British Columbia·Photos

See how the Vancouver Mural Festival has transformed the city

Big, bright and beautiful, Vancouver's Mural Festival has transformed the Mount Pleasant and False Creek Flats neighbourhoods.

Curator says murals have increased public art by 10 per cent

Big, bright and beautiful, Vancouver's Mural Festival has transformed the Mount Pleasant and False Creek Flats neighbourhoods.

"This is definitely the biggest mural I've painted," said Drew Young, an artist and arts director for the Vancouver Mural Festival. 

"It was approximately a week and a half to paint it," Young said of his giant mural located at Main Street and Broadway Avenue. 

Drew and fellow artist Jay Senetchko ordered 100 gallons of paint and used 80 cans of aerosol paint, but it is not the biggest of the festival. The largest mural covers 12,000 square feet of the Hootsuite offices at Eighth Avenue and Ontario streets.

The festival curator estimates that Vancouver's public art collection has grown by over 10 per cent, thanks to the 35 works his fellow mural artists created.

"This area reminds me kind of the streets of Rio," said street art enthusiast Brandon Toews, taking photos near Station and Southern Streets. Twelve artists from Vancouver and around the world laboured to transform the False Creek Flats warehouses.

"When you have a survival economy in a lot of these areas, it's hard to go and find organic artwork, so to see that there was actually an initiative dedicated to trying to liven up these areas … It's really inspiring."

Brandon started photographing murals at Main and Kingsway. 

"So far I'm up to 14. I think at the very least, it starts making the city more visually appealing from a uniquely artistic perspective."

Every artist in the festival was paid for their work with grants from the city and the help of many sponsors who covered the costs of other necessities, such as insurance and scaffolding. 

The festival is looking forward to bigger plans next year. 

"We're going to make it an annual thing, most definitely," Young added.

With files from Rafferty Baker and Tamara Baluja

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