This mural was offered to the city of Duncan as a gift, not an act of defiance. It has not cost taxpayers anything. It is an enhancement to our town in all respects. The mural is on private property and has been painted and authorized by responsible, caring, tax-paying, community-minded members of our city. It was commissioned to a young, talented local artist named Cyrus and with great enthusiasm, he transformed an ugly grey retaining wall into a colorful, vibrant mural that now reads “community”. It is not only an improvement to the parking lot, it is a celebration of the exciting collaboration between the Community Farm Store and the Cowichan Green Community who has recently moved into the vacant space at the Phoenix Centre. Due to the "graffiti like" appearance of the mural, council has deemed it to be unsightly and unlawful, and is being treated as an act of defiance and as a flouting of the law. This is unfortunate and unnecessary. This mural is a vibrant beautification that carries a powerful message to youth, to visitors and to residents: that Duncan is a progressive, youth embracing, forward thinking town. It has already become a tourist attraction. Bringing people to our town is entirely in keeping with the mandate of council to assist downtown businesses to not just survive but thrive. Regardless of city councils allegiance to existing bylaws, we feel it is the constitutional right of the property owners to keep the mural. We, the supporters of the mural, would like to have more say in deciding for ourselves what kind of art and what kind of message we wish to display on our own personal properties. I hope, by signing this petition, to encourage Duncan City Council to see the mural in a positive light and that they will, in turn, be more allowing and championing of similar initiatives. Leaving the mural is not setting a "ghastly" precedent as we read in our local newspaper. Saving the mural is simply the right thing to do.
*For the record, Nicolette, co-owner of The Community Farm Store, and Longevity John, owner and operator of the Duncan Garage Showroom -- together with their staff and customers are advocating that Duncan Garage and the neighbouring businesses on Duncan Street be given their own designation as "the fringe" of Duncan. As creative, alternatively orientated businesses operating on the "East Side" of downtown , "The Other Side of the Tracks" -- and as avid supporters of the "Transition Cowichan" movement, they have an abundance of colorful and dynamic ideas that would not be well suited to the current City of Duncan heritage color bylaws (Beigeville). Their future plans include more murals, street art, graffiti, buskers, Sunday markets, concerts and much more. This will require creative license and leniency.
What else can I do? Add comments to the Community Farm Store "Save the Mural" Facebook page; write letters to council and to the local papers; attend the "save the mural" presentation to Duncan City Council on October 15th at 7 p.m. to show your support. Supporters are invited to gather at the Duncan Garage at 6:45 so as to arrive together as a delegation. Signage will be provided. Bring a friendly disposition and good humor. For more information please call Nicolette at 250-597-1414.
Nicolette Genier started this petition with a single signature, and now has 919 supporters. Start a petition today to change something you care about.