The mural on the wall of the Pharmasave in Keremeos. (Submitted/Nikki Elgie)

Keremeos’ newest mural represents inclusion and diversity

Seven youth artists worked countless hours on the project

Keremeos officially debuted their newest mural on Sunday on the side of the local Pharmasave.

The mural was created by a group of local grade 11 students with funding from the Canadian Women’s Federation and support from the Lower Similkameen Community Services Society.

“They have spent countless volunteer hours, including many over March break to develop and execute their vision,” said coordinator Susan DeWolf. “This striking mural is the talented teens beautiful, powerful and is a lasting gift to the community.”

The goal of the piece is to help create awareness, inclusion and diversity for women, girls and people from the LGBTQ2S+ community. The group of teens hopes to inspire open conversations of hope, light and optimism and communicate that the Similkameen Valley is a place of respect, safety and acceptance for everyone who lives here.

The Inclusive Leadership Grant is designed to fund any program, project and initiative that support women, girls, trans, and non-binary people to practice leadership skills and help participants understand that there is more than one way to lead.

The seven teen artists — Teigan Peterson, Kayleigh Brown, Rajpreet Lidhar, Christine Gray, Satwinder Rai, Elizabeth Omojuwa and Aleena Harrell —volunteered in January to co-create the mural and spent countless hours on the project.

That time spent included the teens’ March break, hours after school each week and hours over many weekends.

The elements within the mural each have their own meanings.

The new mural on the outside of the Keremeos Pharmasave and what the various elements symbolize.

The sky represents infinite possibilities, the clouds represent creativity and play, K-Mountain represents Keremeos and strength, the crown represents wholeness and joy, the blossoms represent inclusion and diversity, the vines represent courage and growth, Mother Nature is a symbol of wellness of all, the trees and sage represent wisdom and transformation, the rocks represent the earth and being grounded and the Similkameen River represents the flow of life.

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