Painted Paddle Installation Launches Downtown

The Downtown Vibrancy Project will be launching a new outdoor public art exhibit to celebrate community connection during lockdown with its Feb. 1st Painted Paddle debut – a series of paddle art installations in Peterborough’s central entertainment and shopping district.


During the month of February, locals will be able to safely tour the Painted Paddle art exhibit by visiting a number of storefront windows scattered throughout the downtown, as part of a new art crawl experience.


Peterborough & the Kawartha Tourism’s Visitor Centre will play host to one of the 20 hand-painted paddles on display. Tracie Bertrand, the Director of Tourism – Peterborough & the Kawarthas Economic Development says, “Art brightens the spirit and has a way of making people feel good.  The Painted Paddle art project will put a smile on people’s faces as they fondly reflect on their memories of being outdoors here in Peterborough & the Kawarthas.”


Other local businesses providing window space for the passive-art installation include: Le Petit Bar, St Veronus, The Boardwalk Game Lounge, Sam’s Deli, Black Honey Bakery, Cork and Bean, B!KE, Watson and Lou, Cottage Toys, By The Bridge, GreenUp Store, Night Kitchen, DBIA Office, Meta4 Gallery, Avant Garden, Sustain, Bluestreak Records, and Peterborough Social Services.


Each paddle will be as unique as the artist, generating a distinctive visual story of our community’s history, and its connection to the common paddle. Notable featured paddle artists and organizations contributing art for the Painted Paddle include: 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.


Many creative community members lent their artistic skills to the Painted Paddle project, including one Hiawatha First Nation Lands/Resource Consultant, Tom Cowie, who says, “The paddle creates a unique way to honor/acknowledge the original families in Treaty 20”. Cowie painted his paddle to look like a piece of birch bark (Wiigwaas) and painted the clans (dodems) on his paddle to showcase the family ties of the Michii Saagiig.


The Painted Paddle exhibit will be on display until Mar. 5th. Exhibition paddles will be available for auction from Feb. 19th at 8 pm – Mar. 4th at 8 pm ahead of the First Friday event on Mar. 5th, with proceeds going towards the One City Employment Program. For the virtual auction visit:


To participate in a self-guided tour of the Painted Paddle, community members can access a full map of paddle exhibit locations by visiting the Love For The Boro website online at:


For more information on the Painted Paddle project contact the DBIA Vibrancy Manager, Dawn Pond by email at: