Prince Rupert is getting a little more colourful this summer thanks to local businessman, Glen Saunders. Over the past month, Glen has organised the painting of a number of buildings around town. Many of them are older heritage buildings, sprinkled throughout the downtown area on Second, Third Avenue and Fraser Street.
The project started with a small crew of volunteers from Hecate Strait Employment Development Society and a few willing landlords. The building owners pay for the paint and help choose a colour with our local Rona colour expert, Sharon. The only stipulation is that it had to be bright and colourful. As word got around about the project, more people began showing up to help. Last weekend, we painted a total of eight buildings in one weekend, thanks to many volunteers and Glen’s mad co ordination efforts.
Glen was back and forth in his Moo Mobile (as we called it) with more paint, a taller ladder, another roller, painting advice or moral support and a willingness to get up on the ladder when others weren’t as comfortable. He had a hand in painting each and every building.
Many people who come through Prince Rupert know of Cow Bay, a charming cow themed corner of the city. Cow Bay has plenty of interesting shopping, an art gallery, restaurants like Cowpaccinos, Opa Sushi, Dolly’s and my personal favourite, The Cow Bay Cafe. I think a little of that charm has now spilt out to the rest of the city.
This project is good for Prince Rupert and it’s citizens. Many of the buildings downtown are empty and most were in disrepair. These old neglected buildings did not present a vibrant image of downtown; moral was low and business was leaving town. This project has already proven to please both the people who live here and those who pass through. Being a part of this project has given me the opportunity to meet a lot of new people in town and we’ve all enjoyed the positive feedback from everyone who walks or drives by. Neighbouring business owners and random people often stopped with kind words but also to sometimes drop off water and snacks.
Sico donated some of the paint for the project! The Moose Hall was one recipient, allowing the Royal Order of Moose to continue saving for a desperately needed new roof.
We are known as the City of Rainbows and now we look it. These are just some of the buildings that got painted. One day I’ll have a finished picture of them all. (click to look at any of the pictures bigger or see more of them.)