Emerenne Saefkow paints the final panels of a mural depicting life in the Bulkley Valley on the side of the Chamber of Commerce and Visitor Information Centre Aug. 12. (Thom Barker photo)

Emerenne Saefkow paints the final panels of a mural depicting life in the Bulkley Valley on the side of the Chamber of Commerce and Visitor Information Centre Aug. 12. (Thom Barker photo)

Smithers visitor centre gets a facelift

Local artist Emerenne Saefkow was tasked with depicting life in the Bulkley Valley

The Smithers District Chamber of Commerce and Visitor Information Centre (VIC) has received a much overdue facelift.

Local artist Emerenne Saefkow was tasked with depicting a snapshot of life in the Bulkley Valley.

“That was quite a hefty job, given that Smithers is so diverse and has so many things that make it Smithers, and so we went the abstract way and tried to represent as much as possible,” Saefkow said.

The result is a multi-panel mural on the exterior wall of the building featuring symbols of the business community and culture of the area.

Although completed just last week, Chamber manager Sheena Miller said it is already making a difference for the town.

READ MORE: “The Big Spend” generates volume for Smithers merchants

“I’m so excited and pleased to see something like this project that’s so inspiring and community-oriented to come together after five months of hard work on COVID projects and files,” she said. “We all knew this building and Central Park needed a bit of an uplift and some inspiring energy behind it. So, to come to work now and see this incredible mural, it just makes you happy.”

Miller said the project would not have been possible without the generous support of Chamber members including Indigenous artist Roy Henry Vickers.

In wanting to depict Smithers, we also wanted to depict the First Nations community of Smithers and it wasn’t really my place to do that, I felt, so we got Roy Henry Vickers to design a few squares,” said Saefkow.

READ MORE: Roy Henry Vickers launches new book

“It’s been quite an interesting and exciting opportunity to work with someone of such great renown and esteem and such an established artist.”

Interestingly Saefkow’s father Hans Saefkow designed and painted the mural on the other side of Hwy 16 on the side of the Subway building.

“It’s such an honour to have those generational legacies and to have it be in looking distance, or shouting distance is pretty cool,” she said.

While the mural is done, the revamping of the Visitor Centre is not. More changes include the installation of two 900-lb concrete salmon by the Bulkley Valley Rod and Gun Club (BVGC).

Brian Atherton, former president of BVGC, is creating the sculptures using the same Fisheries and Oceans Canada (DFO) molds that produced the ones on the waterfront in Hazelton. He said he has poured eight of them. In addition to the VIC, two will go to DFO, two to the gun range and two are going to private owners.

Prior to being the Chamber and visitor centre, the building housed a health clinic.



editor@interior-news.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

 

Emerenne Saefkow paints the final panels of a mural depicting life in the Bulkley Valley on the side of the Chamber of Commerce and Visitor Information Centre Aug. 12. (Thom Barker photo)

Emerenne Saefkow paints the final panels of a mural depicting life in the Bulkley Valley on the side of the Chamber of Commerce and Visitor Information Centre Aug. 12. (Thom Barker photo)

Emerenne Saefkow paints the final panels of a mural depicting life in the Bulkley Valley on the side of the Chamber of Commerce and Visitor Information Centre Aug. 12. (Thom Barker photo)

Emerenne Saefkow paints the final panels of a mural depicting life in the Bulkley Valley on the side of the Chamber of Commerce and Visitor Information Centre Aug. 12. (Thom Barker photo)

Just Posted

(Phil McLachlan/Capital News)
Murder charge laid in February 2020 stabbing death of Smithers man

Michael Egenolf is charged with the second-degree murder of Brodie Cumiskey

Island Health chief medical officer Dr. Richard Stanwick receives a first dose of Pfizer vaccine, Dec. 22, 2020. (B.C. government)
COVID-19: B.C. seniors aged 90+ can start to sign up for vaccination on March 8

Long-term care residents protected by shots already given

The Majagaleehl Gali Aks Elementary School in Hazelton is being shut down for a week by the Gitanmaax Band Council following a confirmation of a COVID-19 exposure there on Feb. 26. (Black Press Media File Photo)
COVID-19 exposure notice shuts down Hazelton school

Closure to last for one week and school is to be sanitized

Dave Livesey, right, has been elected as Telkwa councillor defeating Klaus Kraft (middle) and Erik Jacobsen. (Interior News composite photo)
Dave Livesey elected to Telkwa council

Livesey received 60 votes to Klaus Kraft’s 51 and Erik Jacobsen’s 34 in preliminary results

Smithers Local Health Area reported just one new case of COVID-19 from Feb. 14-20. (BC CDC graphic)
Local weekly COVID infections drop to one

The Smithers Local Health Area (Houston to Witset) reported a single case between Feb. 14 and20

COVID-19 vaccines were available at a site on East Pender in Vancouver’s Downtown Eastside Feb. 25. (Twitter/Sarahblyth17)
Vancouver’s Downtown Eastside residents offered $5 after getting COVID-19 vaccine

It’s an effort to ‘incentivize people to engage,’ says B.C. Health Minister Adrian Dix

</p>
A survey by Statistics Canada finds Black Canadians earn less than non-visible minority Canadians despite having higher levels of education. (The Canadian Press file photo)
COVID-19 worsened unemployment picture for Black Canadians

Black Canadians also more likely to suffer other hardships

Cannabis bought in British Columbia (Ashley Wadhwani/Black Press Media)
Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

(Black Press Media files)
B.C. teacher transferred then suspended after students report feeling ‘scared, nervous’

Authorities found that teacher did not create inviting, respectful environment for students

Victoria’s Swartz Bay terminal. (Black Press Media file photo)
BC Ferries offers cheaper, prepaid fare options

Ferry service preparing for busy terminals when travel restrictions are lifted

FILE - Dolly Parton arrives at the 61st annual Grammy Awards on Feb. 10, 2019, in Los Angeles. The Grammy-winning singer, actor and humanitarian posted a video on Tuesday, March 2, 2021, of her singing just before getting her COVID-19 vaccine shot. Parton donated $1 million to Vanderbilt University Medical Center in Nashville, Tennessee for coronavirus research. (Photo by Jordan Strauss/Invision/AP, File)
‘Vaccine, vaccine’: Dolly sings ‘Jolene’ rewrite before shot

The Grammy-winning legend turned 75 this year

Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Finance Chrystia Freeland speaks about the Fiscal update during a news conference in Ottawa, Monday November 30, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
COVID-19: Wage and rent subsidies, lockdown support to be extended until June

Chrystia Freeland says now is not time to lower levels of support

The area on Cordova Bay Road where ancestral human remains were discovered Feb. 22. (Submitted photo)
Human remains discovery a reminder of B.C. Indigenous culture dug up and displaced

‘These are the people who inspired and birthed the generations that we now have here’

Most Read