The Nelson International Mural Festival is welcoming just over 40 artists this year to the city this weekend.
“It is not just artists from the local area, but from as far away as Vancouver,” says Sydney Black, executive director for Nelson & District Arts Council.
“We started out pre-pandemic with only having 200 people who attended when Mural Festival first started, and now we see audiences coming in that total in the thousands,” says Black.
Mural Festival started in 2018 and continues to grow exponentially as the demand for murals and artwork grow in the city.
The Nelson & District Arts Council has always kept the festival free since its original conception five years ago, and if they still have funding coming in then spectators will not have to pay to attend.
“Mural Festival is about bringing people together and recognizing the hard work and dedication from the artists,” says Black.
“We want everyone to experience it and that is why charging for the event is not an option.”
Operating expenses for the festival are covered through funding from the City of Nelson, government of Canada, BC Arts Council, Columbia Basin Trust, and Canada Council for Art.
“We have been able to grow our budget through public funding, and 16 grants we receive throughout the year and murals that businesses pay for.”
“Leftover money goes directly back to the community and artists.”
The festival will be in various locations throughout the city. The complete list of events can be found on the Nelson & District Arts Council website.