WATCH: It was an emotional day for friends and family of a Nanaimo teen killed. Today marked two years since sixteen-year-old Makayla Chang was last seen alive. The community unveiled a mural in her memory Sunday. Kendall Hanson was there.
It’s a mural that’s been months in the making.
It was unveiled today in Harewood Centennial Park in memory of Makayla Chang.
The 16-year-old was killed two years ago.
“She loved art. She loved creativity. She loved dance,” said Ajay MacLeod, a friend and driving force behind the mural.
“Any opportunity to express in a creative way would’ve been totally up her alley and I think she would’ve been really proud of her peers that put this together.”
Today marks two years since Chang was last seen alive.
Despite numerous searches in the community after her disappearance, it was two months before RCMP discovered her body.
Mounties said it was a homicide but to this day no one has been charged.
“Sometimes when an investigation is ongoing I think people feel there’s not a lot of closure,” said MacLeod.
“I think people feel there are not a lot of answers so this was a way to continue to honour her memory and continue to keep her in our thoughts and to have a visual tangible kind of monument that we can come and visit and remember her.”
The partially abstract mural is also to honour other marginalized youth but there are clear references to Chang.
A tree in the mural is one Chang used to climb that still stands on 5th Street. Chang loved climbing trees.
The light-bulbed antlered deer is a reminder of how Chang loved dressing up. One Halloween her deer outfit won the costume contest at Generation Q, a support group for LGBTQ teens that Chang attended.
The artists hope the mural will bring some peace to her family.
“Our hearts go out to you and we hope that in some way this one small gesture from the youth in this community helps to honour you,” said Yvonne Vander Kooi, the mural’s Coordinating Artist.
Chang’s grandmother says the mural is lovely and she appreciates the work by Makayla’s peers.
A visual reminder of a life cut far too short.
Earlier this month Makayla’s parents held a public event on what would’ve been her 18th birthday.