Thunder Bay

Thunder Bay to get an 'art bus'

The City of Thunder Bay wants to transform a transit vehicle into a rolling showcase of local culture, which will start picking up passengers around Canada Day.

A transit vehicle will be transformed into a rolling showcase of local culture this summer

A city bus in Vancouver is wrapped in a design by artist Germaine Koh. The City of Thunder Bay plans to similarly transform a Thunder Bay transit bus. It's calling on artists to submit designs. (Translink)

It's one bus you won't be able to miss — at least not visually.

The City of Thunder Bay wants to transform one of its transit busses into a rolling art exhibit, and it's asking local artists to send in designs. 

It's offering up to $4,000 to the artist who creates the winning exterior.

The initiative is a nice way to showcase local art throughout the city, said Leah Bayly, Thunder Bay's supervisor of cultural services and events. It will also help market public transit. 

"They are looking to increase awareness of the transit system and increase ridership on the transit system, so having something as unique as this, as visible as this, we hope is going to help with that," Bayly told CBC. 

The winning masterpiece will be printed on adhesive vinyl and attached to the back and sides of the vehicle. Any portions of the design covering the windows would be printed on perforated vinyl so as not to block sight lines.

Artists have until April 27 to submit their proposals.

A second call for submissions, which will be released in approximately two weeks, will invite artists to submit art to be displayed on the inside of the bus, in the spaces normally used for advertising.

The city will pay honoraria to artists whose work is chosen.

The $20,000 budget for the entire project comes from the city's recreation and culture division and from the clean, green and beautiful committee, Bayly said.

The art bus is due to start picking up passengers around Canada Day, and some transit riders told CBC they welcome the idea. 

"It shows the different artists," said Lisa Saarimaki, who was standing at city hall bus terminal.  "And then it's going to be shown around the city and everybody gets to enjoy it."

"Sounds like a good idea to me," said Michael Bushemi, "Why not?" 

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