The town's commitment to revitalizing the downtown core is something many are excited about, with local businesses and high school art students taking part in a new project that will add a splash of colour to the older buildings.
The town in collaboration with Bradford District High School (BDHS), has been working together to create beautifully painted wooden murals which will adorn the exterior of Jennings School of Karate on John Street.
In total there will be eight murals painted by the students of scenic photos taken by art teacher Ted Majewski. So far one panel has been completed of a boat along the Holland River, which Majewski said took the students about a month to complete. The second and third murals are currently being worked on.
Around 200 students will be taking part in it this school year.
Each class is working on one part of the project, with hopes of having four panels completed by the end of this semester, and the other four completed by the end of the second. It's a lengthy process, with the photographs first being sectioned off into squares and then assigned to a pair of students to work on. Before the paint even hits the panels, the students must sketch the image onto the wood with a pencil, overtop a thick orange prime layer of paint.
Majewski says he is impressed with the work the students have done so far.
"It's a huge project, it really takes a lot of time, but the result is impressive," said Majewski.
Each panel is painted with acrylic paint and will be sealed with a protective coat which will help protect against the elements when hung outside.
This year's mural project has been supported by the town with a $10,000 grant, as well as donated supplies from local hardware stores.
Downtown Revitalization Committee Chair Ward 2 Coun. Jonathan Scott was pleased with the work done so far and is hoping to continue with the project in the years to come.
"We’re revitalizing the downtown with beautiful, local art that reflects the best of Canadiana. We’re also empowering local high school art students who are learning great new techniques from their teachers and creating a learning environment where students and teachers can leave a lasting legacy to their town," said Scott.
He said it is a win-win for all with small business owners also getting a face-lift on their aging storefronts.
"It’s a partnership and such a wonderful opportunity. I love everything about this new program and hope we can continue it to keep revitalizing the downtown and supporting our local art students."
The murals are set to be hung sometime in spring 2023.