The Pines Long Term Care Home in Bracebridge has a new mural, courtesy of a local artist.
Kimberly Rideout-Chivers, a long-time seasonal resident who moved to Bracebridge permanently last year, donated the 7.5-foot tall 18-foot wide “Pine-Filled Muskoka Sunset” on Friday.
The mural depicts a sunset on a nonspecific body of water in Muskoka, flanked by rocks, pines, and a red canoe. As it stands in a common area, Rideout-Chivers says she hoped the piece would bring back fond memories for anyone sitting there.
“The residents and the staff, everybody was like ‘oh, that reminds me of my son’s cottage,’ and ‘that looks like our sunsets off the dock’,” says Rideout-Chivers. “It was just really wonderful to see it did exactly what I hoped it would do. It sort of brought them to different places, all happy spots.”
Rideout-Chivers says she chose The Pines for the donation after asking for suggestions on Facebook. The bulk of more than 100 community respondents voted for the home.
The piece and location also have a more personal significance. Rideout-Chivers says the red canoe bearing “BB18AUG41” is a tribute to her father, Bronte Bob, who passed away in January after spending two years in long-term-care.
“Because he was being cared for in a care home similar to The Pines, I knew that he was very well looked after and loved,” says Rideout-Chivers. “So The Pines was the perfect location, because my dad’s favourite tree is the pine tree, he lived on Pinedale Avenue in Burlington, and he had a trailer at Pine Street in Turkey Point.”
According to Rideout-Chivers, it took her about three and a half days to complete, using a mixture of wall paint and acrylic paint.
She says she hopes the donation inspires others to pay it forward.
“My hope is that somebody sees that and goes: I didn’t even think of that, I could do that. I can’t do a mural, but I could go donate my time, or drop off some clothes, or make some food and give it to somebody,” says Rideout-Chivers. “My hope is that it’s sort of like a ripple effect. You toss some goodness into the water and you watch how many times that stone can bounce.”
Rideout-Chivers is no stranger to murals, having more than 500 by her count. Last July, she donated a mural to Andy’s House, as thanks for the community’s support for her battle with cancer, which she has since beaten.
She adds that she plans to donate a mural to local education non-profit Macaulay Tree House later this month.