Montague art trail projects gearing up for summer unveiling

Steve Sharratt
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Eight works of art will be installed on buildings throughout the town

Andrew Rowe, project co-ordinator for the Art Trail project in Montague, presents an image with Mayor Richard Collins of the façade recreation of the first town hall.

MONTAGUE — Town officials here are cutting a new trail through eastern P.E.I.’s largest town.

Since the community already has a walking and hiking trail, the focus is now on the creation of an art trail.

And work is already underway to create eight works of art that will be installed throughout the town and unveiled later this year at the town’s Summer Days Festival.

“We’re very excited about the whole thing and have some great works of art lined up,’’ said Andrew Rowe, project co-ordinator for the 2014 celebrations.

Eight local artists are creating images through the winter that will be installed on town buildings such as Stewart and Beck, the A.A. building and, hopefully, on the Sobeys wall, for example.

But the recreation of the first town hall is one of the favourites for Mayor Richard Collins.

“The first town hall housed at least seven different services in one building at the same time,’’ said Collins, who spent his first term as a town councillor in the former hall before a new town centre was constructed.

Charlottetown artist Warren Reeson is creating the façade of the old town hall as it might have looked in 1938. Today it’s The Eastern Graphic building, but more than 70 years ago the structure was the town hall, library, public health, telephone office, RCMP, jail and a three-bay fire department. It contained most of those services into the early 1960s.

“I can remember as a kid we would go down to the telephone office to make our calls,’’ said Coun. Peggy MacLeod. “The operator used to let us listen in on conversations and let us pretend we were the operator when people called.”

The $15,000 project is just one accepted for the Art Trail that will encourage locals and visitors alike to tour the community. The works of art are expected to be covered and protected during the severe weather months.

Organizations: Sobeys, RCMP

Geographic location: Eastern P.E.I., Charlottetown

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