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Salmon art for old bus garage

This David E. Blackmore art will adorn the old bus garage after a Town of Qualicum Beach council vote on Monday night. - Photo illustration provided by Town of Qualicum Beach
This David E. Blackmore art will adorn the old bus garage after a Town of Qualicum Beach council vote on Monday night.
— image credit: Photo illustration provided by Town of Qualicum Beach

He's the last person on Qualicum Beach council one would think would vote against anything related to salmon, but Scott Tanner did just that Monday night.

He was out-voted 4-1 however, and the old bus garage in Qualicum Beach will be adorned with a local artist David E. Blackmore's depiction of salmon in their run up a river.

It's the culmination of a process that included the input of a working group comprised of people with experience in design, engineering, marketing, fine arts and business, led by the town's cultural consultant Patricia Huntsman. There was a Call to Artists that included specific criteria and a points system based on things like transferability, site responsiveness and artistic excellence.

A group submission of four different images by artists Merv Brandel, Peggy Burkosky, Dan Gray and Roger Moore received the highest score with 236 points, only three ahead of Blackmore's 233 points. Staff made the recommendation to go with Blackmore's piece

Tanner, often seen at events related to salmon and the host of River's Day activities in Qualicum Beach last fall, preferred the four-panel work, which he said was "a little more diverse, more detail in it. I love salmon but you've seen one salmon, you've seen them all."

"Qualicum" is an anglicized version of the Salish word "sqal-li," meaning "where the dog salmon run."

The Blackmore's piece — which can be moved elsewhere intact when the garage is eventually torn down — will be in place likely by April, council heard.

The entire budget for the purchase of the art and all production costs is between $1,700-$2,800. Final numbers aren't in, but Huntsman said the total will fall between those numbers.

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