The Bragg Creek & Area Chamber of Commerce is laying the groundwork for the installation of a new mural to be established outside a local pharmacy in the coming weeks.
The mural, which was painted by a collection of local artists, is the latest in the chamber of commerce board’s efforts to enrich the hamlet and support local businesses with the addition of beautiful elements that highlight the natural surroundings and local artist community.
According to chamber of commerce board member Elizabeth Hertz, the mural is part of a series of beautification projects for the hamlet that began last year, thanks in part to a government grant that has been extended into 2022.
“The Bragg Creek & Area Chamber of Commerce has been active all through COVID and continues to focus on business as usual to help our hamlet go forward,” she said, adding mural projects help bring colour and charm to the community and serve as a draw to visitors and passersby.
Hertz noted previous beautification projects have included a mural of bears located in front of the Telus building, painted by Jesse Gouchey, who is a Métis visual artist and Red Deer native.
Additionally, The Venturers Society, a community access program for adults with developmental disabilities, helped build several benches and picnic tables throughout the hamlet, and Cochrane-based artist Brian Widahl sculpted a bear that is situated in the parking lot of the Bragg Creek Shopping Centre.
“It’s really nice to have [projects] that focus on our nature in our area – we like to focus on the fact that we’re surrounded by nature,” Hertz said.
The latest project is a double-sided mural with sunflowers on the front, painted by The ArticuLadies, a group of artists who meet every Thursday at the local community centre.
On the flip side, Bragg Creek’s chamber sought Gouchey’s talents once again for a comical scene of animals dressed in tourist clothes.
“The [latest] project is an interactive mural where people can poke their heads through and become an animal native to this area or on the other side [pose] for a sunflower photo op,” Hertz said. “The task to help beautify the hamlet would make Van Gogh proud.”
According to Hertz, it was the chamber’s president Sherri Olsen who thought of the idea to have sunflowers on the mural, which Hertz added came about prior to the escalation of the Russian-Ukranian military conflict.
“Sherri thought sunflowers would work and this was just before the war broke out, so it is even more special as the sunflower is Ukraine’s national flower," she said. “The [chamber is] thrilled with the sunflowers and grateful to the artists that contributed.”
Bragg Creek artists Pamela Atkinson, Gaynor Hoyne, Pat Johansen, Kym Binns, Heike Meyer-Soules, and Jane Prebushewsky each contributed to the artwork.
“This group is one of many incredibly talented groups and individuals in Bragg Creek,” Hertz said. “There is something about the nature and landscapes that seem to draw creatives to this very special place.
“We were confident these ladies would rise to the challenge, and they exceeded our expectations as they had never made a mural before.”
Hertz added the Bragg Creek chamber aims to bring more art installations into the community in the near future that highlight the work of local artists.
“We have a huge artist community here. It’s just really fun – I've really enjoyed working with the artists here and making it into a local group,” she said.