A new mural is adding a big splash of colour to the community of Crescent Heights, north of Calgary's downtown.
It's a collaboration between four well-known Calgary artists and the local Business Improvement Area, celebrating the area's cultural diversity and touching on the theme of hope during the COVID-19 pandemic.
You have to look up to see it. The mural is painted on a rooftop wall at 1318 Centre Street, opposite the Tim Hortons.
It features large, colourful faces, Chinese lettering, a downtown scene and a queen bee, incorporating the artists' unique styles in one place.
"It was funded in response to the devastating effects of COVID-19 and it represents community, inclusion, hope and the beauty of diversity," said artist Scott Clark.
Clark worked with fellow artists Dean Stanton, Hugo Dubon and Patricia Ricofort to make it happen, along with a team of more than 15 volunteers from the community. Each artist painted a separate section.
"It shows the possibilities of what a team can do when they work together," said Clark.
"You're inspiring each other. We even started doing the same shapes subconsciously as we were painting. It's one big story with many people coming together to form it," Clark said.
The group found out they had secured funding from the City of Calgary only last week and were hard at work less than 72 hours later on a rooftop trying to beat the weather and possibility of colder temperatures.
Camie Leard, executive director of the Crescent Heights Village BIA, says projects like this one help elevate the pedestrian experience along Centre Street and celebrate what is a unique community.
"It's been a tough time for small businesses, and Crescent Heights Village is full of them. The hope they've shown through this time, this is a testament to them," said Leard.
"People from all over the world live and do business here. People from China, Japan, Korea, Lebanon, Africa — you name it. And it makes for a really beautiful community," Laird said.
Laird says the neighbourhood's colours, vibrancy and diversity are all reflected in the mural, including a strong Chinese community and presence.
You can see the mural by heading south toward downtown along Centre Street.