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The grow mural in Fort Sask
Fort Sask

Fort Saskatchewan: A City That Paints A Thousand Words

In Fort Saskatchewan, art is not just a hobby; it's a way of life that brings the community together

Art is an expression of just about anything your mind can create. In Fort Saskatchewan’s case, art is an expression of place

According to the city’s website, the presence of art encourages people to take pride in public spaces and can transform a community into a more welcoming and beautiful environment.

To emphasize the importance of art, Fort Saskatchewan created the Art in Public Places Program to create a city that represents its residents.

Through the project, the city purchases two pieces of art per year to place on public display for all residents and visitors to enjoy. 

The program is meant to achieve the following benefits:

  • A demonstration of the city’s clear belief in the importance of culture, heritage and creativity in the lives of individuals and communities.
  • Increased public appreciation and awareness of art.
  • An enhanced sense of community pride and identity.
  • Increased opportunities for dialogue amongst citizens regarding their community and the issues that affect it.
  • A lasting legacy for future generations.

You can find all sorts of art scattered throughout Fort Saskatchewan. 

Every piece of art carries a story or represents the community in some way.

For example, a Big Piece of the Puzzle statue features a trade worker holding a “piece of the puzzle” on a chain. 

The mural on the side of the Fort Saskatchewan water tower
The mural on the side of the Fort Saskatchewan water tower | Fort Sask

The statue was made by artist Tom Hjoleifson and is dedicated to Fort Saskatchewan’s skilled trade workers.

Another piece of art can be found 150 feet in the air painted on the city’s water tower! 

A mural is painted on the tower’s exterior and shows a series of cartoon people holding hands.

The mural was designed by a 13-year-old girl from the community during a 1995 contest to give the water tower a makeover. 

The mural was painted by an artist and their assistant over three weeks. The painting had to be done from ladders tied to the railing of the tower’s catwalk.

Imagine climbing the equivalent of a 15-story building to get to work every day. There’s no questioning the artists’ passion for the project! 

The city’s Acres of Dreams statue captures a family’s hopes and dreams as they arrive off the train to start their new life. 

The statue was made by Don and Shirley Begg, who are known for creating many famous statues, including Cochrane’s Legacy Statue.

A Feast For Your Eyes

A statue of Olive, the longest serving member of the city's Sheep Grazing Program
A statue of Olive, the longest serving member of the city’s Sheep Grazing Program | Don and Shirley Begg | Fort Sask

Talking to some people feels like talking to a brick wall, but downtown Fort Saskatchewan will have you staring at brick walls instead. 

In Fort Saskatchewan, brick walls are more than blocks of clay – they are canvases for beautiful murals that each tell a story. 

Local artist Ashley Rosenow of Illustrious Interiors created the city’s Grow in Fort Saskatchewan mural, which features a diverse mix of wildlife, flowers, and text. 

“Each flower, plant, and symbol was carefully selected to represent many of our newcomers in our city,” said Rosenow. 

Viktoriia Yalanska, Fort Saskatchewan’s Downtown Development Coordinator, was once a newcomer but was warmly welcomed by the city.

“I’m from Ukraine…I was transferred from one difficult circumstance (to) this incredible place where I found a sort of new family, new friends, and a very friendly and different community,” Yalanska told CBC News.

One of Ashley Rosenow's murals called "We All Belong" in downtown S
One of Ashley Rosenow’s murals called We All Belong in downtown Saskatchewan | Fort Sask

Rosenow took symbols from many different cultures and skillfully incorporated them into her mural. 

For example, the mural’s red rose and heliconia represent Columbia, while the plum blossom represents China. According to Rosenow, the 700-square-foot mural took her eight days to complete. 

Another floral-themed mural, “In Bloom,” was painted by brothers Dave and Allan Thomas of Flying Colors Murals.

The mural, painted on the side of the Twice but Nice thrift store, showcases a variety of colourful flowers that will tickle your brain even if you don’t have an artistic bone in your body. 

The brothers’ mural was inspired by the flowers growing at Legacy Park in the city’s downtown area.

“These floral murals are here to remind us that the combinations of shapes and colours always look great. They reveal the beauty and immense power of nature,” said the brothers. 

The picturesque "Welcome to Fort Sask" mural | Dave Thomas |  Fort Sask
The picturesque Welcome to Fort Sask mural | Dave Thomas |  Fort Sask

If you are looking for a photo op, Dave Thomas’ “Welcome to Fort Sask” is the perfect mural to post on social media. 

Thomas’ mural, inspired by traditional “greetings from” postcards, was designed to welcome visitors to downtown Fort Saskatchewan. Each letter in the mural celebrates local landmarks and scenes. 

Another mural by Rosenow, We All Belong, speaks to the city’s cultural diversity, unity, and inclusivity. 

The mural incorporates different skin tones and shows two hands pressed together to form a rainbow-coloured heart with the text We All Belong at the top. 

These are just some incredible murals found throughout downtown Fort Saskatchewan. 

The city’s murals are more than just painted bricks; they represent the many people who call Fort Saskatchewan home.  

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