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Residents in the Calgary community of Sunnyside have taken to getting their garages and fences painted with murals, brightening up the community.

Photography by Todd Korol

It has been a tough year for art around the world. Artists have not had a venue to hang their art. Galleries have locked the doors trying to ensure the safety of patrons and staff.

In the little community of Sunnyside in northwest Calgary, more than 20 new pieces of art have been added to the community’s collection. Their collection is free to anyone who walks down the alleyways – the canvases are the residences’ garage doors.

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A poem is posted outside a home on a fence post in the community of Sunnyside, part of one of Canada's largest art walks.

What started out as a few homeowners painting murals on their garage doors has now grown into one of Canada’s largest outdoor art walks, featuring murals of polar bears, Olympic cross-country skiers, magpies and much more.

“It’s snowballing now,” homeowner Christie Page says. “It’s become a place where people from outside the city come and look at our art. It’s a place you want to stop and visit. I feel it’s made our neighbourhood safer and better for businesses.”

A golden moose sculpture stands on a front porch in Sunnyside, on Nov. 21, 2020.

Ms. Page has created an Instagram page for the art walk; she’s also added it as a location on Google Maps.

This past summer, the community received a grant to get more garages painted, helping struggling city artists in the process.

One of the garages of Sunnyside, part of one of Canada's largest art walks.

In these days of physical distancing, art fans can safely visit the neighbourhood and view the outdoor exhibition that has grown with sculptures, small outdoor art galleries and painted fences.

“You can hire an artist, or just get some paint and paint it yourself. Draw a stick man or a flower,” Ms. Page says.

“It all makes our neighbourhood better.”

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