guild in Charlottetown invites passers-by to share things they would like to do before they die. (CBC)

An arts centre in Charlottetown is pleasantly surprised at the popularity of a newly installed chalkboard inviting people to share things they'd like to do before they die.

The chalkboard, which about three by five metres, was installed Friday on the outside of The Guild in downtown Charlottetown. The words "Before I die…" are written across the top, and repeated in three rows across the board with a blank to fill in.

The board is more popular than anyone imagined, says Guild chair Hannah Bell. (CBC)

Guild chair Hannah Bell told CBC News people were lining up to write on the board as it was being installed.

"It's a lot more successful than we had ever dreamed of," said Bell.

"I think it was full within an hour."

The board was then photographed, cleaned off, and filled again. Then repeat. The idea is to give everybody a chance to express what they want to do before they die.

Bell said the wishes are like little tiny short stories.

"Before they die they want to get married, or they want to get divorced, or they want to get a kitty cat, or they want to own a farm," said Bell.

"Or they want to marry Captain Jack Sparrow which is one of my favourites. Didn't write that one though."

Bell and artist Rachel Peters worked with The Guild's executive director, Alanna Jankov, to get the board made and installed.

"My favourite one is 'to find Waldo.' It's just silly," said Jankov, adding that some of the notes are very serious.

"There was one that somebody wrote you know, to tell their parents that they were gay, before they die," said Jankov.

"Those are things aren't very comfortably able to speak one-on-one to people but they can express it there for others to read."

The Guild received a $400 grant from the Culture Days festival to help pay for the board. Bell said it's money well spent.

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