Monday, June 24, 2024

One of Canada’s largest graffiti events is coming to Esquimalt this September

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Art lovers, curious onlookers, and everything in between, you won’t want to miss this!

Beginning from mid-August until the beginning of September, the Township of Esquimalt will be bustling with over 50 graffiti artists as a part of the Trackside Paint Jam — all of them rocking cans of spray paint as they prepare to unveil their masterpiece to you.

On Monday, September 4th, you’re invited to witness their outdoor grand-finale event at the Trackside Art Gallery, where the artists will curate their own vibrant images as a part of the final installation!

Here, audiences can expect to see larger-than-life urban art pieces that have been painted on the backs of the warehouses along the E&N Rail Trail between Hereward Road and Lampson Street. 

According to the release, this event follows a larger project that began in 2022 to bring renewed interest and resources to the Trackside Art Gallery — an area with an abundance of history that artists and volunteers have worked passionately to protect over the years. 

“This year’s graffiti jam is pretty exciting,” says co-organizer Jason Colville. 

“We were able to remove the defunct panels at the top of the Trackside Art Gallery. This year we are using that recovered space to provide opportunities to a diverse group of experienced graffiti and mural artists to create large-scale works that aren’t typically done in the area.”

This year marks the third year Colville and his team have organized the Trackside Paint Jam, but it’s the first time they’re openly inviting the public to attend as there used to be some questions regarding the legality of the site. 

However, this year they collaborated with Esquimalt Community Arts Hub to get permission from the CRD, Township of Esquimalt, and all the building owners to run the event. 

“It’s been important to us that all of our artists feel safe and welcome to participate,” Colville said. 

“And it’s a great opportunity to educate the public around the importance of urban art in our communities.” 

Because for Colville, graffiti is more than just an image on a wall — it’s a complex story, a unique voice and form of expression, as well as a window into the community.

And according to the artists, that is exactly what The Trackside Paint Jam is all about.

It’s giving these artists a space to share their stories, celebrate their roots, and connect with one another.

The Trackside Paint Jam

  • Where: Trackside Art Gallery, E&N Rail Trail in Esquimalt
  • When: Monday, September 4th from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.

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