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Sam Macdonald photo
Sam Macdonald photo
Peter Yaremko participates in the painting of a banner to be put up downtown. The St. Paul & District Boys and Girls Club is one of many community groups taking part in the downtown beautification banner program.
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Boys and Girls Club contributes to banner project

Apr 08, 2014 12:15 pm | Sam Macdonald

The Downtown Banner Project is starting up for the third year with many people participating in community.

Organizations participating in the project this year include the St. Paul Ag Society, the St. Paul Community Adult Learning Council, and the St. Paul Boys and Girls Club, among others.

Champions for Change Chair Kristy Baron describes the banner project as, “one of many that fall under the Downtown Revitalization committee.”

Baron says, “This committee is focused on town beautification and, similar to the rest of our organization, focuses on engaging the community and community development.”

This year, the Boys and Girls Club used the banner project as an opportunity for children to work together. The club’s contribution to the banner project is a pair of rainbow-coloured banners that were made on April 3 and 4. The banners feature painted handprints and footprints done by a number of the children in the club in assorted shapes, sizes, and colours.

The handprints were stylized to look like the petals of a flower, while the footprints were stylized to look like the footprints of students walking to and from school.

“The banner with the handprints symbolizes the growth and the blossoming of the club,” says Sylvie Proteau, the executive director with the St. Paul & District Boys and Girls Club. “The banners also symbolize child development.”

Proteau described the footprint banner as a representation of the walking and wellness focus of the Walking Schoolbus, a club program that encourages walking to and from school in a scheduled group.

“Herman Poulin was the one who said that it would be a good idea to do banners like ours,” said Proteau. She added, “His design is the result of trying to find something that represents what we do here. He wanted to keep it simple, so it could be the kids’ project, but at the same time have meaning and symbolism.”

The idea for the banner project was inspired by a similar one that a member of Champions for Change spotted in Campbell River, B.C. in 2012, featuring banners put up around the town.

“The transplanted idea took root immediately upon arriving in St. Paul, as we were wanting to celebrate the richness of our community. Our inaugural theme of ‘one community-many colors’ was decided upon,” reads information received from Champions for Change.

Baron says that each year, people around the community are invited to paint a banner to display. At the end of each season, the banners are returned to the people who made them.

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