With the Rogers Hometown Hockey tour coming to Williams Lake in January 2018 local artist Dwayne Davis has been inspired to create two hockey murals.
Davis presented his project idea to city council at its regular meeting Tuesday, outlining how he plans to feature the Stampeders and the Alkali Braves in the three by five foot murals.
“My hope is that the murals can be taken around to secondary schools to do workshops so I am able to teach art a little bit and teach the history of the Stampeders and of the Alkali Braves,” Davis explained.
“A lot of the Stampeders were brought in to work at the mills and mines and went on to build community and families and have been a great big part of our community. And it all really stretches from having hockey in our town.”
The Alkali Braves, he said, were on of the first-ever First Nation teams that gained notoriety by winning the B.C. Northern League title in 1931.
Student involvement with the project will foster pride, he added.
“At the end of it, wherever the panels end up being, the students can walk up and say, ‘I painted that little spot over there’.”
The murals are as much about the hometown hockey experience as making some art that can be housed in the arena or a public location afterwards, he added.
Councillor Craig Smith said his biggest concern was if the murals are mobile that they could be damaged, however, Davis replied that is why they are going to be three feet by five feet in size.
“I designed them so they will fit into the back of my Jeep and I can take them into classes,” he said.
“They are going to be built on an eighth-inch thick door skin with a frame and canvas stretched over so they will actually be quite sturdy and they will be able to rigged up so they can be fastened right to the walls.”
Davis said he plans to create a third panel and would like to feature the Williams Lake Mustangs Junior Team that were the B.C. Junior Champions in 1983, but noted he cannot commit to having the third mural completed by January.
“The reason I would like to get them in is because John Van Horlik was the coach, Rusty Patenaude was the assistant coach and one of the players, Craig Berube, went on to play in the NHL for a long time,” Davis added.
“That really connects up with the hometown hockey and with the history of Williams Lake and the players that went on from here.”
Presently Davis does not have any team photos of the Mustangs and is asking if anyone does to please contact him at 250-398-6583.
Coun. Laurie Walters seized the opportunity to thank Davis for the “amazing” work he does creating murals in the community.
“I thank you again for what you do for our community,” Walters told Davis.
“This is a great concept and I love it because it ties in with our hometown, it’s bringing history and the fact that you can build on these panels by taking them to educate and to teach with is just really inspiring.”
Davis hopes the murals can be placed in the foyer above the glass that looks into the main rink.
“There’s a great space there to put them and they are up and away from being able to wreck them,” he said.
Council approved a budgeted amount of $5,000 for the project and agreed to bring a report to the City of Williams Lake/Central Cariboo Joint Committee requesting the murals be housed at the Cariboo Recreation Complex when not in circulation for educational purposes.