Recent History – 2002
July 3, 2002
By Rick Davison, Daily News Staff
The Dawson Creek Mural Project is brightening up the city and the lives of some of the area’s teenagers.
Anyone who has driven or walked by K&P Flooring on 102nd Ave. will have seen the mural project’s huge picture being painted on the east side of the building.
But that’s just the start of a summer of mural painting in Dawson Creek as local kids learn something about graphic design and running a business.
Upwards to eight local kids will be involved in the Dawson Creek Mural Project this summer, learning something about painting the larger-than-life murals and also the ins and outs of operating a business.
The project is actually the name of the company that is being run by kids under the direction of Dean Fisher and Deen Morrow.
The concept was initially started by Fisher in Toronto where he taught street kids how to paint the huge murals on the side of buildings. The kids not only learned the artwork, but also went on to run their own mural-painting companies that brightened the drab exteriors of the city’s buildings.
“It resulted in a 95 per cent success rate. Half of them started their own businesses and the other half went to work for the other guys. . . .Sometimes they will go into graphic arts or other areas like signs,” explained Fisher, who has 20 years experience painting wall murals.
“This gives them the foundation into the industry, no matter what area they want to go into, whether it be graphic arts or even sales. It also gives them presentation skills. It teaches them how to talk to a future employer. It gets them ready for the job market.”
It’s almost a similar story in Dawson Creek with a couple of changes. The only cost to the owner of the building is the cost of paint. Several sponsors have offered scaffolding and other equipment. The youths who operate the Dawson Creek Mural Project will be paid from the money collected for advertising that will appear with the mural.
Tyrone Laboucan, 16, who is listed as the owner of the Dawson Creek Mural Project company has learned a great deal since he began painting with Fisher in June.
“It teaches you to get along with kids and use your presentation skills. I learned how to map a picture on the wall using an overhead projector and I learned lots of techniques with the brushes and spray guns. Dean has taught me how to blend in colours. It’s very exciting.”
There will no shortage of walls for the youths to paint this summer. The company has about 10 walls to paint during the next couple of months, but it’s the advertisers the company needs.
Without those advertisers there will be no money coming in to pay the youth employees and owner. Any business or organization that wants to advertise alongside one of the murals can call Fisher at 782-8045 or contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org.