The Murals of Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada: Murals
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Kingston Row & Dunkirk Drive (2)    Location Map

Fifteen years after the North Side of this underpass was painted, the Glenlawn/Riverview Girl Guides painted this Mural on the South Side.

Location: Kingston Row underpass; North Face

Occupant: St. Vital Bridge underpass

District: St. Vital

Neighbourhood: Earl Grey

Artist(s): Glenlawn/Riverview Girl Guides (unsigned)

Year: 2007

Sponsors: Take Pride Winnipeg!, Girl Guides of Canada, United Way Winnipeg

Painters: Darlene, Jennifer, Jacqueline, Melissa, Nicole, Stephanie, Ashley, Michelle, Brenna, Samantha, Sasha, Jessica, Ally. Original sketch artists: Krissy, Ally, Melanie. Layout Artist: Melissa.


Darlene Daley (Guide Leader): "This underpass was ugly. The other side was nice with the other Mural there, and this did not match at all. We thought that this whole project would help the Guides in their goal of doing something for the community; and also for them to learn leadership and how to work together and accomplish something together."

"United Way has a project called 'Youth Connections'. Only young people can work on it, so we needed to have a committee of young people from ages 16-22. So the Guides took them up on it, and learned how to apply for a grant. We thought of a Mural right away, and drove around St. Vital and looked at a lot of walls. That's when we noticed the underpass, and the contrast between the two sides of the underpass- the one side looked so nice and the other side looked so sad! We felt this would be a good challenge for us. It needed beautification. At the request of United Way, we surveyed the neighbourhood to make sure that everyone would be in favour of having a new Mural there. Take Pride Winnipeg was also in favour of us doing this- getting backing from the neighbourhood."

"So we knew first where we were going to paint, but we didn't yet know what to paint or how we were going to handle all of these underpass pillars. We ended up using the pillars to divide our wall into seven scenes. We are Sparks, Brownies, Guides, Pathfinders, Senior Branch, and Leaders, depending on the age level. So the panels between every pair of pillars would represent that age group. I had the girls draw me pictures of what each age group would do at camp. The Sparks are skipping, the Brownies are flying kites, Guides are going on a hike, and so on. The submitted pictures were of different sizes, so I gave them to one girl who had graduated 4 or 5 years ago, and she make them all even and the correct perspective for the wall and blend them together (photo 3)."

"We needed it cleaned, but there's no power there, so they came and pressure washed it and painted it blue. The drawings were projected onto the wall at night. We needed a gas generator, as there is no power there. One thing we learned about a project like this is to talk to people, ask questions, and communicate that 'We need this, and that'. You'd be surprised what word of mouth can do! A neighbour of one of the Guides loaned us his generator that would have cost us 50 dollars or more to rent for the two nights. The same was true of the projector."

"In the Pathfinders scene, they are in the rain, because the Pathfinder Group in our district always seems to have rain when they go camping. There's a rainbow and the sun is shining in one portion of it. Also, all first aid kits are generally white with the red cross on them; but their particular kit in this Pathfinder kit is green; so they said 'we have to have the green one on the Mural!' The Senior's Branch, which is my age group, we are planting trees. In the Leaders scene, that's supposed to be me taking pictures of them! In the middle, there's a campfire, which is common to all the groups; and all the different age groups are in their different uniforms. This is the centre panel. The campfire scene was fun to do because there's a door there (photo 4). Nobody knows what's behind the door or where the key is, but there's no power or electrical there. The artwork conceals the door quite well, but we made it so you could still see the latch should anyone need to use that door."

"We painted the pillars first. We had fairly good weather for most of the time. It took six days, about 200 hours of labour, during the last week in August. July was just too hot. We had one day off in the middle in which we went out and bought paint. The girls did their handprints and signed their initials. There were 15 painters in total; but the most we had at any given time was 6. It depended on their schedules- several of the girls had part time jobs. On the last day, I took them out to Bridge Drive In for ice cream."

"This project was a nice way of saying 'we are in Guiding- we are proud of what we do and we want to show the community what we do; we recommend Guiding for young women. We think it complements the other Mural quite well, particularly because they are also outdoor scenes. The girls worked really hard because they wanted to see this happen- it was a prideful thing for them to do."