Mural approved at HP Post Office building

Chris Clegg
South Peace News

The east wall of the building housing Canada Post in High Prairie will soon have a mural.
Council approved the installation of the approximate 10 x 13-foot mural at its Jan. 11 meeting after a long debate which prompted one councillor to express her frustration.
“It’s another one of those issues we overthink,” said Councillor Donna Deynaka.
Councillor James Waikle began debate.
“Why the heck is this coming here?” he asked.
“This is just red tape.”
CAO Rod Risling replied council’s land-use bylaw does not include murals and if council approved the mural, it would trigger needed amendments to the bylaw.
Waikle compared the request to Uncle Nicky’s building which had a happy face on it for years.
“I don’t care,” he said.
Councillor Sacha Martens believed the matter should be at council’s table for debate, saying there should be rules just in case someone put up a mural that contained offensive material.
Councillor Judy Stenhouse agreed.
“Each one should be proposed to us,” she said.
“Who asked for this?” she inquired.
Risling replied Canada Post with the consent of the building’s owner, East Prairie Metis Settlement.
Stenhouse added she would like to see a maintenance agreement with any mural’s approval to make sure they were kept tidy in the future.
“So, we don’t have to deal with faded murals,” she said.
Risling was skeptical.
“Where else do we do that?” he asked.
“I’m bringing it up as a comment. Some people haven’t painted their buildings in a long time. Is there much of a difference?”
“I think we’re only talking about murals,” said Councillor John Dunn.
“For me, this is specific to murals.”
Comments were also made signs were not properly maintained.
Deynaka responded to Martens’ concern over possible offensive material saying council’s unsightly bylaw would cover it. She called the addition of a maintenance plan “unfair”.
Stenhouse argued what is offensive to one may not be to another.
“This [a mural] is a piece of art. Everyone views art differently.”
Mayor Brian Panasiuk said he appreciated the efforts of Canada Post.
“I think we should be happy [They’re] going the extra mile to make their building look better. I don’t think we should put extra requirements on them.”
Dunn agreed saying a business will have the integrity to maintain their building to draw business in.’’
Councillor Therese Yacyshyn did express concern over upkeep and longevity of any mural but still liked the idea.
“I think it will really enhance the empty wall in the parking lot,” she said.
She added the new hub in the local post was the first in Canada and was confident the company would do everything it could to ensure it was a success.
“They’re really proud of that,” she concluded.
A proposed design of the mural was presented to council. Repeated efforts to receive a high quality copy for publication from Montreal-based Trans- world Signs, who designed the logo for Canada Post, were unsuccessful.

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