Nanaimo Community Raises Money to Fix Defaced Pride Mural

Written on 07/19/2021
Staff Columnist

A defaced Pride mural in Nanaimo will be redone after over $5000 was raised for it — the Nanaimo News Bulletin reported.

On July 3, black paint was smeared over the rainbow-coloured crosswalk at Commercial and Bastion Streets. The same happened to a mural painted on Wallace Street side of the old A&B Sound building. The RCMP is investigating both incidents as hate crimes.

One day later, the artist who painted the mural, Lys Glassford of Humanity in Art, posted a GoFundMe fundraiser to replace the mural. In one week, the goal of $5,000 was exceeded.

“It was incredible to have the amount of community support that we did … it was really wonderful,” Lyn Glassford said to the Nanaimo News Bulletin.

The other half of Humanity in Art, Lauren Semple, said it was heartbreaking to see the vandalism.

“We knew it’d either have to get fixed or the mural had to be taken down as soon as possible so that more youth and vulnerable people in our community wouldn’t be exposed to the act of hate,” Semple said.

Unfortunately, the mural cannot be restored, but the duo decided to cover it up and create a new mural somewhere else.

“The condition of the building is pretty old. It’s probably not going to stand up to power washing, and we need quite a bit of repainting to take it back to where it was,” Semple explained.

“And so Lys and I were talking and decided that it would be a better use of our community resources and energy to turn our attention to finding a new, more permanent mural spot.”

The duo is in the process of scouting out other locations for the new mural.

“Once we do find a permanent location, we’re going to invite others, especially the youth in our 2SLGBTQ community, to come and help us create this mural,” they said.

 “We really want it to be a community collaboration, and we’re going to donate our time as muralists to help this come to life.”

(Image Credit: Lys Glassford)