August 24, 2016
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
DOWNTOWN WINNIPEG BIZ ‘UNWRAPS’ NEW INITIATIVE TO BEAUTIFY VACANT WINDOWS & CONSTRUCTION SITES
Downtown Winnipeg – Urban Wallpaper, an initiative led by the Downtown Winnipeg BIZ, was officially unwrapped to media, members of the business community, and the public today, as part of an ongoing strategy to change public perceptions related to the downtown. Press conference attendees were treated to a formal announcement and guided tour, demonstrating vacant windows, often considered visually undesirable and in need of maintenance, that were transformed with public art.
“Over the last decade, there has been a sense of renewed optimism in our downtown. Investments in the built form are at an all-time high, with nearly $1.26 billion in proposed development. More and more restaurants are beginning to open and festivals and events continue to draw in over a million visitors annually,” says Stefano Grande, Chief Executive Officer of the Downtown Winnipeg BIZ. “As this positive development moves forward and people turn their attention to downtown Winnipeg, we have begun to focus our efforts on spaces that have the potential of leaving a negative impression for these visitors. Urban Wallpaper is an exciting, new initiative that adds beautiful design and artistry to the physical tapestry of downtown Winnipeg.”
Urban Wallpaper aims to integrate jury selected printed artwork in uninviting vacant windows, on temporary protective structures at construction sites, as well as other empty spaces located within the downtown. The objectives are to transform and enliven vacant areas, add to the quality of the neighbourhood and improve the visual landscape of the downtown area. This year’s designs were sponsored in part by SRS Signs & Services.
“SRS Signs & Services is proud to sponsor this important initiative,” says Shane Storie, president of SRS Signs & Services. “We’re proud to be a community partner, working towards building a stronger sense of pride and appreciation for art, in all of its forms. Urban Wallpaper takes the passion from creative Winnipeggers ─ literally putting on display local art for the entire public to enjoy in a new and inspired way.”
The Downtown Winnipeg BIZ received over 90 entries from 31 artists for the Urban Wallpaper design competition. The four winning designs were created by Rayna Masterton, Jesse Warkentin, Kyongmi Hong, and Isabelle Kilimnik. The Urban Wallpaper unveiled today can be found at five downtown locations: 263 Kennedy Street, 265 Kennedy Street, Portage Place Shopping Centre’s Freshcut Downtown window, 320 Donald Street, and 346 Donald Street. A special thanks to our downtown partners and properties owners, Public Capital Company, Capital Commercial Real Estate Services, and Portage Place Shopping Centre, for their support on the Urban Wallpaper Initiative.
Visit www.downtownwinnipegbiz.com/urban-wallpaper to learn more about the initiative, the artists, or to request urban wallpaper for your own downtown property.
– 30 –
Emily Ormonde, Marketing & Communications Coordinator
Downtown Winnipeg BIZ
Phone: (204) 958-4626