Coquitlam is aiming to brighten up their streets before the end of the year.
The city has commissioned 35 artists, following a callout for professional painters in June, to design and paint murals on Pinetree Way and Brunette Avenue.
The artists are set to create a 3,400 square-foot mural at the Spirit Square parking lot on Pinetree, and three paintings ranging from 192 to 960 square feet on Brunette.
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“Streetscape enhancements are really important to help engage our residents and bring vitality and beauty to the city,” stated Jaime Boan, Coquitlam’s general manager of engineering and public works, at a council-in-committee meeting earlier this week.
“We were thrilled that we got over 35 artists interested in participating in this mural program.”
Coquitlam has hired the Vancouver Mural Fest Agency to support the implementation of the murals.
The mural projects are part of a wider $500,000 streetscape enhancement plan to upgrade and develop art infrastructure in Coquitlam.
The city is in the final stages of installing year-round light fixtures on Brunette Avenue and are planning to place lights on a welcome sign along Lougheed Highway, next to ƛ̓éxətəm Regional Park (formerly Colony Farm), by the middle of August.
In the winter, Coquitlam is looking to develop light fixtures on trees within the City Centre district — specifically on Pinetree Way, Glen Drive, and High Street — to increase walkability in the colder and darker months.
The city is targeting to install those lights in the fall, according to a July report to council.
An Elder from the Kwikwetlem First Nation is also leading a team of artists to develop a mural for the new Town Centre Park Community Centre that is expected to open next year.
An initial concept will be completed in the fall, before the team starts to paint in 2024.
Lighting fixtures are also scheduled to be installed at the clock tower in Maillardville by October.
The city is considering upgrades to the entryway arch into the neighbourhood and the plaza next to the clock.
As part of Coquitlam’s art-related developments, Coun. Craig Hodge stated at the July 31 meeting that council should consider converting an upper parking lot next to the clock tower into a park.
Coun. Hodge, who previously served as chair of Coquitlam’s Maillardville commercial and cultural revitalization advisory committee, said the lot can be difficult to access and has a lack of parking.
“I think it holds only about eight cars and has a driveway that you can only get into if you’re coming from New Westminster,” he stated. “I think that it could be better utilized than pavement.”
Coun. Hodge suggested the lot could be transformed to serve as a gateway to a walking path along Adair Ave. to Mackin Park. There would be minimal impact to parking, he added, as the space also has a parking lot on the lower half of the plaza.
A splash of colour to bike racks
Coquitlam is working with TransLink to create 15 new bike racks at the Burquitlam SkyTrain Station.
The city is hoping to decorate those bike stalls as part of their streetscape project, which received support from Coun. Teri Towner.
“I’m always harping that we need more bike racks, and to combine public art with functional bike racks is a great initiative,” Coun. Towner stated.
Coquitlam has developed a website where residents can check out the progress of the city’s streetscape initiatives.