The Gimli Seawall
The Gimli Harbour area was protected with an unsightly, drab grey 977 foot long by six-foot-high cement wall. The huge undertaking to transform this structure with colourful works of art that interpret the stories and history of the Interlake area began in 1997. Thousands of volunteer hours at the hands of the Gimli Art Club artists have entertained tourists through the years. Visitors to the structure area enjoy interaction and conversations about the artist’s work while they go through the summer months caretaking the Seawall Gallery. Challenged by the lake waters and local climate it is a constant, ongoing effort to keep the artwork in good condition.
Artists from the Club developed their individual murals, presented them to a committee of peers, researched the historical significance and painted the first three murals while the residents and tourists together watched with excited anticipation. The original first three murals will never change in content or location upon the wall as they are the footprint to the history of Gimli and its early settlers who were instrumental in the growth of our unique community. The continuing addition of new murals and restorations undergo the same principles today.
This now popular tourist attraction has repeat visitors from around the world. The Gallery is unique as it is built over water, withstanding harsh elements of our Manitoba climate. Only volunteer artists that are members of the Gimli Art Club restore or paint new murals on this structure.
The original 36 murals have expanded, some changing with the addition of new murals in spaces where the old weatherworn have been replaced with new, allowing an ever-changing subject matter. Restoration on others is always an ongoing process, weather permitting, in the summer months.