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Community Art Gallery Gets Makeover

For an organization whose focus and mandate is to make things beautiful, it was ironic that its courtyard was not.

The Golden Prairie Arts Council in Carman decided in 2009 that it was time to give its backyard a makeover. Members applied to MAFRI’s Hometown grant program for help funding the project.

Hometown grants, started in 2004, provides money for such projects that help beautify and unite a community. Last year, 291 projects were approved for a total funding of $450,000.

Golden Prairie Arts Council, which fosters and promotes the development of arts and cultural activities in Carman and surrounding communities, received the grant and was able to create a courtyard, complete with a community garden, that everyone could enjoy. Art, which is the group’s main focus, would logically be a staple in the courtyard.

Murals done by local artists were erected in the courtyard, said Jane McDonald, Golden Prairie Arts Council co-ordinator. Eight murals done by eight local artists were created on 4×4 free-standing pieces of wood.

McDonald said it was important for the history of Carman to be maintained. Members chose a train theme because the council is operating out of an old CN railway station. “We wanted the murals to reflect the history of the building,” said McDonald.

After the success of the first project, the council decided to continue the project in 2010 and applied for another grant.

Instead of just being limited to the one building, the group decided to create murals that would be displayed throughout Carman. Staying with the train theme, eight new artists were found to create the new paintings.

The catalyst for both projects was the money provided from the Hometown grants. McDonald said the grants were wonderful and the council plans on applying for one this year so the outside of the art gallery building can be painted.


Governing bodies, non-profit community organizations, co-operatives and businesses in rural and northern communities have until March 15, 2011 to apply for funding intended to revitalize and enhance building, streets and the community environment.

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