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Heartwarming tale of a beautiful Chilliwack mural lovingly restored

A repair job by many hands aimed at fostering hope and happiness through public art
A downtown Chilliwack mural has been restored to its former glory by volunteers.

A downtown Chilliwack mural has been restored to its former glory.

“It felt great to fix the vandalized mural downtown Chilliwack this morning,” said artist Sylvie Roussel-Janssens.

Here’s how it went down.

The mural, created on the Harvest Cafe’s north-facing exterior wall on Victoria Avenue, features powerful Indigenous-style images in bright shades of turquoise, orange and red.

It is bordered with local schoolchildren’s handprints, as an artistic gesture of hope for the community.

A vandal struck last August defacing the piece of public art that had taken months to create by Central elementary staff, students, and volunteers.

On Monday half a dozen community-minded volunteers came together, picked up their paint brushes and took restorative action.

Now it is back to “beautiful.”

“Six of us had it done in an hour and a half,” said Roussel-Janssens.

They effectively erased the tag, and repaired the damage.

She publicly thanked the repair-job volunteers: Nikki Rekman, David Shearer, Karen Ireland, Denice Girdner and Mary-Lee Mertz.

“You did an awesome job! Now the beautiful work by Central Elementary students and staff is close to what it was before,” Roussel-Janssens wrote. “Thank you also to Leslie Waddington, principal, for having all the materials ready to go.”

Central principal Leslie Waddington had this to say in a letter to the artists:

“You really are our new heroes! As I drove by today on my way home I realized how fortunate I am to live and work in a community like Chilliwack with people like you, who make such a difference.

“It really is those seemingly ordinary acts that truly are extraordinary. You modelled for our students what we constantly talk about—being a contributing and caring member of the community.

“The mural looks better than ever!”

READ MORE: Spraypainted tag on mural



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Jennifer Feinberg

About the Author: Jennifer Feinberg

I have been a Chilliwack Progress reporter for 20+ years, covering the arts, city hall, as well as Indigenous, and climate change stories.
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