FORT ST. JOHN, B.C. – Businesses looking to beautify their storefronts this winter are being matched up with local artists through a pilot program.

The Fort St. John Arts council and Peace Gallery North have partnered with the City of Fort St. John for the Creative Storefront Program.

“This exciting opportunity is part of our Winter City strategy and encourages businesses to reinvigorate their storefronts during the long winter months and showcase artists in our community,” said Naomi Gallant, community development coordinator with the city, in a release.

Selected businesses will work closely with their artist to collaborate on a vision that may include murals, window art, window displays and more.

Both the Artist and the Business will receive $500 each. The artist will receive the money for their time and effort put into the artwork. The business will use the funds to purchase supplies to create and enhance the storefront up to $500 but must submit receipts for reimbursement.

The city aims to have the displays complete by February 14th for the High on Ice Winter Festival. If the timeline doesn’t work, businesses are asked to reach out to the city to work out a plan.

The displays will remain in the storefronts until March 31st unless a longer period is negotiated between artist and business.

Selected businesses are encouraged to develop a theme or ideas of what they want their storefront to look like.

“If you are not sure, the City’s 2022 theme word is ‘Spirit’, and many of our community events are embodying this,” said Gallant.

Artists and businesses are asked to discuss the security of artwork, what happens to the art once the program ends, the budget, and the length of display time on windows.

For more information, contact Gallant at ngallant@fortstjohn.ca or 250-787-5791.