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Transforming Diana Krall Plaza: A Mural Project for Community Revitalization


Vancouver Island Regional Library: Nanaimo Harbourfront



Our journey takes us to the heart of downtown Nanaimo, where creativity and community converge at the Vancouver Island Regional Library's Harbourfront location. This is a story of transformation, purpose, and the power of art to revitalize spaces.

Read The Story

This project begins with a simple yet powerful purpose: to add color, vibrancy, and life to the Diana Krall Plaza, a hidden gem nestled within our city. The Vancouver Island Regional Library approached us with a vision, a desire to revitalize this underutilized gathering space. The challenge was clear – how could we make this plaza more inviting, and appealing to the downtown Nanaimo eco-system?

This space had been, for too long, a place overshadowed by its underutilization. A lack of foot traffic within the plaza on a day-to-day basis, coupled with concerns about safety, had cast a shadow over this urban gem. The library decided It was time for a colourful intervention.

We wanted to create an environment where everyone felt safe and welcomed. Drawing upon our years of experience in the world of public art and murals, we embarked on a journey of transformation. Our relationships with community members, organizations, municipal staff and council had shown us that murals could instill a profound sense of belonging, safety, and improved well-being. Murals don't just adorn walls; they breathe life into communities. They foster engagement and draw people to spaces, transforming once-neglected areas into thriving hubs. The foot traffic generated by these vibrant artworks has a ripple effect, supporting local ecosystems and small businesses.

The Vancouver Island Regional Library, recognizing the potential for change, decided to partner with us to explore the impact of a mural on this plaza. Together, we embarked on an artistic journey, guided by the voices of the library's stakeholders.

This journey began with a stakeholder consultation process that engaged the community through the libraries social media channels. Tapping into the library's vibrant online presence, seeking input from its users. The invaluable insights of the library's dedicated staff and librarians further enriched the project. The initial breadth of subject matter was vast, but we worked closely with the library to distill a clear theme.

The "Bookshelf Mural" was born. A tribute to literature, knowledge, and imagination, this mural boasts a unique interactive design. The library's staff contributed by selecting book genres, giving the mural a personalized touch. Importantly, we designed the mural to be a space for selfies, photos, and hidden easter eggs. The center features a jazz composition by renowned Canadian Juno Award-winning composer Christine Jensen, while a sci-fi theme's spaceship and a tractor beam transports you out of this world.

Our project is more than just a mural; it's a testament to the power of art to create welcoming spaces, to ignite conversations, and to transform communities. Together, we've taken a step to create vibrant, safe, and inclusive gathering place where stories, both on the walls and in our hearts, come alive.

If you've interacted with this mural and would like to share how public art brightens your day, tag us in your photos on Facebook or Instagram by using @humanityinart we love when folks share their joy with us!

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