Colwood public works staffers began installing colourful new banners on Wale Road last week. The hope is that these new banners will highlight the natural beauty the seaside community has to offer.

New streetlight banners highlight Colwood coastline

Artists contribute colourful designs to banner project

New street banners, featuring a coastal theme, are beginning to brighten the streets of Colwood.

Their purpose? To highlight the city’s natural beauty while bringing new energy to the downtown area.

“Often, people drive through Colwood without knowing it’s a seaside community,” said Sandra Russell, Colwood’s communications manager. And it’s the city’s picturesque waterfront they want visitors and those passing through to stop and notice, especially with iconic sites such as Fisgard Lighthouse, Hatley Castle and the Esquimalt Lagoon National Migratory Bird Sanctuary dotting the coastline.

The City’s public works team began installing the banners along Wale Road on Tuesday, with other areas targeted for installation over the course of the next few weeks. Unfortunately, Russell noted, the banners can only be installed on City-owned light fixtures and not on hydro poles where street lighting is often placed. This means some areas of Sooke Road, where the City wanted to install banners, won’t be getting the colourful addition.

“We’re having to be selective where we can put these, but over time we’ll expand,” Russell said.

Four images are featured on the banners: Lighthouse by Kathy Cameron, Arbutus by Catharine Campbell, and Diana Grenkow’s The Starry Coast Line and Seaside Coffee.

The banners were created through a collaboration between the City, the Island Illustrators Society and the Coast Collective Art Centre. The featured images were selected from a new colouring book called A Colourful Coast. The book was conceived by the Coast Collective, who engaged the Society to help create recognizable coastal images that celebrate the area’s picturesque and accessible coastline.

“It’s been a great collaboration,” Russell noted. “It’s really a celebration of art on the West Shore.”

That sentiment was echoed by Cindy Moyer, Coast Collective executive director. “It was a lovely synchronicity,” she said.

Moyer added the banners will be a welcome addition to Colwood’s “downtown” area. “It’s a good little spot, but it needs something to distinguish it,” she said. “This will help a lot … It’ll start to brighten up that corridor.”

The City of Colwood wants to see photos of your interpretation of their new banners in a colouring contest that is open to all ages.

To enter, pick up a copy of A Colourful Coast at the Coast Collective Art Centre, 103-318 Wale Rd., or at Colwood City Hall, 3300 Wishart Rd. The book costs $15, with all proceeds from the sales going to the Island Illustrators Society and Coast Collective.

Once you have your book, colour your favourite image – or images – and take a photo of your work. Post the photo on Facebook, Twitter or Instagram with the hashtag #ColwoodColourfulCoast to enter.

Participants will be eligible to win a one-night stay in an oTENTik at Fort Rodd Hill, courtesy of Fort Rodd Hill and Fisgard Lighthouse National Historic Sites, and many other great prizes.

Winners will be drawn on Sept. 15.


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