New art at Portage and Main celebrates communities of downtown Winnipeg

October 7, 2022, Treaty No. 1 territory, Winnipeg, MB – The artwork on the barricades at Winnipeg’s iconic Portage and Main intersection is being replaced, bringing a new and refreshed large-scale mural to this important location. The new artwork celebrates our diverse community in downtown Winnipeg.“The Downtown Winnipeg BIZ is hopeful that one day the intersection will be open to pedestrians but until that day comes, it is important the area is highlighted as the heart of our city where commerce, arts and culture all come together,” says Kate Fenske, CEO of the Downtown Winnipeg BIZ.

The goal of the new artwork, designed by local artist Jonato Dalayoan, is to add energy to the intersection and help beautify our downtown, while being inclusive and celebrating our community. 

“The word ‘pulse’ was part of the inspiration for the design and refers to what we as a community all have in common,” says Jonato Dalayoan, artist and owner of 4two Design Inc. “Whether rich or poor or different ethnicities, we all have the same colour blood and we all have a pulse.”

Chosen through a selection process, Dalayoan’s design is cultural and community-focused and honours diversity and inclusion where our community intersects.

Inspiration for the mural was also found through the merging or the coming and going of people in the intersection, which can almost be compared to the action of weaving. The design features a unique pattern representing our collective culture and was inspired by commonalities found in traditional woven patterns from Cree, Métis, Ukrainian, Filipino, African, and Norwegian cultures.

“The goal was to create a design we all can be proud of and call our own Manitoba pattern. One culture made up of unique people,” says Dalayoan. 

The barricades were first painted in June 2019 with art that celebrated the Pride Parade coming back to Portage Avenue.