We were proud to launch the first public space activation grant program in 2019, which resulted in the Downtown New West BIA supporting three incredible projects.
Kids Sidewalk Art
For kids, public space is an important part of growing up, a requirement for social interaction and the development of social identity. Local resident Vera Kobalia executed several Kids Sidewalk Art installations bringing traditional games loved by all kids to sidewalks of Downtown New West. Hopscotch, dance pads, twister and other semi-permanent stenciled art will allow for kids (of all ages!) to engage in physical activity and play. These were installed with the help of Emily Carr and Kwantlen College Fine Arts students along Front Street, on the overpass to the riverfront and at River Market. Snap of a photo of how you interact with these fun and whimsical installations using the hashtag #playnewwest
Augmented Reality Mural “You Are Home”
Vera Kobalia submitted several ideas, and the jury couldn’t resist choosing 2 of them support this summer. Vera envisioned Metro Vancouver’s first “augmented reality” mural in Downtown New West to highlight the City’s new initiatives in the technology sector, provide an opportunity for local artists to showcase their work and to boost resident’s health and happiness by installing public art. The Downtown New West BIA connected Vera with the Union Gospel Mission who agreed to the installation on their McKenzie Street building. Artist Cynthia Vo painted the mural and a group of Vancouver Film School students did the coding to develop an augmented reality lens using Snapchat geolocation, the mural can be activated via a phone’s lens to come “alive”. The official unveiling took place during Fridays on Front on Friday August 16th.
See how the mural works here.
Festival of Circus Arts
Local resident Peter Leblanc’s daughter has enjoyed circus arts for years, which was his inspiration for bringing together several partners in producing a free, interactive circus arts festival at Westminster Pier Park on August 25th, 2019. He worked with the Vancouver Circus School, West Coast Flying Trapeze (owned by Downtown New West residents) and others to offer an afternoon of workshops and demonstrations culminating in a circus show at 6pm. Through the workshops and demonstrations, the organizers ensured that there were opportunities for all to participate regardless of experience or skill level and succeeded in providing a safe and welcoming space for all. They welcomed 1000 people to their first festival and hope to build on that success by hosting this festival annually.