Hundreds of colourful umbrellas have been strung up over McBurney Plaza as part of a temporary outdoor art installation executed by the City of Langley. (Heather Colpitts/Langley Advance Times)

Hundreds of colourful umbrellas have been strung up over McBurney Plaza as part of a temporary outdoor art installation executed by the City of Langley. (Heather Colpitts/Langley Advance Times)

Umbrellas turned into downtown Langley art installation

It took two days to suspend 230 brollies overhead in McBurney Plaza

It took the better part of two days to string 230 vibrantly coloured umbrellas over top of McBurney Plaza this week, but they’re done and already garnering much attention by passersby.

City of Langley staff have been working on the idea for the past 12 months, give or take, said Rick Bomhof, director of engineering, parks, and environment.

“About a year ago we started discussing it. The idea came from Francis Cheung, CAO, during some travelling he had done in Europe – the year prior – where he saw different street art including umbrella aerial art,” Bomhof said.

“With COVID upon us and people’s inability to travel, we wanted to provide an attraction for people to visit locally,” he elaborated, noting the City set up an enhanced Christmas display in the Plaza last winter.

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The goal, Bomhof said, is to “provide a bit of cheer during these tough times.”

The art installation, similar to one put up in a temporary park on Glover Road in Fort Langley, took two days to erect and it will remain up until just after Labour Day.

In addition to the umbrellas being incorporated in the plaza, the Downtown Langley Business Association has bought a series of picnic tables that will be place in the plaza, as well as along the one-way section of Fraser Highway.

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They’re intended, Bomhof said, “to provide more opportunity for outside seating.”

“Unfortunately there have been some delays in delivering the picnic tables partially due to COVID and the extreme cold weather event that impacted manufacturing plants in Texas this past winter,” the engineer noted.

More planters have also been placed along the one-way for added greenery.

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