New mural celebrates St. James 100th anniversary

Visitors to St. James will now be greeted by a new mural celebrating the neighbourhood’s 100th anniversary that was unveiled Sunday.

The mural, located on the east side of the building at 1721 Portage Avenue, was the brainchild of Kristi Meek, president and executive director of the Assiniboia Chamber of Commerce.

“We didn’t know what we were going to do, but then I had the idea of let’s make something long lasting, not just an event,” said Meek. “So we’ve built this beautiful mural behind me that is just here for years and years to come.”

Each of the letters of “St. James” in the mural represents a different aspect of the neighbourhood. Meek says they wanted to represent all the industries of St. James.

“From parks & recreation to the food industry. Deer Lodge hospital, so we have health care involved,” said Meek, “we have the Grant’s Old Mill, we have the old business of the ox carts, when we were the Red River valley cart path.”

Artist Jen Mosienko says it was an honour to design and create the mural.

“I’m always honoured to do a project in St James, my first project was in St. James 24 years ago. It’s one of my favourite areas to paint in the city, for sure,” she said.

The project took five weeks to complete. Mosienko said she had lots of visitors while she was working.

“Throughout the project we had a lot of people throughout the community that would come by and have a look, and tell stories and reminisce about different things in St James, so it was definitely a special project to be on.”

Meek adds the chamber is working on an informational website to go along with the mural that tells the story of St. James.

“The businesses, they’re starting to come back after the pandemic, more and more are popping up and the chamber is happy to support them,” she said.

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