It took only five days to complete but the mural by DRiFT Mural Co. on the side of the Norwood Theatre in Bracebridge will last for decades.
“I think it’s a great addition to our downtown,” said Deputy Mayor Brenda Rhodes at the unveiling of the piece.
Anaϊs Labrèque and Dominic Laporte, the co-founding members of the Ottawa-based DRiFT, explain they never visited Bracebridge before stepping foot in town last week to begin work on the mural. “We’re so honoured to be able to add a piece of public art to this amazing town,” says Laporte.
DRiFT was one of 13 applications that Bracebridge’s Public Arts Advisory Committee sorted through in May 2023.
Laporte explains his partner Labrèque did most of the research for the mural while he handled the painting.
“We’re not from here so seeing what you’re proud of and what you want to see in the mural,” she explains. “We try to really leave something behind that people will be proud of.”
In researching the area, Labrèque says it became clear very quickly how important nature is. After deciding on the theme of earth, air, and water, she got to work finding images that would not only look good when blown up and painted but would also flow together well. The three panels are right next to each other on the north-facing wall of the Norwood Theatre.
Laporte says some of the included features are a fisherman in a canoe, a monarch butterfly, a Great Blue Heron, and a Lake Trout.
“Watching this come to life was such a thrill,” says Lindsay Alexander, Chair of the Bracebridge Business Improvement Area. “It brings such colour and vibrancy to our downtown.”
She is also a business owner in downtown Bracebridge and adds she’s hopeful this is the first step in seeing many more beautiful murals painted throughout the town.