Painted Paddle Farewell Exhibit

The Downtown Vibrancy Project’s Painted Paddle installation will be on display at this month’s First Friday event on March 5 from 6 pm to 8 pm inside the Commerce Building to commemorate the end of its month-long exhibit and online auction.


Throughout the month of February, the Painted Paddle installation was on display as part of a passive art crawl with individual paddles displayed in store windows throughout the city’s urban center. Now, First Friday revelers will be able to tour the entire Painted Paddle exhibit in one location- for the first time since its debut. Locals are invited to explore the entire collection with all 20 paddles reunited in a single display as part of the First Friday Covid19- modified art crawl.


The Painted Paddle exhibit was produced by local community members, organizations, and charities- creating a community-led-inspired-and-supported initiative. Notable featured artists and organizations contributing art for the Painted Paddle included: Mayor Therrien, Hiawatha First Nation, Wiigwaas Hiawatha Store, Peterborough Police Service, DBIA, GreenUP, Trent Gzowski College, Trent Veg Garden, Peterborough Pollinators, Princess Gardens Retirement Residence, Empress Gardens Retirement Residence, St Anne’s School, VegFest, B!KE, City Councillors Zippel and Akapo, Art School mother and daughter team, Eileen and Kendron, local Anishinaabe artist Kyler, and local artist Tiphaine Lenaik.


“From connecting with the volunteer artists to setting up the tour, this project has been a complete joy to organize! Although it is easy to forget sometimes, especially being so separated during lockdown, that incredible people are doing incredible things here in Peterborough! I hope the painted paddles brightened up your winter days and reminded you that our community is pretty special!” says, Dawn Pond, Downtown Vibrancy Manager of the DBIA.


Exhibition paddles have been up for auction online since Feb. 19 in support of the Once City Program. The community support for the Painted Paddle fundraiser led to over 11000 online auction views and several friendly online bidding wars. By the end of the virtual auction the paddles received more than 500 bids and raised over $5000 with 100% of program profits going towards the One City Employment Program.


“We are so grateful to everyone in the community who took part in the tour, voted for your favorite paddles, and bid in the paddle auction. We hope they brought you as much joy as they have brought us here at the DBIA” says, Terry Guiel, Executive Director of the DBIA.