My Montreal Bucket List: MURAL Street Art Walk

The Paria Crew. MURAL Festival, 2013. Photo by Annie Shreeve The Paria Crew. MURAL Festival, 2013. Photo by Annie Shreeve

There are many special aspects about Montreal. It is such a beautiful city and I admire its wonderful artistic and cultural scene. There are many days I wander and find myself glancing and admiring the many art works that colour the streets. The huge and small murals that fill blank spaces on random walls. What isn’t amazing about that!?

A'Shop. MURAL Festival, 2013. Photo by Annie Shreeve

A’Shop. MURAL Festival, 2013. Photo by Annie Shreeve

So whilst I was admiring the works of various Montreal and New York City artists a few days ago at Station 16 Gallery, I started speaking with Ally Jagodzinski who told me all about the “MURAL Festival”. A walk along Saint Laurent Boulevard, and a couple of the surrounding streets, MURAL is a chance to see all the organised street art from local and international artists. As part of a summertime festival which was held in June this year, the art stays present for all to admire for many months afterwards.

Other. MURAL Festival, 2013. Photo by Annie Shreeve

Other. MURAL Festival, 2013. Photo by Annie Shreeve

So after chatting with Jagodzinski, and often admiring the street art in the city, I decided this was a perfect Montreal bucket list activity before the harsh winter sets in.

On this beautiful sunny day, I grabbed my MURAL street map from Station 16 Gallery and got started on my walk. An awesome activity to do solo or with friends, the art is amazing. Each piece, bright! And everything was so different, that it makes this entire area so incredibly interesting. But what I love most about the walk and also the festival itself (in the summertime) is the community and city spirit within each project.

Kashink. MURAL Festival, 2014. Photo by Annie Shreeve

Kashink. MURAL Festival, 2014. Photo by Annie Shreeve

Speaking with Ally Jagodzinski from Station 16 Gallery, she says, Mural is an important festival for both local and international street artists, and also, for the community. It is a chance to highlight both local and international talents and allow the art to be accessible to everyone. This is, “a unique interaction that normally does not occur between artists and viewers. Although many festivals like this exist around the world, MURAL is the only festival of its kind in Canada. The festival is one of the leading movement and promoters of street art in Canada.”

Escif. MURAL Festival, 2013. Photo by Annie Shreeve

Escif. MURAL Festival, 2013. Photo by Annie Shreeve

Itni. MURAL Festival, 2014. Photo by Annie Shreeve

Itni. MURAL Festival, 2014. Photo by Annie Shreeve

“The murals from the festival help bring new life, creativity, and public interaction to the city. When you stroll St-Laurent and start to notice the murals, it helps bring attention to other forms or street art that also cover the city and are designed as ‘gifts’ to the public. Murals and street art are a way of engaging the artist and the public, whether that be over a social/political/economic issue, or simply through creative expression and aesthetic delight,” Ally Jagodzinski said.

Alex Scaner. MURAL Festival, 2014. Photo by Annie Shreeve

Alex Scaner. MURAL Festival, 2014. Photo by Annie Shreeve

MURAL is only two years old, but already artists and locals alike have seen growth in the festival. For the past two years, the festival has been held over a long weekend, but with a ten-day event planned for 2015, there is sure to be wonderful amounts of street art and colour down the boulevard next summertime.

The MURAL festival is held in the summer, however the MURAL walk is free to do anytime. Collect a map from Station 16 Gallery at 3523 St Laurent Blvd and enjoy the art at your leisure!

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