Remembrance Day will soon have Rosslanders gathering at the Cenotaph near our library to remember and honour all the lives sacrificed in wars. Now, our somber meditations on wars and their results will be enhanced – not only on Remembrance Day, but all year long for years to come – by the beauty of a new mural gracing the east-facing wall of the building next to the cenotaph.
This new mural is the outcome of one citizen`s vision, shared with others and developed to its current reality. Bill Coedy had the idea, and others helped it evolve. The Rossland Council for Arts and Culture, a Columbia Basin Trust Public Art Grant, and donations from the Nelson and District Credit Union and the Rossland Legion, plus the generous permission from the building`s owners to use the wall where the mural is mounted, all helped bring the vision to fruition.
The artist, Tyler Toews (last name pronounced taves), was chosen by an evaluation committee from among the Columbia Basin artists who responded to a Call for Proposals. Now based in Nelson, Tyler has created murals across Canada. For this one, he was asked to convey a sense of peace and commemoration with images of alpine meadow wildflowers – and poppies.
Tyler wrote, “The local wildflowers and the big poppy symbolize peace and commemoration. With the iconic local mountains in the background this peaceful image is tied to the local area and its people. Just as many gave their lives fighting for our freedom, a gift that keeps giving, the alpine meadow flowers bless us with their beauty year after year. At the first mountain frost the flowers give their lives as some Rosslanders did during WW1, WW2 and Korea”.
Observers will note that the petals of the huge poppy seem to blend into the forms of the background mountains.
Thank you, Tyler Toews.
And thank you to all who contributed to bringing this beautiful mural to Rossland.
Below: a few stages of the installation. The artist is wearing the yellow toque. (Photos by Sara Golling.)