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Downtown Murals Grant Recipients Announced

July 23, 2008 – The City of Thunder Bay is pleased to announce the recipients of the
Fort William Downtown Mural Grants Program. After careful consideration, the Mural Grants Review Committee has selected five recipients to receive a mural grant. This pilot program was launched to 'tell our stories' through public art and display community pride and is part of the on-going efforts to revitalize the Fort William downtown neighbourhood.

"Murals as public art are a wonderful way to tell our stories as a multi-cultural community," said Mayor Lynn Peterson, Chair of the City's Clean, Green and Beautiful Committee. "The colourful stories being told in these works will go a long way in beautifying the neighbourhood, bringing members of the community together, and inspiring pride for our history and culture across Thunder Bay. I am very excited to see the chosen murals and look forward to seeing them throughout the downtown."

"We are thrilled with the public's response to this initiative," said Frank Wilson, Downtown Development Coordinator for the City. "The artworks submitted were all very diverse and truly reflect our multi-cultural community. All five murals will be in highly visible locations and will make the downtown more interesting and attractive. They may also inspire others to participate in various ways to renew the neighbourhood. I applaud those who submitted proposals, those who offered their walls, the creativity of the artists and those who are helping to fund the murals for the community. These pieces of public art will certainly contribute to building civic pride in the area."

The Murals Grant Program is one of the many initiatives highlighted in the 2005 South Core Renewal Plan to revitalize the downtown neighbourhood. After launching the pilot program on May 7, the Fort William Neighbourhood Renewal Office received 14 mural proposal applications. Each application was then carefully examined by the Mural Grants Review Committee, a five-member team who chose the proposals that best met the overall criteria including artistic quality, the mural's location, visibility, and the relevance of the story being told.

"The Public Murals Grant Program has done a remarkable job in sparking the creative fires of our talented arts community," said Bruce Stonehouse, a local artist and member of the Mural Grants Review Committee. "We received some very high-quality submissions and are impressed with the overall creativity that each artist demonstrated. The public can expect to see some very beautiful murals coming soon to Downtown Fort William."

The recipients of the Public Murals Grant Program are Victoria's Cupboard, the Thunder Bay Shelter House, Kleewyck Stained Glass, the Métis Nation of Ontario, and the Simpson-Ogden & East End Veggie Garden Project. All five murals will be in the Downtown Fort William Neighbourhood and will be within walking distance of each other.

The five grant recipients will each receive a grant equal to 75% of the cost of the mural, to a maximum of $15,000. Each recipient is responsible for funding the remaining costs of producing and installing the mural. It is expected that work will commence on the mural sites in the next few weeks with final completion on all five due before Dec. 1, 2008.


Contact: Frank Wilson, Downtown Development Coordinator – Fort William Neighbourhood Renewal Office, 625-2410,


Grant Recipients Announced


Wall Location

Mural Size

Mural Story

Grant Amount


1) Victoria's Cupboard

119 May Street North

16' x 64'

Fort William historical streetscapes


Chris Rantala

2) Thunder Bay Shelter House

400 George Street

10' x 24'

Diversity of the multi-cultural community


Reproduction of Roy Thomas¿ ¿Relatives¿

3) Kleewyck Stained Glass

601 Simpson Street

45' x 20'

3D shapes with historical

figures and Ukrainian patterns


Joshua and Damon Dowbak

4) Métis Nation of Ontario

226 May Street South

16' x 32'

Fort William on Kam River, Metis in canoe


Chris Rantala, Brian Cronk

5) Simpson-Ogden & East End Veggie Garden Project

443 Simpson Street

24' x 99'

Victoria Ave. & Simpson St. streetscapes as seen through arches


Brian Nieminen

  • The City launched a pilot program in May 2008 to provide grants for public murals.
  • This program was open to individuals and groups who wish to produce and install a mural for public viewing on outdoor sites in the Fort William downtown.
  • The grant amount is 75% of the cost of production and installation, up to a max of $15,000.
  • The grant portion received upon signing of the agreement is 25%.  The remaining 75% will be awarded upon completion and final inspection of the mural.
  • The deadline for the submission of a grant application was Monday, June 23 at 4:30 pm.
  • All murals must be completed by December 1, 2008.


Contact: Frank Wilson, Downtown Development Coordinator – Fort William Neighbourhood Renewal Office, 625-2410,