Edmonton·RED DEER BUREAU

Wet Paint: Downtown Red Deer welcomes back arts and culture with new murals

The central Alberta city’s downtown core is getting a makeover as 14 mural artists from across the country are turning alleyways into art ahead of Red Deer’s Meet the Street arts and culture festival. 

The central Alberta city's downtown core is getting a makeover

Caitlin McDonaugh's crew works on her mural in the alley parallel to Ross Street. (Heather Marcoux/CBC)

CBC Edmonton and CBC Calgary have teamed up to launch a pop-up Red Deer bureau to help us tell your stories from central Alberta with reporter Heather Marcoux bringing you the news from Red Deer and the surrounding area. Story ideas and tips can be sent to heather.marcoux@cbc.ca

There's a lot of wet paint in downtown Red Deer this week. 

The central Alberta city's downtown core is getting a makeover as 14 mural artists from across the country are turning alleyways into art ahead of Red Deer's Meet the Street arts and culture festival. 

Bobby-Jo Stannard, the superintendent for community development with the City of Red Deer, said the murals, as well as additional lighting and alleyway speaker systems are meant to attract foot traffic downtown and "discourage negative activities" by bringing beauty to the area. 

The murals represent Red Deer's "welcome back to the arts and culture scene, post pandemic," Stannard said. 

"They seem to be a great backdrop for those special occasions and are really starting to bring people downtown," she said. "We're seeing more and more people slowly driving by and going into those alleys to take a look at the work that's happening. It's just beautiful.

Montreal-based artist Caitlin McDonagh is excited to show off "the juxtaposition of a forest mural in the downtown city centre," and said she's participated in similar mural projects in larger cities that were not this big, as 15 murals will be completed before September. 

"It feels refreshing to be somewhere that isn't as overwhelming or intense as Vancouver or Montreal," she said. "And honestly everyone that has been walking by has been so friendly and welcoming that right away it felt like a really positive experience."

Red Deerians will be able to see all the murals when the Meet the Street arts and culture festival kicks off on September 3.

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