Update - our councillor Bob Monette and mayor talked last week with Gatineau mayor, they confirmed the info I'd sent them on cost savings and program details and discussed how to integrate this into the city's overall graffiti management program. It's a go for here - yaay! I'll plan for early spring, to give time to get it in properly. I'd like to involve some of the youths in the construction - for example a teacher at St Pete's high school expressed interest in his shop class building them as a project. I've had some great support from our local Orleansonline on this, Fred has done a good job over the years of covering local issues and calling them as he sees them. See the article linked to as well as keep an eye on the Feedback section.
I sent in the following, which was published recently:
To the Editor:
Thank you for the article you published recently on my push for a legal graffiti area here in Orleans. Since then I’ve met again with Councillor Monette and he confirmed that the city is in favour of building two of the walls at the Orleans Sportsplex Skateboard Park, as a pilot project. I’ll be priming this, and we will target construction and opening for early spring in 2007, ready for a full summer of art. That will give me time to coordinate all the stakeholders, as I would like local youth to also be involved in the construction of these walls.
I was glad to read also in your journal a letter from Superintendent Bordeleau of Ottawa Police here in Orleans, supporting the concept of a Graffiti wall as part of the city’s Graffiti Management Program. The City of Gatineau is one of the models I am following on this, their program has successfully incorporated legal walls in several parks and seen a significant reduction in illegal graffiti over the past few years.
While I don’t condone illegal graffiti, my intent is to focus on the positive aspects of graffiti. When done legally, I would add to the Education, Enforcement, Eradication, and Empowerment a fifth element – Enjoyment. And for those that think graffiti is only illegal tagging, I have photos of local graffiti art via my web site at www.ravensview.ca . Any interested people can reach me at (email address), I’d be glad to share the project’s measurable objectives and status.
I also have talked with the local Community liason officer from Ottawa police, and I am keeping the new Orleans youth group in the loop as well.
My measurable objectives for this pilot project are as follows:
Objective 1: To provide a legal area for graffiti artists to develop their artistic skills in large scale works.
Measure : Walls used more for large scale "pieces", than for just tagging tags -Survey (photos) area every 4-6 weeks during trial.
Objective 2: Positive acceptance by the community of the artistic value (skateboard park users, artosts, merchants, residents in general)
Measure : Feedback to City (councillor, mayor, services, etc), Citizen and local (Orlean's Express, OrleansOnline) letters, surveys of wall users and park-and-ride (after launch, 6 months, end)
Objective 3: A low maintenance solution (repainting and/or repairs)
Measure: Annual cost of repairs and repriming are within budget
Objective 4: Local artists hired to do legal walls for area (Orleans) merchants on their buildings.
Measure: One merchants wall completed (followup with merchant via artist)
Objective 5: Other Ottawa community representatives (community assoc and/or councillors) interested in pilot project
Measure: Contacted by at least two groups.
Please - if you have any ideas or concerns, or would like to get involved - let me know, drop me a comment below.