Promoting economic development through aesthetic improvement was the driving idea behind the decision to begin actively beautifying downtown Peace River, beginning in the fall of 2015.
New light standard banners were installed. There are nine different designs that celebrate the beauty and majesty of the Peace River Region. With these banners, we hope to encourage visitors and residents alike to find your peace of downtown. Whether it’s a spot with a view, a beloved local business, or your favourite green space, there’s a lot that downtown Peace River has to offer.
We would like to thank the artists involved for their support of the project: Trudy Plaizier, Tara Anderson, Dave Matilpi, Rena Gordey, Mary Parslow and Patricia Peters – and the Willox family. Without you, this would not have been possible. Thank you as well to Sharon Krushel of Dona Bona Cards, who inspired the art choices, and connected us with a number of the artists.
Our Athabasca Hall Centennial Mural project has been installed. Based on a “picture wall” concept, it recognizes and celebrates the various uses of the Hall over the years. Most of the murals are inspired by pictures from the recent past.
The murals are:
New Year’s Eve celebration – Based on a picture from New Year’s Eve 1947. Supplied by the Peace River Museum.
Tea Dance – This mural celebrates the many Tea Dances that were held in the Hall, primarily prior to the 1980s.
Wedding Reception – Athabasca Hall was originally the Hall attached to the Anglican Church. This mural celebrates the many wedding receptions that were held in the Hall.
Scottish Dancers – This mural celebrates the many Scottish dance recitals that have been held at the hall since the Peace River Scottish Society was established in 1979. Based on a picture supplied by the Peace River Scottish Society
Ukrainian Dancers – This mural celebrates the many Ukrainian dance recitals that have been held at the hall since the Muzyka Ukrainian Dancers were established in 1976. Based on a picture supplied by the Muzyka Ukrainian Dancers
Peace Players Theater Masks – the masks are a recurring image on most Peace Players production posters and programs.
Mary Poppins – Peace Players Children’s production – Based on a picture supplied by Peace Players
Peter Pan – Peace Players Children’s production – Based on a picture supplied by Peace Players
The Drowsy Chaperone – Peace Players production – Based on a picture supplied by Peace Players. This production was the first of 2019, the Town’s Centennial Year.
Sorry ‘Bout That – Peace Players production – Based on a picture supplied by Peace Players. Sorry ‘Bout That is Peace Players’ most-frequently produced performance (over 20 times!). The typical imagery for Sorry ‘Bout That is the chorus line. The mural is based on a picture of the 2019 chorus line.
No picture wall is complete without a few portraits. The portraits celebrate the founders of Peace Players, Don Weaver and Hal Sisson. Peace Players has put on many productions in the Hall since 1966 when the group was founded.
Utility Box Wraps
Five more utility box wraps downtown were installed in 2020. Artwork for the wraps was provided by Trudy Plaizier, Tara Anderson, Dave Matilpi, Mary Parslow and Patricia Peters.
Each wrap includes the title and artist’s name. Thank you to Sharon Krushel of Dona Bona Cards, who inspired the art choices, and connected us with a number of the artists. We would also like to thank all of the artists for allowing us to use their art in this application. Also, thank you to Peace Signs and Graphics, for the manufacture and installation of the utility box wraps.
Thanks to a donation for Downtown beautification, we were also able to complete an extra mural painted on the side of Style Rite Cleaners. Conceived of, designed and painted all in the month of September! Thank you very much to the owners of Style Rite for allowing the use of your wall and Dave Thomas of Flying Colour Murals for their work completing the mural.
Utility Box Wraps
Thank you to the 334 people who responded to our Utility Box Wrap survey this past spring. Based on those selections, 4 utility boxes are being wrapped with art as part of our downtown beautification program! Monte the Moose and Dad’s Painting are up, and will be joined by Horses at the Peace River and Jazzy Owl in the near future! Thank you to all the artists who allowed their work to be a part of the survey!
The response to the survey and all the artworks was overwhelmingly positive. Subject to municipal budget processes, we will do our best to continue the program into the future.
To celebrate the Town’s Centennial students from Ecole Springfield Elementary School, Good Shepherd School, École des Quatre-Vents-CSNO, T.A. Norris Middle School, Glenmary School, and Peace River High School painted our latest art panels. Each school painted both sides of 1 panel. These murals were installed along the sidewalk bordering Main Street Shell. In addition to adding some fun to downtown, the panels create separation between the sidewalk and a vehicle-oriented space. This enhances the safety of the walking environment.
Bike Parking, Garbage Cans, & Benches
In the fall we installed six new benches, 15 new garbage bins, and 30 new bike racks along Main Street. The new garbage cans are wildlife proof to help keep Main Street clean. The previous brick and stone garbage cans will be repurposed as planters in 2019.
A change to the mural program had the Town of Peace River offering grant money for business and building owners downtown who wanted to have a mural on their building. Two grants were handed out and Andrew Olivier and Shannon Brown were both hired to complete murals.
A second mural was commissioned in 2017 through the Mural Selection Committee process. This time it was awarded to Shannon Brown, her piece is and is an ode to her love of the Peace Region. It emphasizes the natural vegetation and local plant life of the area by showcasing the Alberta Rose, Prickly Pear cactus, Crocuses, Saskatoons and Goats Beard along the bottom of the mural. A crab apple tree dominates the centre, inspired by the one that is still growing in her old backyard, with a magpie watched by an irritated fox.
Canada 150 Art Panels
To celebrate Canada 150 elementary school students were given paint and die-bond panels and asked to paint mini-murals. These murals were installed along the sidewalk bordering the Fas Gas parking lot.
Early in the year, a mural selection committee was struck that included several community members. A call for artists was put out, and through that process, Andrew Olivier was hired to complete our first mural. The abstract piece celebrates the resilience of the Peace River community.
Downtown Streetlight Banners
In October of that year the first banners went up on light standards. They sport a slick modern design utilizing the Town’s logo and components of the Town’s vision statement from the Municipal Development Plan; beautiful by nature, diverse by culture, vibrant by choice, with colours pulled from the Town’s logo.
There are 10 commercial-grade evergreen trees that are installed in the Main Street median planters on each winter. These “Winter Trees,” are a seasonal addition that adorns Main Street every winter, all winter, as a means of brightening up downtown.