Drac’s Kastle art showing this month

Local artist AVANH has created concrete canvases and recorded some of the graffiti artworks that existed in Drac's Kastle in 2011...

A BUILDING KNOWN in Merville as Drac's Kastle is a remnant of the town of Headquarters

In 1922 Merville had a great fire, which was an apocalypse to those whose lives were consumed in that fiery hell.

The town Headquarters was lost, existing as a ghostly page in history buried in the Cumberland Museum archives, and just like the second-growth forest that sprung from the ashes, so did Merville come into being.

On the Tsolum River, within the second-growth forest, remain the ruins of what was once a sawmill/power station for the logging sawmill town of Headquarters.

In the 1920s, five diesel engines roared 24/7 to keep the occupants in electricity in their new homes until the fire silenced them forever.  The powerhouse’s roof burned off, leaving behind concrete floors and walls and some old wooden window frames up high, where the fire did not reach.

Now, the trees with decades of growth stretch over the high walls and canopy the building’s interior from spring to autumn.

The powerhouse became the playground for children living in the area. It was a castle, a fort, and a place of fantasy and theatrical delight.

In the past 14 years it has been a rave palace, a teenage refuge and an underground graffiti art gallery. This building is called Drac’s Kastle by the Merville locals, and not to be confused with the dingy and dangerous place with the same name on the Courtenay Logging road.

This Kastle is a place often visited, but not mentioned to adults, although the adults themselves were once the teens that travelled the same path.

Drac’s Kastle in Merville is a local place that harbours some of the finest graffiti work by local unknown artists. The work is ephemeral and has transformed into educated art form contemporary with global graffiti images to be found on the Internet.

Our local graffiti, to be seen at Drac’s Kastle, rivals New York in its clean execution and superior style. It has changed though the years, as new generations take place of old.

Like the Secret Garden, it is a local icon of the teenage passage into adulthood. Rather than being vandalized, this place is preserved in its decay and the artworks renewed continuously.

Moss carpets the cement floor where broken glass is spread like confetti and found in the layers of soil surrounding the building decades deep just as the layers of paint on the walls.

Local artist AVANH has created concrete canvases and recorded some of the graffiti artworks that existed in Drac’s Kastle in 2011, but are now covered over with more recent works.

These artworks are displayed during August at Serious Coffee at 5-2760 Cliffe Ave. in Courtenay.

— AVANH

Just Posted

Courtenay voter taking it to the streets

Sarah Henckel-Sutmoller made her own election sign Saturday afternoon.

Basket raffle a Comox Valley Child Development Association Children’s Telethon tradition

One-stop Christmas shopping with Winner Takes All Basket rffle

Comox Valley gives back

A look at some of the organizations and individuals who help out in the community

Golden anniversary for G.P. Vanier Thursday

It was a day of celebration for students, educators and administrators past… Continue reading

Steady stream of voters at Filberg

Voter turnout has been a steady stream Saturday at the Florence Filberg… Continue reading

Comox Valley gives back

A look at some of the organizations and individuals who help out in the community

2018 municipal election: Few surprises on Vancouver Island

16 incumbent mayors will continue in their positions for four more years

Prank pizzas delivered to B.C. mayor on election night

The fake orders happened throughout Victoria mayor’s re-election campaign

MLA to become Nanaimo’s next mayor, could weaken NDP’s grasp on power

Leonard Krog’s win will trigger a byelection when he gives up his provincial seat

Horvat nets OT winner as Canucks beat Bruins 2-1

Young Vancouver star had spirited scrap earlier in contest

Steady stream of voters at Filberg

Voter turnout has been a steady stream Saturday at the Florence Filberg… Continue reading

Team Canada gold medal winners for first time in world curling championship

Team Canada earned gold in Kelowna at the 2018 Winn Rentals World Mixed Curling Championship

B.C. passenger caught smoking weed in a car issued $230 fine

Saanich police did a field sobriety test on the driver and deemed it safe for him to drive

Most Read