Tuesday, March 1, 2022

Downtown area will benefit from souped-up surfaces                             

COURTENAY, 1 March 2022 – Four destination mural art installations will enliven a section of Ganges Village on Salt Spring Island, and serve as the focal point of a new public art walking tour, with funding support from the THRIVE Small Capital Program.

The local Chamber of Commerce and Salt Spring Arts Council have partnered to implement a beautification project that will help add to the ‘zing that is Salt Spring’ by exposing visitors to the many, less-visited shops and cafes located on smaller side streets that feed into Ganges’s popular downtown waterfront area.

“The THRIVE program was developed to support exactly this kind of collaborative, concept-driven project,” says ICET Board Chair Aaron Stone. “Innovative, tourism-focused initiatives designed to increase traffic and vitality are fundamental to recovery and rebuilding efforts.”

The Ganges Village Economic Vibrancy Coordinator worked with community partners and business stakeholders to identify the design selection process as well as optimal locations/surfaces, including the Visitor Information Centre and its accessibility ramp, a bus shelter, and downtown buildings.

This combined public art and walking tour project will create a fantastic all-season addition to the many experiences already offered on Salt Spring Island,” says Anthony Everett, President & CEO, Tourism Vancouver Island. “In Ganges’ compact downtown, these integrated art installations will be highly visible and generate a great deal of positive tourism attention.”

The arts council will oversee the rigorous design submission and jury selection processes. The call for proposals will invite professional Indigenous and non-Indigenous Canadian mural artists to submit concepts, based on the theme of sustainability, reciprocity, and creativity. Special effort will also be made to attract art concepts from members of Salt Spring’s youth, queer, and BIPOC communities.

“Salt Spring Island is already known for its vibrant arts scene, and is home to many arts organizations, galleries, and studio tours, as well as a major national arts prize that attracts artists from across Canada,” explains Inga Michelson of the Salt Spring Island Chamber of Commerce. “The Ganges Village mural walking tour will facilitate stronger connectivity between these existing cultural assets.”

The THRIVE Small Capital Program was launched in late May to help stimulate and promote vitality in downtowns, Main Streets and business districts across the region. One-stop funding support of up to 100% of eligible project costs is available thanks to a collaboration with the Island Coastal Economic Trust, Tourism Vancouver Island (TVI) and the Vancouver, Coast & Mountains tourism region (managed by Destination BC).

All applications to the THRIVE Small Capital Funding Stream are now accepted on an ongoing basis until the program is fully subscribed.

For more information on the THRIVE Small Capital Funding Stream, please visit our website:


About the Island Coastal Economic Trust
Created and capitalized by the Province of BC in 2006, the Island Coastal Economic Trust (ICET) mission is to create a more diverse and globally competitive Island and Coastal economy. In partnership with local and regional governments, non-profits and Indigenous communities, ICET serves over half a million residents. Funding and support for economic infrastructure and other economic diversification initiatives is delivered through a unique community centered decision-making process. Since inception, ICET has approved more than $55 million in funding for over 280 initiatives. These investments have leveraged over $270 million in new investment into the region creating more than 2600 construction phase jobs and 2750 long-term permanent jobs. 

For further information:

Hilary Muth, Communications Coordinator
Island Coastal Economic Trust
Tel. 250-871-7797 (Ext. 228)

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