Trackside graffiti festival, ‘one of Canada’s largest,’ returns to Esquimalt

Trackside graffiti festival, 'one of Canada's largest,' returns to Esquimalt
Screenshot: @ trackside_paint_jam/Instagram
Trackside Paint Jam, dubbed by organizers as "one of Canada's largest graffiti events," starts mid-August and culminates on Sept. 4 with a free festival along the E&N Rail Trail in Esquimalt.

More than 50 artists from Greater Victoria and beyond are flocking to Esquimalt to paint the township in vibrant colours for “one of Canada’s largest graffiti events,” according to organizers.

Trackside Paint Jam launches mid-August and culminates in a free all-ages outdoor festival on Sept. 4, when the public can visit Trackside Art Gallery and “expect to see larger-than-life urban art pieces,” organizers say.

Jason Colville says he’s excited for the event, which will see art pieces painted on the backs of warehouses, canvassing an “urban art coordinator” along the E&N Rail Trail near Hereward Road.

That’s where participants can share their stories, celebrate their roots and connect while honouring the history of graffiti, exclaim organizers.

“This year’s graffiti jam is pretty exciting,” says Colville, a co-organizer, in a news release.

“We received funding from the BC Arts Council and BC Healthy Communities, which meant we were able to remove the defunct panels at the top of the Trackside Art Gallery.”

He says the recovered space allows graffiti and mural artists to unleash their creativity and create large-scale works that aren’t typically done in the area.

SEE ALSO: Massive owl mural adds a pop of colour to Esquimalt

And while the event is now in its third year, this year is different because it’s the first time the public is invited to participate in the fun and learn about urban art.

“In past years, we kept things kind of underground because there were some questions around the legality of the site,” explained Colville, “but this year we worked with the Esquimalt Community Arts Hub to get permission from the CRD, Township of Esquimalt and all the building owners to run the event.”

The paint jam is put on by Trackside Paint Jame producers, Thrift Craft and the Esquimalt Community Arts Hub.

More information, including updates on the artists and activities, is online here.


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