The Kaslo and Area Chamber of Commerce is excited to celebrate Kaslo ArtScape!  Our first project – a new mural on the Kaslo Pharmacy building, has become reality.  

As beloved as it was, the Kaslo Maypole Mural was in need of an update. It was time to reimagine this homage to Kaslo’s historical past and create a new legacy.  

The History

The Maypole mural was created in 2002 by the Kaslo Area Youth Centre, led by Ursula Ringwald and several dedicated volunteers.  Local artist Arin Ringwald created the design and the project was aided by CanadianMurals.com based in Nelson, BC.  The mural has honored Kaslo’s Maypole tradition at this site for 19 years and we wish to thank those involved in this beautiful project, and commemorate this piece of art.  A professional photograph and the Maypole mural story will be featured at a prominent location in Kaslo.  

In 2021, the Kaslo & Area Chamber of Commerce started to discuss new ways to lengthen and diversify Kaslo’s tourist season.  We looked to the Nelson International Mural Festival for inspiration and saw this as an opportunity to tag onto the great work happening in Nelson but instead focusing on local artisans, and “extend” an invitation to visitors to take the trip up the lake. 

This is the first of hopefully many ArtScape projects in Kaslo and with this mural wanted to set the stage for professional, high quality art in our Village.

This mural is a community mural in collaboration and with support from building owner, Ward Taylor and many other organizations and individuals in our community. It has taken 2 years of work to finalize the design and get the funding into place to make this happen – a huge thank you to Dana Blouin, Chairperson of the Kaslo ArtScape committee and all the volunteers for their ongoing efforts!

The ArtScape committee chose to work with Tyler Toews of Canadian Murals based in Nelson, BC to bring this inaugural project to life.  He is very proud to continue his legacy in Kaslo as one of the mentors of the original MayPole mural and he has been incredibly committed to this project from the get go. Tyler has been a professional artist from the early 2000s and has created murals all across Canada such as at the BC Children’s hospital, Nelson City Hall, the Kaslo JazzFest mural, a series of 50 murals in 4 in Cabela’s stores, and countless others.  He currently is focusing on a distinct 3-dimensional style that he continues to hone and develop. 

Over the course of 2 years, Tyler has developed 2 distinct designs for consideration with input from the Artscape committee. An important element of this mural was the heritage theme within the requirements of the historic downtown core of the village of Kaslo.  However, there were still many ideas to consider within that theme and we relied on our varied committee to provide input from all angles to finalize a mural design that we feel truly represents the broad idea of history within our community.

We were also fortunate to have input and collaboration on the final design from Janice Alpine, Business Development officer/Tourism Engagement from the Ktunaxa Nation.

The New Design

The Reality

A description by Artist Tyler Toews;

  • This mural focuses on elements of “celebration” offering a clean, balanced design with focus on specific elements
  • It allows for four historic images to be layered one behind the other, progressively deeper in the center of the mural.
  •  Adjacent to these images, on the right side, there are large blossoms that pay homage to the agricultural history of cherry orchards in the Kaslo area. The branch of blossoms arches across the entire mural, disappearing behind an aerial image of the town site, only to reappear bursting through the mountainside as ripening fruit. This symbolizes the fruitful community that Kaslo is today, blossoming from the past.
  • The historic images will be painted in sepia tones, creating a contrast with the vibrant blossoms and townsite imagery.
  • The furthest back historic image depicts a First Nations family in a wooden sturgeon‐nosed canoe reaching the shore with the waves, reflecting their nomadic lifestyle and use of waterways for transportation. I chose to present this scene on the shore as Kaslo is located on the lakefront. This image breaks the pattern of layering, and the canoe appears to be moving forward just as our First Nations communities continually are.
  • The First Nations image will fade from sepia to colour within the photograph, symbolizing that our First Nations peoples are prominent in our community’s past and will continue to be in the future.
  • I have included an original photo taken from Wards airplane to depict the Kootenay lake landscape, adding a unique and personal touch to the mural

In addition to the historical elements required by the ArtScape Committee and the Village of Kaslo, design elements as required by Ward Taylor’s design company, Opacity Design Group, and were incorporated to align with Ward’s other 2 Kootenay pharmacies in Castlegar and New Denver.

A big thank you to the funders for this project that have made it all possible: 

  • Community Fund of North Kootenay Lake Fund
  • Columbia Basin Trust/RDCK ReDi Grant (resident directed)
  • Nelson and Kootenay Lake Tourism
  • Kootenay Savings Credit Union
  • Kaslo Community Pharmacy
  • JVH Grad class of 2023
  • Proceeds from 2022 and 2023 May Days 50/50 raffle
  • Ace Hardware- donation of paint to prepare the wall

Maypole Mural Commemorative Photo

The Committee

Thank you again to the devoted committee members for making this project happen!

  • Ward Taylor – owner of the Kaslo Community Pharmacy
  • Lynn van Deursen – North Kootenay Arts and Heritage Council
  • Alana Jenkins –  Kaslo & Area Chamber of Commerce
  • Chyvonne Lynch- Kaslo and Area Chamber of Commerce
  • Paul Grace-Campbell/ Charissa Hoppenbrouwers- Langham Cultural Centre
  • Molly Leathwood – Kaslo Village Council 
  • Elizabeth Scarlett – Kootenay Lake Historical Society 
  • Sabrina Edwards- artist and Kaslovian
  • Dana Blouin – Former Kaslo Chamber Board Member