David Vertesi and Gabriel Hall
NEW) CO-FOUNDERS, VANCOUVER MURAL FEST
Wall Flowers No fun city, no more —so say the co-founders of the Vancouver Mural Festival (VMF), which launched in 2016. Bright colours and poignant slogans now line the walls of some of Vancouver’s most-trodden paths, engaging locals and tourists alike. Now, Vertesi and Hall acknowledge the event has grown beyond art, indirectly pleading locals’ case against redevelopment. Residents of the Mount Pleasant area live in hope that developers will think twice before knocking down buildings that have become icons of the city.
“After only two years, I think the VMF has not only beautied Mount Pleasant but highlighted the artistic talent that calls Mount Pleasant home,” says Neil Wyles, executive director of the Mount Pleasant BIA. “This in turn has brought to the forefront a discussion about keeping the area aordable for the very people that make it interesting.” This year’s festival saw more than 100,000 spectators wander the streets of Mount Pleasant and Strathcona, with more than 50 large-scale murals being added to the city’s culture scene.
With this year’s themes transforming and reclaiming laneways, destigmatizing grati art and supporting Indigenous placemaking, all eyes are on Vertesi and Hall and their plans to raise the bar even higher in 2018.