A Brief History
The Cowrie Street Banner Project began in 1994 as a joint venture between the Sechelt Chamber of Commerce and the Sunshine Coast Arts Council. In approximately 2003, the priorities of the Chamber of Commerce changed, and the project is now sponsored entirely by the Sunshine Coast Arts Council. From 1994–2014 the banners decorated Sechelt’s Cowrie and Wharf streets. As of 2014, the banners are hung in Sechelt’s Civic Square creating their own outdoor gallery.
From the time that the theme for the year’s banner is decided upon in September to the hanging of the banners in February there are a number of steps and variety of people involved. After the theme for the current year is chosen, elementary school students are asked to submit a design. Total entries from the various schools usually range from 300–500.
After all the entries are received, they are put on exhibition in the gallery of the Sunshine Coast Arts Centre for three weeks in conjunction with the Young Artists Awards exhibition. A committee selects the 20 finalists, and those selected are honoured at an awards ceremony on the final day of the exhibition where they are presented with a certification of appreciation and a T-shirt. Each of the chosen designs is then projected, traced and hand painted onto a 6-foot length of fabric by volunteer artists. The banners hang from February to November in Civic Square.