Elizabeth Hollick on the stairs to the scaffolding at Coast Capital Playhouse

Elizabeth Hollick on the stairs to the scaffolding at Coast Capital Playhouse

Mural pays homage to White Rock Players Club and pantos past

Elizabeth Hollick takes on a new painting project on the south wall of the Coast Capital Playhouse

The next White Rock Players Club production has plenty of colour and eye-appeal – as well as a flair for the historic.

About the only thing lacking is physical action – but there’s a lot of it suggested in the project – a 50-by-30-foot mural swiftly taking form on the south wall of the Coast Capital Playhouse, thanks to the lively drawing style of well-known Peninsula artist Elizabeth Hollick.

Indeed, in the imaginative hands of the experienced painter and muralist, one might almost expect the characters to jump down off the wall and start emoting – not to mention singing and dancing – in the Rotary parking lot next to it.

The mural project, held in abeyance for the last two years, is finally coming to fruition, thanks to a $25,000 grant from the City of White Rock approved earlier this year.

It  had seemed like a natural way to spruce up the building three years ago when the White Rock Players Club issued a call for proposals from local artists – but until  the city got involved it had entirely depended on flagging fundraising efforts .

Hollick said she leapt at the chance to create a design – inspired by the traditional White Rock Christmas Pantomime song The Wonderful Year We Fell In Love – when the projected was first mooted.

“I wanted this to be mine so badly,” said Hollick, who added that, for her, the mural has special significance.

“I go to the pantomime with my grandkids and daughters every year, and we all love the song,” she said.

With the help of Players Club historian Tom Saunders, who provided vintage images of plays and players gone by (Saunders also writes the clever lyrics replete with topical references for Wonderful Year each panto season), she came up with a dynamic visual counterpart to the song, featuring many of the stage and real-life characters who have contributed to the club’s 70-year history.

Personalities such as former club presidents and artistic directors Franklin Johnson and Scott Wheeler are front and centre, along with other past notables like Enid Saunders, Phyllis Clifford, Guy and Barbara Weston, Guy Foreman, Neil Primrose and Riette Hilliard.

Even panto giraffe Shenanigans (another Saunders creation), the panto ‘Dame’ and her beau, and William Shakespeare and Romeo and Juliet get into the act, while the backdrop on the stage in one corner depicts White Rock’s waterfront – mercifully minus the current fencing.

While the design won favour with the club board (“It perfectly captures the excitement, fun and personalities of the club’s history as White Rock’s own community theatre,” then-president and mural proponent Dave Baron said), the fundraising campaign ultimately fell short of the mark needed to give the mural the green light.

Now, thanks to the city contribution, it’s back on track and set for completion by the end of July with an official unveiling in August – and Hollick, Saunders and Pat MacClean, the Players Club’s supervisor for the project, said they couldn’t be happier.

“I’m really excited to see it going up on the wall,” Saunders said, adding that he believes Hollick’s design captures all the excitement and camaraderie of the Players Club, both yesterday and today.

“I was hoping it would be close to this but (the design) exceeded all my expectations,” he said.

“I’ve been in training for this for almost 50 years,” Hollick said, before resuming work on the scaffolded and tarp-shrouded wall. “I painted my first mural when I was in my early 20s.”

Although she’s lost count of the number of walls she’s enlivened around White Rock (which also include, in the uptown area, the side of White Rock Travel and Blue Frog Studios) she noted the newest is adjacent to the site of the old wooden fence that Hollick and an ad-hoc committee of fellow artists kept decorated as an ever-evolving art piece for a decade, starting in the late 1990s.

At 30 feet high and 50 feet wide, it’s also the largest she’s attempted, but Hollick has everything worked out with a grid pattern that corresponds to the concrete blocks that make up the wall.

Current phase has been drawing out the design – “this is the difficult bit,” Hollick said, “because you want to get everything right.”

“The next bit is filling in the colours – which should take a couple of weeks – and the last week will be the detail.”

Hollick said she’s hoping to pay tribute to theatre patrons who already donated to the mural in the design – “we want to let them know their money didn’t go in vain.”

She also paid tribute to McClean, who was instrumental in securing Burnaby’s United Scaffolding to provide a very solid structure for Hollick to work on – on very reasonable terms – and has been in charge of all negotiations with the city and White Rock Rotary Club to ensure the work runs smoothly.

“Rotary has been very helpful moving some of their parking out of the way for the scaffold to go in,” said McClean.

“The city gave them some parking spaces and we’ve given them some parking spaces.”

“This is the first project manager I’ve ever had,” Hollick beamed. “I don’t have to do anything. I just appear and enjoy myself.”

 

 

 

 

 

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

A sign posted to a tree in Maccaud Park urges people to email White Rock City Council and oppose the construction of pickleball courts in the park. (Contributed photo)
White Rock council deems Maccaud Park pickleball courts out of bounds

Unanimous vote against constructing courts follows public feedback

Surrey city council chambers. (File photo)
Surrey drugstores seeking relaxation of spacing rules ‘a challenge,’ councillor says

‘Obviously we need pharmacies but it seems to me that we are getting an awful lot of applications,’ Brenda Locke says

Shannon Claypool, president of the Cloverdale Rodeo & Exhibition Association, stands outside the Cloverdale Rec. Centre. The rec. centre has been set up as a mass vaccination site by Fraser Health and the Association has decided to cancel the rodeo in order to offer the fairgrounds for public parking. (Submitted)
Cloverdale Rodeo cancelled

Fairgrounds to be used as public parking for mass vaccination site at Cloverdale Rec. Centre

RCMP. (Phil McLachlan - Black Press Media file)
Man charged after pushing pregnant woman to the ground in Surrey, police say

Surrey RCMP say it appeared to be an ‘unprovoked assault’

News Bulletin file photo
Surrey waives outdoor patio fees for pubs, restaurants

Anita Huberman, CEO of the Surrey Board of Trade, praised the move

Burnaby MLA Raj Chouhan presides as Speaker of the B.C. legislature, which opened it spring session April 12 with a speech from the throne. THE CANADIAN PRESS
B.C. NDP promises more health care spending, business support in 2021 budget

John Horgan government to ‘carefully return to balanced budgets’

In Ontario, COVID-19 vaccine clinics have been set up at local mosques. (Submitted photo: Rufaida Mohammed)
Getting the vaccine does not break your fast, says Muslim COVID-19 task force

Muslim community ‘strongly’ encouraging people to get their shot, whether or not during Ramadan

A plane is seen through the window on the tarmac of Vancouver International Airport as the waiting room is empty. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
100+ international travellers who landed in B.C. refused to quarantine

The Public Health Agency of Canada says it issued $3,000 violation tickets to each

Cannabis bought in British Columbia (Ashley Wadhwani/Black Press Media)
Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

A health-care worker holds up a vial of the AstraZeneca Covishield vaccine at a COVID-19 vaccination clinic in Montreal, Thursday, March 18, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Paul Chiasson
PHAC receives first report of blood clot linked to AstraZeneca

The federal agency says the person is now recovering at home

A real estate sign is pictured in Vancouver, B.C. THE CANADIAN PRESS Jonathan Hayward
1 in 3 young Canadians have given up on owning a home: poll

Data released Monday says 36% of adults younger than 40 have given up on home ownership entirely

Dr. Bonnie Henry gives her daily media briefing regarding Covid-19 for the province of British Columbia in Victoria, B.C, Monday, December 7, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
B.C. urges people to stay in their neighbourhoods, discourages out-of-household meet-ups

Dr. Bonnie Henry says there should be no travel, even to the next city over

Looking east at the Cascade Range with the potential Alpine Village site in the foreground. Mt. Archibald rises on the left.
Ambitious all-season mountain resort proposed near Chilliwack

Proponents say Bridal Veil Mountain Resort could cover 11,500 acres bring in $252 million a year

Dr. E. Kwok administers a COVID-19 vaccine to a recipient at a vaccination clinic run by Vancouver Coastal Health, in Richmond, B.C., Saturday, April 10, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
Most Canadians plan to get COVID-19 vaccine, but safety fears drive hesitancy: poll

This comes as confidence in governments is plummeting in provinces being hit hardest by the pandemic

Most Read