Lorne Pavelick says he feels mixed emotions when he drives past the new nine-foot tall mural of his son Misha Pavelick, but mainly gratitude.
"It's emotional. It's kind of a recognition from the neighborhood too that he was here and he was just beginning his adult life," Pavelick said.
Fifteen years ago, Misha was killed at a May long weekend camping party near Regina Beach in 2006. The investigation is still ongoing, and this week the RCMP also released a podcast about the murder.
Earlier this weekend, Pavelick, friends of Misha and the artist Jayde Goodon smudged at the wall before Goodon spent about 20 hours creating the mural. Goodon was a close friend of Misha's and contacted Pavelick about wanting to create the mural for this year's Cathedral Village Arts Festival, Pavelick said.
"I was surprised and emotional because it's so unique," Pavelick said. "He said this was the one thing he thought he could do in honour of him … there are no words to describe what I feel about this."
Pavelick said the mural's also a testament to Goodon's skills, and it's become an informal meeting place for people remembering him 15 years after his death. Misha's friends, friends of the family and people from the neighbourhood have all been stopping by, he said.
Artist calls on people at party 15 years ago to 'speak up'
Goodon and Misha were friends in high school, and the two were supposed to go to the party together the night Misha was killed, but Goodon didn't end up going. Goodon said Misha was a funny guy that made people laugh.
"And every year I'm just trying to help as much as I can with getting his name out so people can kind of refresh your memory and maybe say something that could help solve the murder," Goodon said. "I wanted to really put this face out there so people remember him."
Goodon now lives in Saskatoon and said this needs to be talked about. A Regina artist, Josh Goff, will be finishing off the mural with flowers.
"The family wants closure and it's not there just to remind someone that someone passed away. It's more to remind someone that, 'Hey, this hasn't been solved yet and it needs to be figured out,'" Goodon said. "Speak up."
Kat Marshall has been watching the mural go up from a distance. Misha's older sister now lives in the United States.
"He was the most beautiful baby boy I had ever seen. He had big brown eyes and the longest eyelashes. We fought and played together like all siblings do. I think he always wanted my attention," Marshall wrote from her home in Georgia.
"If I had been there that night I would have done anything I could to protect him. He was a good-natured kid. He never would intentionally cause harm to someone else. He was nice. He cared. I really wish I had more time with him. I miss him but I also miss what was stolen from us."
Marshall said watching the mural go up from afar was overwhelming. She said it's hard enough for regular people to keep friends, but for his friends to still think of him 15 years after his death is incredibly humbling. She said she hopes to view it in person someday.
"I'm so grateful Misha still has loyal friends. It speaks to who he was as a person," she said. "Jayde captured Misha perfectly and he was committed to doing so. It meant as much to him as it did to us."
The mural can be seen at 3015 13th Ave. and will be up for one year. Lorne said he hopes having such a visual mural stimulates someone into saying something and telling RCMP or Crime Stoppers what happened that night. Lorne said he also hopes Goodon knows he's so proud of him and his talent of capturing Lorne's son.