AMHERST - A new initiative by the Downtown Amherst Revitalization Society not only makes a good Christmas present, but is a lasting keepsake of a multi-year project that has done a lot to improve the downtown core.
DARS has released a commemorative calendar featuring the 12 murals that make up the Amherst Mural Project beginning with the Signature Mural on the former Bird's Drapery Building as January's featured mural.
"A couple of years ago when we had eight or nine murals we started thinking that once we got to 12 that it would be a good idea to feature them in a calendar. This year, as we wrapped up the 12th and final mural it just seemed fitting," DARS chair Beth Munroe said. "They would make a nice Christmas present for someone, but more than that the calendars are also an excellent way to celebrate the mural project."
The 2010 calendar also coincides with the 100th anniversary of the Old Home Week parade in 1910 that was the subject matter for the first mural in the project back in 1997. Completed by Susan Tooke and Bruce Rickett, that mural started a project designed to raise awareness about the town's heritage while helping to beautify the downtown core.
The 12th mural, depicting the 100th anniversary of Dayle's Department Store and completed this summer by Daren White, is December's featured mural while the Nova Scotia Highlanders Mural on the corner of Havelock and Ratchford streets is the November mural, coinciding with Remembrance Day.
With the completion of the Dayle's mural this summer, DARS has decided to bring the project to a conclusion.
"We pretty much decided that once we got to 12 that we wind up the project. That doesn't mean we won't come back if someone comes up with an idea for a mural and a place to put it," Munroe said. "Pretty much all the good spaces in the downtown are filled."
The calendars went on sale earlier this week and are available in limited quantities for $10 each. Munroe doesn't expect there'll be additional printing when they run out.
Calendars are available from Bella's CafÉ, Dayle's Department Store, Deanne Fitzpatrick's Rug Hooking, Inglis Jewellers, Mansour's Men's Wear, Pugsley's Pharmacy and Mrs. Pugsley's Emporium.
Proceeds from the calendar sales will go to support the continued maintenance and upkeep of the 12 murals.
The mural project was supported by: DARS, CREDA, the province, Town of Amherst, the Municipality of Cumberland and other private and community partners.