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The Calgary community brings art to the streets while the COVID-19 shutters are galleries

The residents of the Calgary community of Sunnyside have made it their business to paint their garages and fences with murals to brighten up the community.

Photography by Todd Korol

It’s been a tough year for the arts around the world. Artists had no place to hang their art. Galleries have locked the doors to ensure the safety of customers and employees.

In the small community of Sunnyside, northwest Calgary, more than 20 new works of art have been added to the community’s collection. Their collection is free to anyone who walks down the alleys – the canvases are the garage doors of the residences.

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A poem is written outside a house on a fence post in the Sunnyside community, part of one of Canada’s greatest art walks.

What began as a few homeowners painting murals on their garage doors has now grown into one of Canada’s greatest outdoor art walks, featuring murals of polar bears, Olympic cross-country skiers, magpies and more.

“It’s snowball now,” says homeowner Christie Page. “It has become a place where people from out of town come and see our art. It’s a place that you want to stop and visit. I think it made our neighborhoods safer and better for business. “

A gold moose sculpture sits on a porch in Sunnyside on November 21, 2020.

Ms. Page created an Instagram page for the art walk. She also added it as a location on Google Maps.

Last summer, the community received a grant to have more garages painted, which helped the struggling city artists.

One of Sunnyside’s garages, part of one of Canada’s greatest art walks.

In these days of physical distancing, art fans can safely visit the neighborhood and see the outdoor exhibit, which has grown with sculptures, small outdoor art galleries, and painted fences.

“You can hire an artist or just get some paint and paint yourself. Draw a stick man or a flower, ”says Ms. Page.

“It all makes our neighborhood better.”

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