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REPORTING · 22nd June 2010
Walter McFarlane
For the last two years in June, we at the Kitimat Daily have reported on vandalism in our community, notably in the areas around the skate park. On June 21st, 2010, this trend is broken.

Parents, students and church groups gathered at the derelict grocery store next to the skate park to prime coat the wall for what will be a community project. The youth gathered and worked hard.

“We started talking about this project as a parent group at the beginning of the school year because from the intermediate wing, [the building is] the thing the kids have to look at,” said Tanya Hickman. “We wanted to clean up this wall, we want it to tie into the kids who use the skate but we want it to be a better view for our kids at the school.”

“A couple of volunteers from within the community and a couple of volunteers from the churches within the city are getting together to try and repaint the whole wall. What they are doing today is putting up the primer… the undercoat,” said Pastor Tim Coleman.

According to Coleman, Eileen Hutson has planned the mural and Jordan Unrau will paint a mural upon the old building. The primer for the project was donated by Early Bird while Classics donated the colours for the wall. Coleman stated this is an area where people come to skate, play tennis, basketball and hockey. They want to present an inviting environment for the people who use the area.

Rob Goffinet has been a teacher across from this wall for many years. “I’ve spent a lot of time staring at this wall and just a few minutes of work has radically improved it and I can hardly wait to see, over summer, what this wall looks like,” said Goffinet.

The work will progress through the summer. Unrauis a Summer Student who has completed a graphic design degree at Malaspina College and is working at Rio Tinto Alcan. On his days off, he plans to work on the mural.

Although Hickman expressed some concern over the wall being covered in further graffiti over, she hopes due to the amount of people they have involved and the more people who see the artist is painting the mural, they hope the project will be respected enough to be left alone by local vandals.

“We’re doing this for everybody,” said Hickman “We’re thankful for volunteers and there is lots of community involvement. We’re thankful for the donations and the peoples time, coming forward to make our area look as good as it can.”

This draws from work done by Father Pier Pandolfo and Coleman to organize the youth groups to help remove graffiti around Kitimat. “Members of the community were concerned about not just the kind of material being thrown on the walls but the sense of Vandalism and irresponsibility which had been exhibited by some of the younger people in our community and we felt we had to be proactive in how we responded to that,” said Coleman.
Hickman puts the first brushtrokes upon the wall
Hickman puts the first brushtrokes upon the wall
Consider this the before picture
Consider this the before picture