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BWG’s Downtown Mural Program Unveils First Murals

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Bold new murals grace the exterior of Jennings School of Karate at 16 John Street West, marking the culmination of a successful year-long partnership between the Jennings family, Bradford District High School (BDHS), and the Town of BWG.

The murals – eight individual panels designed in the style of the Group of Seven – were made possible through the artistic talents of local BDHS students, who lent their skills to assist in the beautification of the downtown property through the Town’s Downtown Mural Program.

The Downtown Mural Program was initiated as a pilot project by Council in 2022 after local high school art teachers approached the former Downtown Revitalization Committee with the opportunity for their students to create artwork for downtown buildings. The program was formalized and expanded by Council in 2023.

“These new murals are incredibly striking and add a beautiful, vibrant dimension to our downtown core,” said Mayor James Leduc. “Not only do these murals showcase the exceptional talent of our art students, but they bring a warm, inviting element to help draw people to the businesses in the heart of our community. Thank you and congratulations to Jim and Trish Jennings; to the students, staff, and administrators at BDHS; and to BWG’s Office of Economic Development for bringing this phenomenal project to fruition.”

Jennings School of Karate was selected for mural consideration after owners Jim and Trish Jennings successfully applied for a Downtown Community Improvement Plan (CIP) grant to upgrade the building’s exterior. A mural had been painted on the east façade several years ago, but over time weather exposure caused a gradual deterioration, making it an ideal candidate for a replacement as part of the upgrade process.

“The Downtown Mural Program was a great opportunity to bring in some bright new art designs to replace the older, faded mural painted on our studio several years ago, and we thought it was a fantastic idea to include local students in the process,” said Jim Jennings. “Now our downtown has a beautiful artistic display to attract residents and visitors, and one that serves as a legacy piece for the many students who helped complete these beautiful designs.”

The effort to bring this mural project to completion involved many people. The Town would like to acknowledge the following individuals who helped make this effort possible:

• Jim and Trish Jennings, owners of Jennings School of Karate.

• Art teachers Tad Majewski and Erica Russell, Principal David Brooks, and the entire art class of Bradford District High School.

• Gary Brickell, owner eSigns Canada, who consulted on the project and completed the clear-coating process.

• Lawrence Hellings, owner of Decorator’s Edge, for his generous contribution of paints to the project.

• Town of BWG: Councillors Jonathan Scott and Peter Dykie, and former Councillor Mark Contois, who presided over the design selection process, and the Office of the CAO and the Office of Economic Development, for overseeing the Downtown Mural Program.

For more information on the Town of BWG’s Downtown Mural Program, please visit https://www.gotobwg.ca/incentives.

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