B.C. art gallery goes for paint-by-numbers world record

1 / 4
B.C. art gallery goes for paint-by-numbers world record

The Peachland Community Arts Council is trying to paint its way into the Guinness Book of World Records one small square at a time.

To celebrate Canada's 150th birthday, the council has set up a 1.8-metre-by-2.1-metre canvas in the town's art gallery and divided it into 6,048 squares. Now, it's trying to get a different person to fill each one of them in.

"When people come into the art gallery, we ask them if they want to participate," said the art council's president, Deborah Livingstone. "We're keeping a very precise log for Guinness, so we record their name and where they're from and what square they've painted."

If the painting is completed by December 23, it will secure a place in the Guinness Book of World Records for the most contributors to a single paint-by-numbers piece.

It's an ambitious goal, considering that Peachland is a small town in B.C.'s Okanagan Valley with a population of just over 5,000 people.

The painting is based on a photograph of Peachland from 1914.

"It was taken from the hillside," said Livingstone. "[It shows] the Baptist church at the time, which is our museum today. It's a beautiful eight-sided heritage building."

The picture also features the fruit packing houses that used to dominate Peachland's Beach Avenue and the S.S. Sicamous, a famous sternwheeler that used to traverse Okanagan Lake.

About 150 people filled in squares on the painting in the first week after it was opened to the public on March 24.

The idea to go for the record came from Shelley Sweeney, a director on the Peachland Community Arts Council.

"I honestly don't know," she says when asked where the inspiration came from. "I was thinking of things the arts council could do to bring more people into our beautiful art gallery, highlight Peachland during the sesquicentennial and making sure that we have additional support from the community."

To help it reach the record, the arts council is relying on out-of-town visitors like 9-year-old Parker Lakusta.

"I think it's a really fun way to have people get together for Canada's 150th anniversary," said Lakusta, who was visiting Peachland from Edmonton with his grandparents.

So how will he feel if he ends up having contributed to a record setting effort?

"Really cool," he says.

With files from Daybreak South

To listen to the radio version of this story link on the audio labelled: Peachland art gallery goes for paint by numbers world record