City council deferred Downtown Williams Lake’s request to approve and fund a new mural downtown. (DWLBIA image)

City council deferred Downtown Williams Lake’s request to approve and fund a new mural downtown. (DWLBIA image)

‘It’s ugly’: Williams Lake mayor leads discussion to defer decision on latest mural proposal

“I personally don’t like this mural” — Mayor Walt Cobb

A funding request to support the latest mural proposed by Downtown Williams Lake BIA (DWLBIA) was deferred by Williams Lake City Council Tuesday night, Sept. 15 to allow time to develop a policy around what murals should look like in the lakecity.

The decision came following a mural approval and $5,000 funding request to paint an image of whales and hot air balloons over burned forests on the side of the building located at 29 Third Avenue South.

Williams Lake Mayor Walt Cobb didn’t mince words when he kicked off the discussion with council.

“It’s ugly,” Cobb muttered, his microphone picking up his voice loud and clear.

Discussion surrounding the mural can be viewed here.

Cobb moved that the request be denied, noting he felt there needed to be a policy in place to determine the criteria for murals.

“I personally don’t like this mural,” Cobb said, adding he was under the impression that any mural that went up in Williams Lake at least had to represent something in the area whether that be historic or resource-based.

“I’m sorry but that picture doesn’t fit the criteria as far as I’m concerned.”

Cobb said he wouldn’t support spending the money, which has already been set aside in the 2020 budget, on the current design.

Coun. Ivan Bonnell noted that “beauty is in the eye of the beholder,” but that he was in favour of developing a policy surrounding the murals.

“I knew when we saw this one it would raise some eyebrows.”

Both Bonnell and Coun. Jason Ryll said they wanted to maintain and foster a partnership with the DWLBIA.

“There are seven opinions whether we like the picture and none of us are right,” Ryll said.

Council, knowing they could be preventing the mural from getting done this year due to the cooler weather, voted unanimously to defer the decision to fund and support the mural until they meet with DWLBIA and a policy is in place.

In the letter penned to council, DWLBIA executive director Jordan Davis said the team of five, all-women artists consists of Mandee Beaulieu, Jazmyn Lyons, Brittany Murphy, Tiffany Jorgensen and Sarah Sigurdson.

“This is done with the intention of again, diversifying our art collection downtown as well as providing a great opportunity to continue to showcase local art. These artists have designed a beautiful piece of artwork that will make up our mural for this year and they will be painting the mural in September, weather permitting. This mural brings to light the reality of the fires on our City and of course, the newest issue that we have all been dealing with all over the world, and in our own community, Covid-19, which has had a huge impact on our downtown. This mural will show the tragedy of the fires, while showing the spectator the possibility and beauty of rising above this,” Davis noted in the request.

Earlier in the meeting, council supported 2021 funding of a cow moose mural downtown.

It didn’t take long after the meeting for some of the artists of the project to take to social media to air their frustrations.

As the discussion was ramping up online Wednesday, the artists announced the Williams Lake First Nation stepped forward to fund the mural.

City Council

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Freya Cockwill, 4, Lyra Cockwill, 6, and Haylee Sigurdson, 9, had some fun designing and painting face masks during the Cariboo Chilcotin Partners for Literacy’s Family Fest in January of 2020 in Williams Lake. (Greg Sabatino photo - Williams Lake Tribune)
Watch for Tribune Reach-A-Reader edition Jan. 21

Read the Tribune newspaper on Thursday, Jan. 21, 2021 to learn more about CCPL and literacy

Residents are reminded to remain vigilant in following COVID-19 precautions as COVID-19 cases continue to rise in the region. (Monica Lamb-Yorski photo - Williams Lake Tribune)
Climbing COVID-19 cases prompts City of Williams Lake to increase response level

City leaders continue to press for more information from Interior Health

A sign outside Yunesit’in Government office west of Williams Lake last summer reminded visitors and members to stay safe amid the COVID-19 pandemic. (Rebecca Dyok photo)
Moderna vaccine coming to all six Tsilhqot’in communities within coming days, weeks

Yunesit’in First Nation to receive COVID-19 vaccine Jan. 13

LETTERS: I saw the best of humanity near Williams Lake

Special thank you goes to Tara, who took care of my dog without even thinking twice

Keith the curious kitten is seen on Nov. 4, 2020 at the Chilliwack SPCA. Friday, Jan. 22, 2021 is Answer Your Cat’s Questions Day. (Jenna Hauck/ Chilliwack Progress file)
Unofficial holidays: Here’s what people are celebrating for the week of Jan. 17 to 23

Answer Your Cat’s Questions Day, Pie Day and International Sweatpants Day are all coming up this week

JaHyung Lee, “Canada’s oldest senior” at 110 years old, received his first dose of the COVID-19 vaccine on Thursday, Jan. 14, 2021. He lives at Amenida Seniors Community in Newton. (Submitted photo: Amenida Seniors Community)
Cannabis bought in British Columbia (Ashley Wadhwani/Black Press Media)
Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

A unique-looking deer has been visiting a Nanoose Bay property with its mother. (Frieda Van der Ree photo)
A deer with 3 ears? Unique animal routinely visits B.C. property

Experts say interesting look may be result of an injury rather than an odd birth defect

Standardized foundation skills assessment tests in B.C. schools will be going ahead later than usual, from Feb. 16 to March 12 for students in Grades 4 and 7. (Black Press Media file photo)
B.C. teachers say COVID-affected school year perfect time to end standardized tests

Foundational skills testing of Grade 4 and 7 students planned for February ad March

Sooke’s Jim Bottomley is among a handful of futurists based in Canada. “I want to help people understand the future of humanity.” (Aaron Guillen - Sooke News Mirror)
No crystal ball: B.C. man reveals how he makes his living predicting the future

63-year-old has worked analytical magic for politicians, car brands, and cosmetic companies

Terry David Mulligan. (Submitted photo)
Podcast: Interview with longtime actor/broadcaster and B.C. resident Terry David Mulligan

Podcast: Talk includes TDM’s RCMP career, radio, TV, wine, Janis Joplin and much more

Seasonal influenza vaccine is administered starting each fall in B.C. and around the world. (Langley Advance Times)
After 30,000 tests, influenza virtually nowhere to be found in B.C.

COVID-19 precautions have eliminated seasonal infection

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau listens to a question during a news conference outside Rideau cottage in Ottawa, Friday, January 8, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
Trudeau says Canada’s COVID vaccine plan on track despite Pfizer cutting back deliveries

Canadian officials say country will still likely receive four million doses by the end of March

Most Read