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Downtown Red Deer murals are springboard to positive change, say participants

Official unveilings will be Sept. 2-4 at Meet the Street Festival/ Centrefest
The Wish You Were Here mural, by Chloe Purcell, is at 4927-48th St. in Red Deer. Meet the Streets project will reveal 13 new murals during a festival on the September long weekend. (Contributed photo).

A bold new mural painted on the side of a downtown building housing a hair salon and day care is just the start of a transformation on 47th Street in Red Deer.

Monica Robinson, co-owner of 4813-47th St., said she loves the brightly painted aqua and orange design so much that she hopes to eventually carry some of it over to the front of her rectangular building.

Brick staining can be done perhaps next year to further improve the structure’s curb appeal, added Robinson.

But she’s already launched another improvement on the property. She helped plant a vegetable and flower garden last spring on a small patch of former lawn in front of the building.

Robinson hopes this “children’s garden” will help toddlers and pre-schoolers who attend the Mommy and Daddy Daycare Centre learn how things grow.

Using new murals as a catalyst for other downtown upgrades is the goal of the City of Red Deer’s Meet the Street Mural Projects, said Bobby-Jo Stannard, the city’s community development superintendent.

“We are trying not just to beautify and enhance these spaces, but to activate them… and we’re seeing it happening right across the city” — including on 47th Street, Stannard added.

This summer, 13 murals new murals are being painted in downtown Red Deer with about $100,000 from the city’s 2022 budget. It’s an unexpected increase of murals from the nine that were previously announced, but Stannard said some of the 11 artists are undertaking some additional smaller projects.

Already completed is the mural I Love My Hair on the exterior walls of Delmar College at 4929-49th Street, and the Wish You Were Here mural at 4927-48th St.

More will be painted this month on the back of the Red Deer Soup Kitchen and in Capstone, near the Commonground garden project. There will also be an Indigenous-themed mural at 4920-54th St.

“It’s a chance for the community to come together,” said Stannard.

Robinson feels her 47th Street mural, painted by Calgary’s Josh Creighton, with help from Red Deer mentoree Emily Promise Allison, helped give some visual impact to what was otherwise a big, rectangular space.

The garden she sowed with Jennica Taylor of Daisy and Dill urban farming, is also creating positive neighbourhood buzz. “A lady got out of her car the other day and told me, ‘Your garden gives me such joy,’” recalled Robinson, with a smile.

An official unveiling of this summer’s downtown murals will happen Sept. 2- 4, during the Meet the Street Festival, including Centrefest.

For more information about the project, please visit

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The mural behind Delmar College in Red Deer is called I Love my Hairdo, by Moonlight Murals Collective. Meet the Streets project will reveal 13 new murals during a festival on the September long weekend. (Photo by LANA MICHELIN/ Advocate staff).