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Public art wall at fire site

A public art wall for the community to write their thoughts on what New Westminster means to them has been erected at the site of the Oct. 10 fire on Columbia Street.

The wall is called Moments Made in New West and is a collaboration between the city, Tourism New Westminster and the Downtown New Westminster Business Improvement Association (BIA).

"This is a great initiative that truly captures the spirit of our community," said Mayor Wayne Wright. "While the fire on Columbia was devastating, this event has caused many to take a close look at what our community is all about and express ideas about where we are headed. The Moments Made in New West wall is an outlet for people to share their hopes and aspirations for their city."

It's also part of a two-month campaign to attract people to the city's revitalized downtown in the wake of the fire. The wall has the words history, celebrate, future, memories, community and experiences on it, and encourages residents and visitors to share their thoughts on what those words mean to them in connection with New West.

"We want the wall to not only be filled with kind messages to the fire-affected businesses, but also with stories of memorable moments people have had in New Westminster throughout the years," said Tej Kainth, executive director of Tourism New Westminster. "The purpose of the wall is to celebrate the changing times of our historic Downtown … This community is amazing and we know that at the end of the day, this wall is going to capture the spirit that makes New Westminster so special."

BIA representatives and Tourism New Westminster will be on hand during Saturday's Santa Claus Parade, 11 a.m. to 1 p.m., with markers for any parade-goers wanting to add their thoughts to the wall.

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