What do PosAbilities’ members, Mounties, international students and random people have in common?
They all wanted a piece of the action at the PosAbilities’ community mural last week on Lansdowne and No. 3 roads.
Over the course of a couple of days, the aforementioned groups and individuals picked up a paintbrush and made their mark on the “Richmond through the ages” mural north wall of the agency’s rented building.
Some of them had been invited to take part by members of PosAbilities – which empowers people with developmental disabilities – while several were simply walking past, grabbed a brush and joined in.
When the Richmond News dropped by on Friday, the mural – which has fishing industry, horse racing and Canada Line scenes depicted – was abuzz with international students from Kwantlen painting next to PosAbilities members and commissioned artist Bobae Kim.
“People have been just walking by and joining in, grabbing a coffee with us, talking about (the mural), telling us this is a great job,” said Markus Hubele, social network co-ordinator for PosAbilities.
“This is a mural of what Richmond was. If there were more walls I think we would do this more often.
“We have to thank Hoegler’s Muffler, though; this is their wall. We only rent from them.”
PosAbilities’ Irena Flego said the interactive event came about via $500 from the Vancouver Foundation's Neighbourhood Small Grant program and with donations from a clutch of local business sponsors.
“The main purpose is community inclusion. We want people to be included in all kids of interesting things,” said Flego.
“It’s about doing something meaningful together (PosAbilities members and the community). The social interaction, it’s great; (our members are) greeting people and participating. You can see their confidence growing.”
Before the painting started last Wednesday, a small group of PosAbilities members crossed the road to the RCMP’s community police office and invited officers to come join them.
And a teacher from the Kwantlen-based Maple Leaf University School, Satchel Purcell, was walking past the site of the mural last week, en route to the Olympic Oval gym, when she spotted a poster advertising the event.
“I thought it’d be great for the students to get involved,” said Purcell, referring to the two groups of around 20, mainly Chinese, students she teaches.
“It’s great for them to get out into the community and feeling like they are a part of it. They walk past here a lot and the hope is they will see this in the future and go, ‘hey, I was a part of this.’”