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Sicamous banner project participants upset after council opts for branding on Main Street

Organizer unhappy with lack of communication from district for project in its 23rd year
The Sicamous Community Banner Project’s 2023 creations so far are united by the theme ‘bees and butterflies.’ Only 20 of the hand-painted banners will be hung this year in Sicamous, and none on Main Street, as per a council decision which banner organizers say they weren’t consulted on. (Rebecca Willson- Eagle Valley News)

Although it’s going strong in its 23rd year, the Sicamous Community Banner Project has to downsize.

For the 2023 season, Sicamous council decided at its Jan. 11 meeting that of the 60 spaces where banners will be displayed in town, only 20 of those will feature the groups’s hand-painted banners, and spots on Main Street will only showcase the district’s branded banners.

READ MORE: Request to display more hand-painted banners in Sicamous at odds with district marketing

Organizer Vreny Bieri said that while she understands the marketing decision to have the branded banners along Main Street, she feels the group wasn’t included in the discussion about how many banners they’d get to paint, and said she wan’t invited to the council meeting to collaborate or hear the final decision.

“Most of the painters are not really happy with that decision and they think their banners are so important they should be on Main Street,” said Bieri. “I really do understand how it looks more professional, but council decided different from previous years without having a conversation with me about it.”

This is the project’s second year based out of the Red Barn, having previously gathered and painted elsewhere in town. After years of pandemic restrictions and a period of time where the Red Barn was closed due to air circulation issues, Bieri said the group is recovering and she thinks 20 banners is a good goal for them to accomplish.

The issue, she said, was the lack of conversation with council.

“I just think it’s not really excellent support from council for a community project that’s been around for 23 years,” said Bieri.

Bieri said she had multiple people calling her asking about council’s decision, and said it shocked the community.

This year’s banner theme is bees and butterflies, and the project is still welcoming more painters to create their vision. Painting continues until March 14, every day from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Contact Vreny Bieri at 250-836-4396 to arrange a time.

The cost is $15 for a banner and paint and an additional $15 if you want to take your banner home after the season is over. There will also be a final showcase March 25 to 26 at the Red Barn, alongside other artists operating out of the barn like the photography club.

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Rebecca Willson

About the Author: Rebecca Willson

I took my first step into the journalism industry in November 2022 when I moved to Salmon Arm to work for the Observer and Eagle Valley News. I graduated with a journalism degree in December 2021 from MacEwan University in Edmonton.
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