A popular downtown Trail feature is once again lighting up Victoria Street, just in time for ‘A Homecoming Celebration.’
The time-temperature display is back on the main drag thanks to a fundraising drive by the Trail and District Arts Council (TDAC).
“People have really missed it and have been asking,” said TDAC President Ray Masleck. “So we were keen to get it up before Silver City Days.”
It’s been one year since the older unit went on the fritz and couldn’t be repaired because new parts for the 15-year old sign were no longer available.
The group raised $30,000 to purchase a new display last June. But by the time it was ordered and delivered with building permits in place, another eight months had passed.
“The City of Trail provided the permit at no cost,” said Masleck. “But there were several thousands of dollars added in engineering costs and inspections to put up a new sign on the existing pillars.”
Besides providing the permit, the city invested $5,000; Kootenay Savings Credit Union Community Foundation, $6,000; Columbia Basin Trust, $12,000 (Community Initiatives and Affected Areas Program); and TDAC covered the balance.
The arts council has owned the message board since 2000, after the group spearheaded a committee of tenants from the Greater Trail Community Centre, such as Selkirk College and the VISAC Gallery, to brainstorm ways of improving visibility of the local arts and culture scene while boosting the facility’s profile in the community and to out-of-towners.
“Trail was being recognized for its past accomplishments with individuals and teams in sporting events,” TDAC’s Judy Wray told the Trail Times. “So part of the committee’s goal was to advance the profile of arts and culture in the community and raise the profile of those in the community centre.”
Providing time and temperature to all those passing through town is only one aspect. TDAC’s sign has promoted all kinds of goings-on such as theatre performances, art exhibitions, Sunday cinema showings and educational opportunities at Selkirk’s Trail campus.
“It’s a massive project and a lot of money for a little arts council,” Wray said. “But it really is for the community.”