Langley City unveiled its latest civic mural on Tuesday, Nov. 3, a look at the history of transportation in the community from the days of the old electric trains, to the computer-controlled SkyTrain light rapid transit system, all wrapped around the washroom building at Linwood Park.
Artist Judy Pohl, who was present for the ribbon cutting with members of City council, said it means the Lower Mainland city is one stop closer to matching Chemainus, the Vancouver Island community which is well-known for its murals.
“That was the goal right from the beginning,” Pohl remarked, “right from the first.”
Pohl, of Judy’s Custom Art Services, got the assignment by the answering a call for submissions by the City.
It was her fourth contribution.
It all began when a student mural contest uncovered a great deal of interest in the idea and led to all artists being eligible to create outdoor imagery for pedestrian viewing.
Teri James, a Langley City councillor and head of the Downtown Langley Business Association (DLBA), the group that got the initiative started, said the number of murals has grown considerably.
“Two years ago, we had about 10,” James estimated.
At the moment, James said Langley City has 22 murals that are part of the downtown mural walk map, five that are not on it, including the one unveiled at Linwood, “as well as five in Langley City Hall that are inaccessible right now and a guaranteed two more coming in the spring for a total of 34.”
With a new, just-unveiled mural, Chemainus is still well ahead in numbers.
It now has more than 50 murals in all, 45 in its historical series, five in the Emily Carr Series and five in the Community Series, for a total of 55, all but the newest viewable online at muraltown.com.
When the traditional sources of revenue that supported the Vancouver Island community, the fishing, mining and forestry industries, began to decline, Chemainus decided to attract visitors by capturing its history in a series of large, striking murals painted on the walls of the town.
Chemainus bills itself as the world’s leading community-driven art tourism experience, attracting tourists from all over.
Pohl’s latest Langley City mural pays tribute to the British Columbia Interurban Railway that used to serve what was then called Langley Prairie, running along what is now Michaud Crescent, the road facing Linwood Park.
“This tells a story,” said Langley City Arts and Cultural Task Group, Chair and councillor Paul Albrecht,. “The new mural pays tribute to our past our present and our future.”