Instagram walls with colourful murals are coming soon to add some character and vitality to the downtown core.
Cornerstone Custom Picture Framing on Mill Street is the first Chilliwack business to request a mural — and get one approved — as part of the Downtown Chilliwack BIA’s new Instagram Walls project.
The whole idea is persuading people to linger a little longer, and maybe snap a photo against a beautiful backdrop, said Krista Butt, owner of Cornerstone.
“It ties into the larger trend worldwide to use street art and colour to enrich people’s experience in urban areas,” said Butt.
A drab wall can become a backdrop for a cool photo shoot that can then be shared on social media sites like Instagram, she said.
“There are all kinds of photo shoots already that go on downtown for weddings, graduations, fashion, and the new Instagram Walls are meant to add to this growing trend,” she said.
The first wall mural is set to be painted in the Mill Street alley beside Cornerstone called Court Lane.
The design has white doves in flight against a turquoise background, and it was pre-approved by the Public Art Advisory Committee, and then by council last week.
The BIA has already identified a number of locations and will work with business owners to select graphics, materials and artists, and BIA reps have been brainstorming with Tourism Chilliwack.
They are considering a tag line like ‘Photo Op & Shop Downtown Chilliwack’ for the Instragram Walls.
The public art committee offered some feedback to staff on the idea of the mural project: “Creative treatments of side and rear façades, such as the proposed Instagram murals, support the enhancement of the overall building design through incorporation of public art or murals within the streetscape.
“Through use of detail that does not detract from the front façade, the proposed Instagram walls should contribute to the overall character and quality of Downtown Chilliwack.”
Council approved the placement of an Instagram wall at 9345 Mill Street as the first installment, and also the Instagram wall program as submitted by the Downtown Chilliwack Business Improvement Association.