From the CCM Hall of Fame business plan files and with MLM Youth Mural model license..a continuation of the Vernon Mural Project in a BC wide plan in discussions with BC Government
2.6.c Michelle Loughery Murals (Merritt Walk of Stars Youth Mural Project)In the autumn of 2004 master muralist Michelle Loughery, the Merritt Walk of Stars Society and the City of Merritt established a partnership with the mandate to create up to 60 larger than life murals of the Country Music legends that have performed on the stage of the annual Merritt Mountain Music Festival. Michelle’s awe-inspiring talent and her genuine passion for making a difference in a community, by working to beautify a city while working with that city’s youth at risk, complimented the Walk of Stars vision of the community working together to create a stunning blend of music history and celebrity recognition in the Country Music Capital of Canada! Michelle Loughery is a world renowned muralist who among other distinctions has been commissioned by the city of New York to paint a commemorative mural for 9/11 which is now part of a collection in the prestigious Smithsonian Museum. Michelle has also been commissioned to paint many paintings for private collections and has been successfully completing youth collaborated mural projects for over 20 years in cities throughout North America. Michelle was awarded the prestigious 2005 BC Community Achievement Award, was the series of historic murals painted in the downtown of Vernon, BC.
On February 1, 2005 the Government of Canada officially sanctioned the Merritt Walk of Stars Youth Mural Project with a federal grant that would help to facilitate the hiring of 8 Youth at Risk, a Project Coordinator, a Site Manager, and Michelle to complete 6 Country Artist Murals. The community of Merritt, including the City of Merritt, various local businesses and citizens have committed to raising the additional funding required to complete the project. Luc Jansses, a talented film maker from Vernon, BC is also involved, as he is currently filming a documentary about the project, which will be used to share our story with other youth and their communities.
The youth participants on the project are hired for up to 24 weeks to not only paint with Michelle, but also to complete a variety of job and life skills training. The short term goal of the project is to inspire these youth, to go back to school, to set career goals, and/or to set up their own business. The long term goals of the project are to help build the foundations for both a tourism based local economy, and for a partnership between the community and its youth.
Since 2005 Michelle and her team have worked with over 60 local youth at risk; completed 20 murals; and helped to raise over $2 million for downtown tourism and revitalization projects in Merritt