Artwork and energy fill post-flood downtown Grand Forks

Grand Forks gets a facelift to attract business and customers

Orange has been in vogue for the past year in Grand Forks. Where mannequins modelled clothing and art decorated downtown windows, raggedy tarps and cardboard had become replacements, signalling to visitors that despite the billboard at the bottom of Spencer Hill that says that the city is “open for business,” there just weren’t a lot of businesses that could function in the aftermath of the flood.

Fitting then, that in the vacant window space of John Zibin’s building beside the source — the former storefront of Yaky Jacquie’s — a massive panorama of the Spencer Hill view now greets visitors. At least, until the building’s foundation issues are solved and renovated and business starts up again in the vacant space.

Zibin’s new artwork came courtesy of Peter Kalasz, a local photographer (who shoots for the Gazette on occasion too), and a team involving designers, the Downtown Business Association, the Boundary Country Regional Chamber of Commerce and Alpine Signs in Christina Lake, which donated the metres-long window wrap at-cost for materials.

Kalasz said the idea came to him in the spring, when he was out for a morning walk downtown and began to notice just how many vacant and bland window coverings there were in town. The question about what to do was simple, he said. “Why not?”

Though Highway 3 currently only wraps around Zibin’s building, Kalasz and the DBA have plans for more. The Davis Building, just across 3rd Street from Zibin, is on the list to have another panorama fill its windows while workers repair the damage from last year’s flood.

For many business owners downtown, a series of presentations from city revitalization consultant Roger Brooks last month spurred an eagerness to polish up their neighbourhood.

Before the flood, Zibin said, “we didn’t have a focus, we didn’t have a direction, we were just trying to survive and change with the marketplace.” The Source manager has bought in fully, having already purchased a few patio umbrellas and invested into repairing the fountain outside his business’s front door.

Just down the street, The Wooden Spoon got a Canada Day facelift from muralist Paul Archer, who sprayed a one-storey-tall portrait of a child licking a wooden spoon on the wall. Archer, who has done art for CannaFest and at Christina Lake already, has been taking up orders over the last week and will be painting around town on other walls too.

With potted plants planned for businesses doorways and more artwork from Archer, Kalasz and others, downtown Grand Forks is putting on a refreshed face to attract businesses and customers to the city’s core once again for tourist season.

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

 

(Above) Photographers Tina Bryan (left) and Peter Kalasz (second from left), stand outside Yaky Jacquie’s to present a new panorama picture window covering with building owner John Zibin and graphic designer Peter Matheson.

(Right) A panorama photo from Spencer Hill in Grand Forks wraps around the windows of a building at 3rd Street and Market Avenue in the city’s downtown.

Just Posted

B.C. COVID-19 contact restrictions working, Dr. Bonnie Henry says

’Not out of the woods yet’ as next two weeks are critical

Interior Health to host virtual town hall Friday, March 27

The Q&A forum begins at 6 p.m. PDT, link in story

West Kootenay octogenarian helping develop low-cost ventilator for COVID-19 patients

Peter Brockley is working with his doctor son, Graham, to develop the unit that could save lives

Interior Health issues alert following confirmed COVID-19 case on WestJet flight

The public exposure alert comes following the March 21 WestJet flight from Calgary to Kamloops

Grand Forks and Boundary cancellations, changes due to COVID-19

This newspaper’s list of community events, institutions that change or cancel due to pandemic

Trudeau announces 75% wage subsidy for small businesses amid COVID-19

This is up from the previously announced 10 per cent wage subsidy

World update, 9:30 p.m. March 27: Positive news in Korea as U.S. hits 100,000 cases

The United States now has the most coronavirus cases of any country in the world

VIDEO: Penguins roam empty halls of Vancouver Aquarium

COVID-19 has forced the Vancouver Aquarium to close access to guests – leaving room for its residents

Kids get back to learning in B.C., online

Ministry of Education rolls out new tool for school

67 more B.C. COVID-19 cases, two more deaths in Vancouver region

Positive tests found in Surrey, Langley long-term care facilities

‘Now is not the time to bag that peak’: BCSAR manager discourages risky outdoor adventures

Call volumes are not going down, even as the COVID-19 pandemic persists

Food Banks BC already seeing surge in demand due to COVID-19 pandemic

Executive director Laura Lansink said they expect applications will keep increasing

Nanaimo couple caught aboard cruise ship with four dead and COVID-19 present

Four ‘older guests’ have died on Holland America’s Zaandam; cruise line confirms two COVID-19 cases

Frontline workers receiving COVID-19 isolation exemptions prompt concerns

Provincial Health Authority staff exempt from self-isolation upon return from international travel

Most Read