City council deferred Downtown Williams Lake’s request to approve and fund a new mural downtown. (DWLBIA image)

‘It’s ugly’: Williams Lake mayor leads discussion to defer decision on latest mural proposal

“I personally don’t like this mural” — Mayor Walt Cobb

A funding request to support the latest mural proposed by Downtown Williams Lake BIA (DWLBIA) was deferred by Williams Lake City Council Tuesday night, Sept. 15 to allow time to develop a policy around what murals should look like in the lakecity.

The decision came following a mural approval and $5,000 funding request to paint an image of whales and hot air balloons over burned forests on the side of the building located at 29 Third Avenue South.

Williams Lake Mayor Walt Cobb didn’t mince words when he kicked off the discussion with council.

“It’s ugly,” Cobb muttered, his microphone picking up his voice loud and clear.

Discussion surrounding the mural can be viewed here.

Cobb moved that the request be denied, noting he felt there needed to be a policy in place to determine the criteria for murals.

“I personally don’t like this mural,” Cobb said, adding he was under the impression that any mural that went up in Williams Lake at least had to represent something in the area whether that be historic or resource-based.

“I’m sorry but that picture doesn’t fit the criteria as far as I’m concerned.”

Cobb said he wouldn’t support spending the money, which has already been set aside in the 2020 budget, on the current design.

Coun. Ivan Bonnell noted that “beauty is in the eye of the beholder,” but that he was in favour of developing a policy surrounding the murals.

“I knew when we saw this one it would raise some eyebrows.”

Both Bonnell and Coun. Jason Ryll said they wanted to maintain and foster a partnership with the DWLBIA.

“There are seven opinions whether we like the picture and none of us are right,” Ryll said.

Council, knowing they could be preventing the mural from getting done this year due to the cooler weather, voted unanimously to defer the decision to fund and support the mural until they meet with DWLBIA and a policy is in place.

In the letter penned to council, DWLBIA executive director Jordan Davis said the team of five, all-women artists consists of Mandee Beaulieu, Jazmyn Lyons, Brittany Murphy, Tiffany Jorgensen and Sarah Sigurdson.

“This is done with the intention of again, diversifying our art collection downtown as well as providing a great opportunity to continue to showcase local art. These artists have designed a beautiful piece of artwork that will make up our mural for this year and they will be painting the mural in September, weather permitting. This mural brings to light the reality of the fires on our City and of course, the newest issue that we have all been dealing with all over the world, and in our own community, Covid-19, which has had a huge impact on our downtown. This mural will show the tragedy of the fires, while showing the spectator the possibility and beauty of rising above this,” Davis noted in the request.

Earlier in the meeting, council supported 2021 funding of a cow moose mural downtown.

It didn’t take long after the meeting for some of the artists of the project to take to social media to air their frustrations.

As the discussion was ramping up online Wednesday, the artists announced the Williams Lake First Nation stepped forward to fund the mural.

City Council

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

The Prince George RCMP is asking for the public’s help to find 29-year-old Colin Michaud Durrand. He has a history of violence and is considered to pose an increased risk to public safety, according to police, who advise the public not to confront Durrand if he is located. (Photo Submitted by RCMP)
Prince George RCMP ask for help locating violent ‘priority offender’ with ties to Quesnel

RCMP says Colin Michaud Durrand, 29, recently lived in Quesnel but may frequent Hixon, Prince George

The outhouse at the Milburn Lake Public Access after the Oct. 17 work bee. Pictured here, from left, are Bouchie Lake Watershed Stewardship Society volunteers Doug Nielsen, Dan Aussant, Richard Armstrong and Bob Ross. (Photo Submitted)
Volunteers fix foundation of Milburn Lake Public Access outhouse

The Bouchie Lake Watershed Stewardship Society recently held a work bee at the site

An air cadet and RCMP officer stand guard over Quesnel’s Cenotaph during the 2019 Remembrance Day ceremonies. The COVID-19 pandemic has cancelled all public memorial ceremonies set for Nov. 11. (File Photo - Quesnel Cariboo Observer)
Quesnel Remembrance Day ceremonies on hold for 2020

There will be no public event, but residents are encouraged to observe two minutes of silence

Cariboo Regional District Area A Director Mary Sjostrom, School District 28 board chair Dave Chapman and Quesnel Mayor Bob Simpson plant ceremonial shovels into the ground at what will become Quesnel’s newest school during a ceremony Tuesday, Oct. 20. (Cassidy Dankochik Photo - Quesnel Cariboo Observer)
Construction begins on new Quesnel Junior School

A groundbreaking ceremony was held to kick off the two-year project

B.C. Conservative Leader Trevor Bolin and Cariboo North candidate Kyle Townsend were practising proper physical distancing during a campaign stop in Quesnel on Saturday, Oct. 17. (Cassidy Dankochik Photo - Quesnel Cariboo Observer)
Bolin first party leader to visit Quesnel

The B.C. Conservative Pary’s leader made the stop to support Kyle Townsend

Provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry presents modelling of COVID-19 spread in B.C., March 25, 2020. (B.C. government photo)
B.C. sets another COVID-19 record with 203 new cases

up to 1,766 active cases in B.C., two more deaths

RCMP. (Phil McLachlan - Black Press Media)
British Columbia man dies during ski trip near glacier west of Calgary

Kananaskis Public Safety and Alpine Helicopters responded around 2:30 p.m.

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau arrives on Parliament Hill in Ottawa on Monday, Oct. 19, 2020, following a week-long break for the House of Commons. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Sean Kilpatrick
One crisis after another for Trudeau since last federal election one year ago

It has been a year of unprecedented calamity and crisis

Rio Tinto Alcan’s aluminum smelter at Kitimat competes against producers in the Middle East and Russia that have no carbon tax. (Rio Tinto)
B.C. carbon tax highest in Canada, export industries unprotected

B.C. NDP, B.C. Liberals say they’re looking at exemptions

Join Black Press Media and Do Some Good

Pay it Forward program supports local businesses in their community giving

Vancouver teacher suspended after swearing, touching students and complimenting underwear

McCabe touched students, including rubbing their backs and necks, touching their hair and hugging them

A glimpse of some of the 480 (approx) cars written off as a result of the acid spills along the Trail highway in 2018. Photo: Trail Times
2 years after huge highway acid spill, Kootenay Ford dealer’s frustration grows with ICBC

Trail AM Ford owner Dan Ashman says he just wants fair compensation from ICBC

Mail-in ballot from Elections BC (Katya Slepian/Black Press Media)
At least 26% of eligible voters have already cast their ballot, Elections BC says

Voters can cast a ballot until 8 p.m PST on Election Day

Most Read