Over the past few years, people living in Prince Rupert may have noticed a bit more colour around town due to some vibrant banners made by students in School District 52 that have been hanging around town.
This year there will be a First Nations theme to the banners, as Prince Rupert Secondary School art teacher Tasha Parker heads the project once again.
It all started in 2006 when Charlotte Rowse from Civic Pride approached Parker and asked if she would take on the organization of the project, which Parker agreed to. At first the banners started out in her regular art classes and had an under the sea theme, with banners containing paintings of underwater life and other aquatic sceneries that were hung around Cow Bay. Slowly the banners popped around in the downtown core and other areas with the following years.
“If the banners didn’t look so nice when they were hung up, I wouldn’t agree to keep doing the project because it’s so much work. But the end result is worth it,” said Parker.
“This town is so empty, the streets downtown have near to nothing in them, so if there are colourful banners hopefully people will look at them instead of the emptiness.”
This year, there are around 60 banners being made that will be displayed along McBride St. going down Second Avenue, around Waterfront Park and the Cruise Ship dock, as well as along Mariner’s Park. This time around Parker brought the project into her First Nations art classes to produce an Aboriginal theme to the new banners, that will replace the old ones after many were damaged or destroyed in the Thanksgiving weekend wind storm. The school brought in First Nations artist Lianna Spence, who is considered to be a role model in the district. Spence came into classes to either help students perfect their own designs or lend her designs to the banners for the project.