DHBC is pleased announce the grant recipients for the Gritty to Pretty placemaking grant program. Gritty to Pretty includes three grant streams: Open Grant, Façade Lighting Grant, and Mural Grant. Out of 19 Gritty to Pretty applications, 10 were awarded, which included two Open Grants and eight Mural Grants. There were no Façade Lighting Grant applications in this round. The total grant amount awarded was $49,364 with $6,851 awarded to Open Grant recipients, and $42,513 to Mural Grant recipients.
"It’s important to support our local artists and businesses and continue to invest in Downtown," said Paul MacKinnon, CEO of DHBC. "We will continue to enhance the pedestrian experience in Downtown Halifax and beautify our community. In the absence of large events and gatherings this summer, we know these projects will make walking and exploring Downtown more enjoyable for those working and living here as well as those visiting from across Atlantic Canada."
In May 2020, DHBC launched a call for submissions for this year’s three placemaking grant programs. This is the fifth year of the program, which was developed to award a limited number of grants for placemaking projects located in Downtown Halifax. These projects contribute to DHBC’s placemaking efforts to help Downtown Halifax encourage civic pride, support local economies, improve public health, and welcome to locals and visitors alike.
Open Grant 2020 recipients (in alphabetical order):
Applicant: Friends of Raymond Taavel Park – $2,975
Location: Raymond Taavel Park (project completed)
Overview: “Creative Candles” were created to continue to beautify the park with a creative community engagement and beautification project. Friends of Raymond Taavel commissioned a local artist/woodworker to make 200 wooden “candles.” They were professionally prepared and then distributed to citizens to paint and decorate as they liked. Members of the 2SLGBTQ+ community were invited to add names of friends, family, activists, and allies in remembrance.
Applicant: PBJ Design Society – $3,876
Location: Bus shelter on Barrington Street before Spring Garden Road
Overview: The Bus Shelter Beautification project is designed to celebrate bus life and beautify the bus shelter on Barrington Street. The design for the bus shelter is a repeating pattern of brightly coloured triangles. The mural will be painted on four panels of plywood prior to installation with high-quality paints and an anti-graffiti coating.
Mural Grant 2020 recipients (in alphabetical order):
Applicant: Rachel Anzalone, Luke Fair, Joseph Pesina – $8,500
Location: Overpass that connects George Street to the courtyard of the Supreme Court of Nova Scotia
Overview: “Between the Sea and Sky” is a colourful mural made of rectangular wooden tiles inspired by the sky and water of the Halifax Harbour. The tiles will be nested in the vertical recesses of the retaining wall surrounding the access point of the overpass that connects George Street to the courtyard of the Supreme Court of Nova Scotia.
Applicant: Daniel Burt – $3,500
Location: 1326 Barrington Street, wall facing Blowers Street
Overview: Using a combination of acrylic paint and spray paint, the design of the “Connection” mural is big, colourful, and bold. The concept is two hands held together, creating a bond. Painted in multiple colours so that they are not viewed as any particular race or sex – only human. This mural is for the people who go out of their way to help others. It would represent the helping hand in a literal way by painting one hand holding onto the other.
Applicant: Mike Burt – $6,000
Overview: The mural by Mike Burt is called “Warrior.” It is a dynamic street art version of a warrior during a struggle. The main purpose of this mural is to be visually stimulating with bright and bold colours.
Applicant: Sarah Cannon – $4,487
Overview: “Sea Troll” depicts a green-haired figure in the depths of the dark water, surrounded by their nudibranch and jellyfish companions. Artist Sarah Cannon invites the public to explore their surroundings and find the magic in their natural world. Consistent with Halifax’s natural heritage and proximity to the sea, her proposed concept leverages visually striking marine life to foster exploration and curiosity.
Applicant: Halifax Pride Society – $4,000
Location: Peace and Friendship Park
Overview: Halifax Pride will commission a queer Black, Indigenous, or Person of Colour (QBIPOC) artist to create a temporary mural that symbolizes Halifax Pride’s solidarity with the Black Lives Matter movement and commitment to advocating for African Nova Scotians and other racialized Haligonians to be able to live free from oppression, violence, and systemic marginalization. This mural is intended to symbolize the parallels between our shared struggles for liberation and equality as well as to be a beacon of hope that progress is possible if we come together to fight for change.
Applicant: Drew McSherry – $1,503
Overview: The mural “The Fun and Beaty Performance’” celebrates Halifax and its support of local and emerging performers and musicians through its annual Busker Festival. The mural will depict several animals that would not interact in the wild. Through these animals, it shows that the Busker Festival and the city of Halifax provides people of different cultural backgrounds and experiences to come together and create something beautiful.
Applicant: James Rad – $9,800
Location: 1326 Barrington Street
Overview: “The Home of Legend Bluenose” mural by artist Nils Westergard depicts a young, local worker building a boat in Lunenburg, Nova Scotia. The mural will be located in the heart of the passageway to the Port of Halifax, Pier 21, the two major Nova Scotian universities, and the central corporate offices of Halifax. The aim of this concept design is to engage the eyes with the vibrancy and the richness of Nova Scotian heritage. The hope is that this image gives passersby an opportunity to pause, enabling them to connect with a sense of gratitude towards the beauties of Nova Scotia.
Applicant: Amber Solberg – $4,723
Location: 1660 Hollis Street
Overview: The “BEE KIND” mural by Amber Solberg, Dylan Smibert, Elyse Moir, and Erica Meschwitz proposes to create a brightly-coloured, bee-based mural in an unusual setting for passersby. Making use of an under-utilized building step, this proposed mural would cover the top and side with a repeating pattern of honeycombs in blues and yellows, professional artists will add their “icing on the cake” in the form of large, detailed honey bees and painterly Nova Scotian wildflowers.