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Highlanders mural could have new home in Amherst

The North Nova Scotia Highlanders Mural could soon have a new home. Amherst has agreed to have artist Jennifer Morris Cormier repaint the mural onto treated plywood sections that will be affixed to the east wall of town hall facing LaPlanche Street
The North Nova Scotia Highlanders Mural could soon have a new home. Amherst has agreed to have artist Jennifer Morris Cormier repaint the mural onto treated plywood sections that will be affixed to the east wall of town hall facing LaPlanche Street

AMHERST – The North Nova Scotia Highlanders Mural could have a new home when it’s repainted.

Amherst council has given its staff direction to enter into an agreement with artist Jennifer Morris Cormier to paint a 28-foot by 40-foot replica of the mural on a plywood surface with a completion date of no later than Sept. 30, 2018.
“As council knows the mural’s condition is poor and Jennifer Morris Cormier owns the creative rights to the mural and it’s her recommendation that the mural be painted on primed and sealed coated high standard plywood painted in four foot by eight foot sections,” recreation director Bill Schurman told council during its September committee-of-the-whole meeting earlier this week. “It would not go directly on the building, it would be attached to the building.”
From speaking to the artist and other municipalities with murals, Schurman said the recommendation was to paint the mural on a removable surface. This makes it easier to repair.
The artist has the goal of unveiling the mural in its new location in time for the 2018 Remembrance Day ceremonies.
Instead of putting the repainted mural where the original is located, on the south side of the former Dunlap’s Hardware Building, the Royal Canadian Legion suggested putting it on the wall at town hall, overlooking a revitalized green space where the Bank of Montreal used to stand.
The green space would include walkways, new trees and a Vimy Oak.
The estimated cost repainting the mural is $24,950 including $12,000 for artists fees, approximately $4,200 for materials, $4,200 for installation and $3,500 for landscaping.
Schurman said the project has the support of Ray Coulson of the North Nova Scotia Highlanders Regimental Museum.
If council moves forward with the project, funding would come from the 2018-19 capital budget. A budget of $1,000 for annual sealing and maintenance would be included in the 2019-20 budget
The legion has also suggested developing another mural to celebrate the 100th anniversary of the Battle of Vimy Ridge. The legion’s executive has offered to help raise money to make the project a reality.
The Highlanders mural been deteriorating for several years, but its future was placed into question several months ago when the owner of the building on which it’s painted indicated his concern for its condition.
Amherst has been looking at options for the murals which are a holdover from the former Downtown Amherst Revitalization Society that created the mural project and several colourful murals throughout the downtown.
darrell.cole@amherstnews.ca
Twitter: @ADNdarrell

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