A pilot project is off to a budding start in Saanich as artists mark the completion of a new road mural portraying a motif of rare yellow montane violets.
On Saturday, Aug. 13, the Greater Victoria Placemaking Network (GVPN), along with over 40 volunteers from the Falaise Community Association (FCA), installed the mural on Falaise Crescent near the Falaise Park playground.
The mural was designed by local artist Desiree Shelley, who worked with neighbours to develop a design that reflected the street’s identity.
“The repeated image in this design is a mountain violet, which is a rare violet that was thought to be distinct in this area,” Shelley told CHEK News.
“It was rediscovered by a local artist and residence actually of Falaise Cresent, so it has quite a bit of significance to this special local,” she explained.
Shelley’s referring to long-time resident and artist Tannis Warburton, who initially alerted B.C.’s Ministry of Environment of the discovery and has since been honoured with a plaque in the park.
“I’m glad that the design of the road mural includes an important part of the history and ecology of the neighbourhood,” Shelley added.
In addition to beautifying the street, artists hope the mural encourages drivers to slow down — thereby improving road safety, according to GVPN volunteer and project co-initiator Teale Phelps Bondaroff.
Phelps Bondaroff worked with the District of Saanich to develop road mural guidelines and says he looks forward to studying the mural’s effectiveness.
“Neighbours coming together to beautify their community and improve road safety is community building in action. I’m very pleased to see this pilot project up and running in Saanich…” he said.
The project received funding from a community Well-Being and Placemaking Projects Grant from the District of Saanich, and the FCA plans to maintain the mural and repaint it next summer.