Edmonton

Secret mural to honour Indigenous community in Beaumont, Alta.

A new mural in the works in Beaumont, Alta., aims to bring the city's people together and highlight the city's Indigenous community. 

The final image of the mural will be unveiled at the Rural Roots Fair in Beaumont, Alta. on Aug. 27

Two women dressed in summer clothes standing on grass holding a plank as tall as them.
Stacey Oswald, left, and Marisa McKinney hold fence boards that, when put together, will create a mural for the Rural Roots Fair. (Stacey Oswald)

A new mural in the works in Beaumont, Alta., aims to bring the city's people together and highlight the city's Indigenous community. 

Part of the Rural Roots Fair, an annual summer event highlighting the city's roots and agriculture hosted by the Beaumont and District Agricultural Society, the mural is a collaborative initiative designed to empower and engage residents of the city.

"It's like a paint by numbers," said Stacey Oswald, mural coordinator for the Artists' Association of Beaumont.

"So that the community is involved in the mural, so it's not just being done by an artist."

The mural will be painted on 40 fence boards that come with a design already on the timber. Kits were given out to the public in July and they are to be returned by Aug. 25. 

The society hopes to do a mural every year that showcases the theme of the fair. 

"This year they're honouring Indigenous people like myself and having a lot of presenters and vendors and dancers and performers for this fair," Marisa McKinney, a Métis artist, and designer of the mural, told CBC's Edmonton AM on Wednesday. 

The city of Beaumont is getting a new mural. Working with the Rural Roots Fair and the Artists' Association of Beaumont, community members are painting individual panels but the overall design is top-secret. Métis artist and clothing designer Marisa McKinney designed the mural and is collaborating with other artists to create it. She joined Edmonton AM to talk about the importance of the project.

The mural represents the theme of this year's fair which is honouring the city's Indigenous community. 

Although Terra Pombert, director of the Beaumont and District Agricultural Society, introduced the theme for the first time, she hopes to continue the tradition of highlighting other cultures that reside within Beaumont by inviting the communities to participate in the fair and creating a mural.

"Looking at our rural roots from a broader perspective could include other cultural aspects of agriculture and even agriculture from other places," she said.

The mural will be unveiled Aug. 27.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Kashmala Fida Mohatarem is a reporter and associate producer with CBC Edmonton.

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