Oct 122017
 

Gimli Seawall Gallery, a collection of murals on a protective wall on the pier, is a favourite tourist attraction in Gimli, Manitoba

The Gimli Seawall Gallery of murals is a popular attraction in Gimli, Manitoba

Gimli, a small town in Manitoba’s Interlake region, is located on the western shores of Lake Winnipeg about an hour’s drive north of the city of Winnipeg. Lake Winnipeg is a large lake with sandy beaches and wide open waters containing pickerel (known as walleye in other parts of the world), whitefish, goldeye, and other fish. Fishing and tourism are key parts of Gimli’s economy. Boating is popular and the marina in Gimli Harbour contains yachts, sailboats, and other fishing and pleasure vessels.

Looking toward Gimli Harbour from the Seawall Gallery

One of the attractions in Gimli Harbour has nothing to do with boats. It is the gallery of murals on the seawall running the length of the pier.

Gimli Seawall Gallery, a collection of murals on a protective wall on the pier, is a favourite tourist attraction in Gimli, Manitoba

In 1977, the Gimli Art Club decided to transform an unsightly, grey cement protective wall on the pier. The six-foot high wall runs for 977 feet. Artists put in thousands of hours creating scenes about the life and history of the Interlake area. Today, the original 36 murals have expanded to 72.

Gimli Seawall Gallery, a collection of murals on a protective wall on the pier, is a favourite tourist attraction in Gimli, Manitoba

Gimli Seawall Gallery, a collection of murals on a protective wall on the pier, is a favourite tourist attraction in Gimli, Manitoba

Weathered and restored or new murals sit side by side

Lake weather is hard on the murals. Some weather better than others. Restoration is an ongoing process in the summer months. In some cases, older murals are replaced with new ones. Proposed new mural designed are vetted by a curatorial committee.

Gimli Seawall Gallery, a collection of murals on a protective wall on the pier, is a favourite tourist attraction in Gimli, Manitoba

This original 1997 mural by Hazel MacLeod was restored in 2017 by Millard Vance Barteaux

Gimli Seawall Gallery, a collection of murals on a protective wall on the pier, is a favourite tourist attraction in Gimli, Manitoba

In 2014, D. Bohemier reproduced the mural originally painted in 1998 by L. Jazz Williams

Gimli Seawall Gallery, a collection of murals on a protective wall on the pier, is a favourite tourist attraction in Gimli, Manitoba

This mural depicts the story of the “Gimli Glider”. In 1983 an Air Canada Boeing 767 jetliner ran out of fuel enroute from Montreal to Edmonton. The pilot glided the plane to a safe landing at a former Royal Canadian Air Force base in Gimli.

Gimli Seawall Gallery, a collection of murals on a protective wall on the pier, is a favourite tourist attraction in Gimli, Manitoba

This winter scene was originally painted by Kathy Hastie in 1998 and has been restored by Suzanne Barrow in 2008 and 2014.

Gimli Seawall Gallery, a collection of murals on a protective wall on the pier, is a favourite tourist attraction in Gimli, Manitoba

This mural by Barb Gluck in 2009 depicts Gimli’s south beach circa 1920

The Seawall Gallery turns Gimli’s pier into an art and history walk in a scenic lakeside setting.

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PIN ITGimli Seawall Gallery, a collection of murals on a protective wall on the pier, is a favourite tourist attraction in Gimli, Manitoba

  8 Responses to “Gimli Seawall Murals”

  1. I go up to Manitoba’s Interlake area several times every summer and make at least one or two stops in Gimli. I always enjoy strolling along the seawall to view the murals on one side and the various boats in the harbour. And of course we have to have a pickerel lunch, usually at Kris’ Fish & Chips.

  2. I love to see things like this. It’s putting art in public spaces instead of hiding it behind museum walls.

  3. What a great use of space. A 30something helping his dad work on my house yesterday showed me a mural he created on a wall in his apartment. I suggested he go up the street to a big hunk of ugly building that I’ve been wishing would get a mural painted on it. Wouldn’t that be fun? I think it’s great that Gimli both brings in new paintings and restores some of them. Admirable.

    • RoseMary, I love murals on buildings. They can dress up ugly buildings, They can also tell stories about the area.

  4. These murals are great Donna. How cool to get a glimpse into scenes from Lake Winnipeg and the town of Gimli in both the past and present. I’d so love to see them and I’m sure they’re enjoyed by the residents and visitors alike.

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