It’s a case of back to the drawing board for a mural for the side of a building proposed on the main street of Cumberland.
None of the renderings presented for the wall quite met the vision of council during a recent meeting.
Last November, council approved a heritage alteration permit for 2700 Dunsmuir Ave., with a condition the applicant provide some kind of treatment to an east-facing wall. This hurdle needs to be cleared before the Village can process a building permit application for a new building at the site.
“This is holding up the building permit,” senior planner Karin Albert told council. “It’s really an esthetic issue here.”
The owner of the building presented four different drawings, including one with the initial blank wall, one with coloured horizontal and vertical lines, one with the building’s name, The Victory, referring to an old boarding house at the location, along with a submitted design from artist Joshua David Klassen. He has produced other murals around the Valley in public spaces such as the rooftop of Butcher’s Block in Courtenay, garage doors, vehicles, a community garden and other structures.
“I’m a fan of his work, just not of this treatment,” said Coun. Sean Sullivan, who preferred something with less of a photographic look.
Council members did not find the mural or other design to be quite the right look for a wall that will be visible in the heart of the Cumberland. Some did not like the name, The Victory, despite its historical ties to the site. A report from staff favoured the monochromatic look of the imagery and references to heritage and forests. Rather than an image of trestle though, some suggested incorporating something from the community’s mining days or with people, and there were suggestions the image was too ‘busy’ and the mural could something more simple.
Most council members noted the high visibility of the wall underscored the importance of finding the right look.
“This is a significant wall,” Coun. Jesse Ketler said. “It’s going to loom over the entire main street.”
Coun. Gwyn Sproule thought the imagery looked too much like a “comic” or graphic novel but suggested they consider other images that would represent Cumberland by going through the local museum and archives.
In the end, council directed staff to seek a few more options to consider for the side of the building.