Giant interactive, community mural in Sudbury bringing children and families together

A not for profit art group in Sudbury have created a giant mural on the ground of a courtyard. They used the vision of the residents of the housing complex to come up with something the children could play on.

Live Love Louder arts group created mural, using the vision of the residents so children can play

It only took one day for Live Love Louder, a Sudbury not-for-profit group, to create a giant mural in the courtyard of Place Hurtubise. 

The townhouse complex, made up of 106 units in 20 blocks, was built on Lasalle Blvd in 1971.

Wallace Gillard, who leads the group, said the Place Hurtubise community reached out with a vision for what they wanted.

Live Love Louder, whose mandate is to create cooperative artwork in marginalized communities in the city, then executed the plan.

"We basically took what they wanted to do. They wanted a racetrack. They wanted hopscotch. A couple of different little things that the kids could play on and we figured out how to fit it," Gillard said.

Gillard says many of the volunteers thought it would take one week to create the 68 metre x 12 metre mural, but he and his wife Laura-Leigh were determined. They got started at 9:00 a.m. with some chalk, and had residents and community members painting in the lines by noon.

Wallace and his wife Laura-Leigh run the Sudbury not-for-profit group Live Love Louder. (Supplied/Wallace Gillard)

"My wife and I, at the end of the day, we tracked our kilometres just to see how far we walked between the two of us," Gillard said. "We had each walked 10.8 kilometres."

"We didn't realize how hard it was until the following three or four days when we couldn't walk."

Gillard says when they went back for final pictures, it made it all worthwhile.  

"It was great to see just kids playing everywhere, they were all over that courtyard," Gillard said. "They were running and riding their bikes around the track that we created."

"There were individuals in the community who were just sitting out back thanking us, saying we haven't seen some of these kids playing in this yard for...well, we've never seen some of these kids is a better way to say it."

The paint Gillard and his team used is the the same used for traffic lines. Gillard says he's hoping it will last quite a few years, thanks to the many sponsors who supplied the materials.

;It was great to see just kids playing everywhere, they were all over that courtyard,' Gillard said. 'They were running and riding their bikes around the track that we created.' (Supplied by Wallace Gillard)

"We consulted with Home Hardware and Beauti-Tone paint and let them know this thing isn't going on a wall, it's going to be outside. It's going to be trampled upon," he said.

"They recommended we use line paint. So the same paint that's used in parking lots that lasts with cars driving over it for years. So how long will it last? We're hoping that guarantee that's going to get a good three years with the bright, vibrant colours. And who knows, it might even last longer."

A mural on the ground of the courtyard at Place Hurtubise in Sudbury is creating more spaces for play, and it came together in just one day. There's areas in the mural for hopscotch and a racing track and Live Laugh Louder, the group that spearheaded the mural, says it's drawn more children out to play than before. 4:28


Jan Lakes


Jan Lakes is a producer at CBC Sudbury. You can reach her at or find her on Twitter @lakesCBC.