Special to The Record
The Downtown Courtenay Business Improvement Association (DCBIA) is eager to get started on an eye-catching new mural celebrating a proud piece of Courtenay’s heritage – but first they need the support of other proud residents.
The mural, to be painted by local artists J. Alex Witcombe and Nick Hutton-Jay on the side of the Golden Carriage building near the corner of Fifth and Fitzgerald, will celebrate the contributions of the Comox Valley’s Leung family.
The collage-style representation will celebrate the entrepreneurial spirit of the family that ran a much-loved grocery and diner for decades in downtown Courtenay, as well as a Comox Valley farm.
Before the paint hits the wall, however, the muralists need to raise more funds to cover the cost of the project. The DCBIA has already contributed a large portion of the cost, having received the proceeds from the Comox Valley Chamber of Commerce’s “Great Valley Rally,” and the artists themselves have cut their fee in half for the project. Still, approximately $18,000 remains to be raised.
“We’re well on our way to getting this project started, and we’re hoping the local community will pitch in to support this initiative to celebrate a proud piece of our heritage,” says DCBIA president Jenny Deters. “This mural will honour one of Courtenay’s most entrepreneurial families and add more colour, culture and pride to our downtown core.”
To encourage donations, Witcombe and Hutton-Jay, owners of Flywheel Studios, have teamed up with another local creator – Ian Adams of Done Creative – to come up with some appropriate compensation for those who choose to support the mural.
“We’ve designed some vintage-style merchandise that draws upon the Leung history, such as hats, shirts and posters emblazoned with retro images like the old Leung’s truck and diner sign,” explains Witcombe. “Depending on the amount you contribute, you can also get your name incorporated artistically into the mural, and you can even be painted into the mural as a patron. So you get some cool swag, you show community pride and you help to support public art – what could be better?”
Witcombe and Hutton-Jay were chosen for the project after the DCBIA issued a call for artists earlier this year.
“It was a really tough decision, as we had so many wonderful artists apply,” says Deters.
“But the enthusiasm and excitement that Nick and Alex showed for the project – as well as their talent and experience – made it impossible to pass up the opportunity to work with them. We’re thrilled to have them on board and can’t wait for the Leung mural project to begin.”
To contribute to the project and watch a short animated film about the story of the Leung family, visit the INDIEGOGO campaign page at www.indiegogo.com/projects/leung-s-heritage-mural.