By Maureen Forsythe, BCA Youth Director.
As you turn off of Innes Road onto Glen Park Drive near the Metro, it will be hard to miss the colourful new rainbow mural on the side of the Lois Kemp Arena.
As part of its youth engagement activities, the BCA invited local youth to participate in the design and installation of a mural that captures some of the unique aspects of the Blackburn community.
On July 11th twelve Blackburn youth participated in an outdoor brainstorming session with mural artist Ryan Smeeton to come up with ideas and themes for the mural. It was agreed that the mural should reflect the welcoming nature of our community and the various sports that play an important part in the lives of local youth. The artist’s final design also managed to capture the ability of our residents to enjoy the abundant local green spaces and trails that make Blackburn one of the most livable communities in Ottawa.
On August 10th, after a couple of rainy days that delayed the planned installation, twenty local youth gathered outside the arena for a full day of outdoor fun and painting that included a pizza lunch. Ryan Smeeton and fellow artist Dan Martelock guided all of the painting activities with experienced and steady hands. The participation of the young people is captured in their colourful handprints along the bottom of the mural.
Congratulations to all of the young people who made this mural a reality in our community: Amelia Cartwright-Roome, Amelie Albert-Da Silva, Ava Ellis, Chloe Smith, Daveyon Barbu, Erin Dawson, Evelyn Heidger, Geetika Rumajogee, Jayden Kimball, Katrina Kunz, Kosuke Tomori-Carrier, Liv LeClair, Niko Kimball, Nura Rowhani, Pinxit White, Sophie Moreau, Sophie Nicolas, Tea Bedard, Tommi Rose Delanty and Valerie Plechtchenko.