The Niagara Pumphouse Arts Centre wants to beautify Niagara Stone Road through Virgil to coincide with a regional road reconstruction planned for the summer of 2023.
With a 28-year history of promoting art through many programs and events, Lise Andreana told councillors Monday, the mission of the pumphouse is to engage, enrich and celebrate the diverse and growing population through visual arts. Their goals are to advocate for local artists and increase the quality of cultural tourism in
Niagara-on-the-Lake, and to that end, Andreana
was proposing a project to help the town “achieve its goals for Virgil beautification.”
One of the pumphouse projects is in its fourth year of improving the streetscape through hydro box beautification, implemented in several areas of the Old Town.
Andreana wants to work with Arnie Lepp, owner of Niagara Ochard and Vineyard, and local artist Ron Clavier to have one of Clavier’s paintings that represents the agricultural community replicated on the side of the Niagara Stone Road building. It will improve the streetscape by introducing visual art to public-facing buildings, she said.
Andreana estimated the project will cost $20,000, and was at council to ask the town to fund it.
The project has been endorsed by grower Kai Wiens, who called it “a rare chance to marry art, culture, tourism, and agriculture in one beautiful package. Let’s not lose this moment but embrace this rare moment of partnership for generations to come,” he said.
Councillors discussed sending the request to staff to consider in the 2023 budget, but Coun. Erwin Wiens said while he loves the idea, he would like to see a fundraiser to help pay for it, in particular asking the agricultural community to contribute.
After a brief discussion, councillors agreed there is no rush to approve it,
although Lord Mayor Betty Disero said she would like to see it installed as soon as possible following next year’s road reconstruction.
Council approved a motion to endorse the project, ask staff for a report back, and seek donations from the agricultural community to help fund it.