Arty the Artwalker

Arty the Artwalker

Lakecity declared Mural Capital of Cariboo Chilcotin

Without hesitation city council declared Williams Lake as the Mural Capital of the Cariboo Chilcotin last week.

Without hesitation city council declared Williams Lake as the Mural Capital of the Cariboo Chilcotin last week after hearing a pitch from art walk co-ordinator Willie Dye.

“I’ve counted and we have the most murals in the Cariboo,” Dye told council after he shared a four-minute video featuring the city’s murals created by himself and local videographer, John Dell.

Before the vote, Coun. Geoff Bourdon said any money the city can give to support murals is good.

“Murals go farther when you’re talking beautification dollars,” he suggested.

Looking at Dye he said few people pound the pavement as much as he does, to promote the Art Walk and Williams Lake.

“I’ve seen very few people walk by our store as often as you do,” he told him.

Dye also updated council on the Art Walk, calculating 52 businesses participated this year and that 250 people did the art walk and visited an average of 45 venues.

“There were 10 to 14,000 store visits,” Dye said. “While all walkers are not buyers, there is great potential there.”

Art Walk got started in Williams Lake in 1999 by Laurie Walters — she wasn’t a councillor then.

Dye joined the board four years ago.

“The brochure we develop for the art walk really helps,” he said.

In the last three years, Dell has created an Art Walk video with Dye, featuring the various venues and art work.

Dye said so far the 2014 video has received almost 300 views since it was posted to Youtube on Sept. 2.

Walters told Dye she was excited with the news and planned to share it at the Union of B.C. Municipalities conference in Whistler this week.

“It will also be an opportunity for us to brag about being the mural capital,” Walters said.

Mayor Kerry Cook congratulated Dye on his efforts to promote Williams Lake and praised him as a great ambassador.

“The community is made up of a lot of people and you are one of the passionate ones,” she told him.

Smiling Dye said mural capital was a much better option than crime capital.