Large poppies and the grey outlines of soldiers who never returned from the war are being painted on seven large murals on the exterior of the Innisfail Legion.
This is the latest community involvement project spearheaded by artist and entrepreneur Karen Scarlett in her home community, south of Red Deer.
Royal Canadian Legion Branch No. 104 in Innisfail, which has the third largest membership in the country with over 1,400 members, started fundraising for the art project last fall.
President Stephen Black has stated the murals will be a lasting legacy. They help to “honour our past, our veterans and their families, but also gives a nod to a bright future,” said Black, who anticipates the paintings will help attract visitors “and invite people to share stories about why the Legion is an important part of our community.”
The painted poppies will have “special impact,” said Scarlett, since poppies are a symbol of remembrance, as well as the legion’s annual campaign that helps support veterans and families in need.
Scarlett has led several such artistic efforts since moving back to Innisfail last year. Last summer, she led the Innisfail Welcoming and Inclusive Community Committee’s (IWICC) mural that was painted on the walls of the Coffee Cottage, as well as the heart BOMB project that involved affixing crocheted hearts on a wire fence to show love for patients in the nearby hospital and seniors’ home.
All of the projects were done with community involvement.