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Tapestry ties together Valleyview generations

By Mike Youds
June 23, 2016 2:40 P.M.
Bob Jennejohn, foreground, and Jim Freathy of Valleyview Community Association install art murals.

There was a synergy between the generations at play around the sports box in Valleyview Centennial Park Thursday, even if the people delivering the sweat equity were retired seniors.

Over the winter, Jim Freathy, president of the Valleyview Community Association, had a veritable gallery of artwork stored in his garage, ready for this day. 

Comprised of about a dozen murals created by art students at Valleyview secondary, the artwork is being permanently mounted around the multi-sport rink. Additional components of the mural coming from students at Marion Schilling elementary school next door to complete the park beautification project.

The project symbolizes neighbourhood pride dating back almost 50 years to a time when Valleyview was a separate municipality from Kamloops. It was a defining time in Canadian history as well, with communities celebrating the country’s first 100 years with all kinds of local initiatives.

There is more than beauty to behold in the artwork, though. 

“The idea is that young people will get some sense of ownership so they will respect it,” Freathy explained. “This rink was built in 1967 as a centennial project by the people of Valleyview."

Valleyview teacher Melody Tompkins had her students tackle the mural project, inspired by the themes of roots and sky. The various subjects fit  together to create a tapestry effect around the box.

Volunteers had their work cut out for them, figuring out how to piece together the mural as intended.

"I think it’s going to look all right,” Freathy said.

The association helped out the Valleyview Lions, which reciprocated with a $1,000 donation for the art mural project. A matching grant from the City brought in another $2,000.

“What a nice addition this is,” said Marion Zagar, another director of the neighbourhood group. “I just think this is lovely. I think it unites the children and seniors,” she added, noting that the adjacent Valleyview Hall was built by returning veterans after the Second World War.

The final step will be to apply an anti-graffiti sealant to protect the art so that any unwanted paint can be removed, Freathy said.

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