A bit of history to be preserved in Brooke-Alvinston

A mural of the original Alvinston Arena - the Crystal Palace - is one of paintings to be replicated for removable photos as Brooke-Alvinston renovates the community centre.

Murals of Brooke-Alvinston’s past in the community centre will be painted over – but they won’t disappear.

The murals show the agricultural history of the area as well as local landmarks and have been a fixture in the hall for decades.

The municipality is renovating the hall and wants to remove the murals.

Councillor Jamie Armstrong, say its time for a fresh look saying it sometimes “interferes with the ability for people to come in for weddings.”

But the move has prompted concern from some people. “All these pictures mean something to them,” said Councillor Frank Nemcek at the June 11 meeting.

Staff recommended taking digital photos of the murals and then having them mounted to be hung in the hall and then removed if the renters don’t want them there.

Originally, staff suggested the replicas could be the same size as the current murals, however councillors worried they would be too large to move.

Council agreed to have a professional to come in and take high quality pictures of the murals and council could decide later what size they should be.

Reproducing the murals will cost $3,500. The municipality has set aside $75,000 to renovate the hall which will include new paint, insulation and refinishing the wood floor.

Mayor Dave Ferguson is pleased the murals will be saved. “Doing this preserves history and refreshes one of the largest licenced halls in the area,” says Ferguson.

Work on the renovation will begin soon, since the building is closed at this time due to COVID-19 restrictions.