Read The Story
It started with a vision to transform a 100-foot, one-story parking lot wall into a beacon of welcoming warmth. The Royal Canadian Legion, deeply rooted in our community, sought to extend their hand in friendship to those who glimpsed their building from the back street. They aimed to bring fresh faces to the legion, rekindle the spirit of their current members, and, above all, create a space where the community could gather, reflect, and celebrate.
The canvas presented a unique challenge. A cinderblock wall, originally designed with a variegated surface, posed a daunting task for artists hoping to paint a cohesive image. But challenges are opportunities in disguise, and we were determined to overcome this one. As with all great endeavors, adversity tested our resolve. Our initial plan to have students design the mural was derailed by the impacts of COVID-19, which disrupted school schedules and routines. Yet, we found a new path forward.
We embraced a design that transcended skill levels and welcomed artists of all abilities. The canvas would be adorned with large, graphic-style poppies – symbols of remembrance and gratitude. This mural would be a canvas for the community, a place where everyone could make their mark, express their creativity, and have fun. The call went out to community groups, schools, clubs, and the public at large, inviting them to paint with us over a weekend. The response was overwhelming. People of all ages, from 18 months to over 80, came together in a spirit of camaraderie. Many returned for both days of painting, forging connections and friendships through art.
As the wall filled with a tapestry of poppies, we knew we were part of something special. We retraced the original outlines, and the results exceeded our expectations. The mural became more than just paint on a wall; it became a living testament to the power of art to unite a community.
Our Memorial Mural Project embodies the spirit of unity, resilience, and remembrance. It's a testament to what we can achieve when we come together, armed not with brushes and paints alone, but with a shared purpose and a vision of honoring our heroes. As you gaze upon this wall, remember that it was created by a diverse group of individuals, each contributing their unique brushstroke to a tapestry of gratitude.
We invite you to visit The Royal Canadian Legion Branch 256 Mt Benson, where this mural stands as a symbol of our collective strength. Together, we've turned a simple wall into a vibrant, living work of art that pays tribute to those who have sacrificed for our freedom.