A new mural painted by Heather Duinker as part of the Old Town Ramble and Ride festival appeared this week in front of Yellowknife’s Weaver and Devore.
Duinker, who wanted to create an interactive art piece representing Yellowknife and Old Town, told Cabin Radio: “It’s great, and I feel really lucky that Ramble and Ride gave me this opportunity to do that.
“I thought interactive, free art was something that was really neat, something I was interested in. It’s something that’s on trend right now.
“So I wanted to do something that people could engage with, take some photos, and then upload them on social media.”
Duinker said she had hoped to capture “the feel” of Old Town in her work, including items like a canoe, drums, a bike, and a raven.
The piece took three eight-hour days to paint, recorded in a timelapse video published on the Ramble and Ride Facebook page.
Ken Weaver, from Weaver and Devore – itself an Old Town icon – said he was excited the store was selected as the location for the mural, and is pleased with how it turned out.
“I think it’s quite attractive and I think it’s going to help promote Yellowknife. People will take photos and send them back to their families,” said Weaver.
Emily Smits, coordinator of Old Town Ramble and Ride, said the festival tries to support several art initiatives each year.
“I’ve talked to Yellowknifers who have lived in the city for sometimes over a decade and they’ve never been down to Old Town,” said Smits.
“I think Old Town is a really interesting, eclectic place and people should go down, drive around, and ride their bikes around. Visit Pilots’ Monument, see the cool restaurants and shops, and see all the really cool artwork.
“Once we open up to tourists again, I’m sure it will be a big attraction.”
Duinker has already seen people posting photos with the mural and the hashtag #IloveYK.
“It’s really exciting to see people posting these pictures and coming up with their own creative ideas of how they can interact with the painting,” she said.
“I saw some pictures posted of some that were interacting with a bicycle and the canoe as well. So seeing people bring their own creativity and posting pictures is really exciting. I’d love to do something else like that, that people can engage with.”