Virden’s action-packed mural celebrates MB 150

Feast your eyes! A newly finished Manitoba 150 Mural Mosaic can be seen along a lane in the heart of downtown Virden. This mural on the side wall of Gopher Creek Coffee Company at 143 Nelson St. W. is vibrant with colour and depth, taking you into scenes of a century ago.

Virden mayor, Murray Wright has heard “all good comments” for this professional work and says, “Hopefully this won’t be the last one we will see in Virden.”

article continues below

During the summer of 1883, the Canadian Pacific Railway (CPR) main line brought steam-powered trains through Virden, crossing Gopher Creek.

There are some clever details of the mural that you cannot see from the street. Step into the alley to spot a saucy gopher peeking out of a vintage training plane.

The painting is surrounded by some of the very heritage buildings that are depicted in the scene.

The mother/daughter team of artists from Harding, Mary and Erica Lowe, created this mural as commissioned by Arts Mosaic Inc. They began the work in August and painted for 12 days, working during the coolest hours of this hot summer.

This is just one of several MB 150 murals that the Lowes are adorning communities with this year. Mary is a renowned Manitoba artist. Erica paints alongside in these projects. Mary says of her partner, “She’s had some good ideas, I’m so glad she works with me.” Erica also takes care of the business side, applying for the mural commissions. 

Using a good photo of the town scene, the artists projected this onto the wall for their basic drawing. Mary drew the train free-hand which is a powerful image in this scene of days gone by.

This unique mural will undoubtedly be a talking point for tourists and citizens alike. It was created through the sponsorship of Virden Area Foundation, Arts Mosaic Inc. and the Town of Virden. Paint for the project was donated by Home Hardware in Virden.

© Virden Empire-Advance