This November (2020), I was invited back as a guest on Cityline with Tracy Moore—the longest-running daytime talk show for women in Canadian history! This time I got to talk about one of my favourite topics—Instagrammable Walls! I shared with Tracy what an Instagrammable Wall is, tips for taking photos with Instagrammable Walls, and shared some Instagrammable Wall hot spots across Canada!
It was so much fun!
Walls and artists featured in the Nov. 25, 2020 Cityline segment (in order of appearance):
- TrashHecticCollective Wall in Edmonton, Alberta (for Nextfest Arts Festival)
- Josh Creighton Wall in Medicine Hat, Alberta (for Medicine Hat Mural Festival)
- Bacon Wall in Medicine Hat, Alberta (for Medicine Hat Mural Festival)
- Bi Y. Cheng Min Ma Wall in Edmonton, Alberta
- Alixandra Jade Wall in Edmonton, Alberta
- Michelle Hoogveld Wall in Calgary, Alberta (for Beltline Urban Mural Project YYC BUMP)
- Maxilie Martel Wall in Calgary, Alberta (for Beltline Urban Mural Project YYC BUMP)
- More Awesome Now AlleyOop Laneway Activation by HCMA in Vancouver, British Columbia
- #KitsWings by Sandy and Steve Pell in Vancouver, British Columbia (for Vancouver Mural Festival)
- Seth Wall in Montreal, Quebec (for Montreal Mural Festival)
- There were a few Montreal + Toronto murals I didn’t know the artists for. If you do, please let me know!
And read on for more information about the walls!
What is an Instagrammable Wall?
Instagrammable Walls are mural walls but also different coloured walls, patterned or textured walls, and generally walls that you’re able to photograph yourself right up against!
Lots of Instagrammable Walls are a result of city mural festivals or part of neighbourhood improvement projects. Many businesses are now working with artists independently to create Instagrammable spaces.
For me, finding and photographing Instagrammable Walls started as a way to get nice photos to share on social media, then turned into this way to discover art, learn about artists and explore neighbourhoods.
I think they help define where and what I do when I travel now, but is also a great way to “play tourist” in your own town. Finding and photographing Instagrammable Walls is also a really good, physically-distant/pandemic-friendly activity to do! You can go on your own self guided walking tours, or here in Edmonton I also do guided walking tours that are often paired with food.
Instagrammable Walls of Alberta
Alberta is becoming quite the destination for Instagrammable Walls in cities big and small. A southern Alberta city Medicine Hat recently wrapped up the second year of its Medicine Hat Mural Festival. Calgary has been running a successful “YYC BUMP” Beltline Urban Mural Project since 2017. Here in Edmonton there’s an annual Rust Magic Mural Festival, but also lots of businesses just getting more excited about hiring artists independently to create Instagrammable Walls and spaces because they know it’s going to attract people to the place as a destination, and get them social media attention.
This wall I’m at for the Cityline segment is by two local artists Colleen and Deanne who by the name TrashHecticCollective. It was done as part of Edmonton’s Next Fest Arts Festival. TrashHecticCollective describe their style as cynical and a darkly humorous take on Modern Day Folklore where they hide easter eggs and visual riddles in their artwork so there’s a lot to think about before and after your do your photoshoot!
Instagrammable Walls of British Columbia
Vancouver is home to many Instagrammable spots including an Instagrammable Alley called Alley Oop, where even parts of the concrete ground are painted. They have the annual Vancouver Mural Festival, which even has its own mural app. And one of the most popular Vancouver murals may be in the Kitsilano neighbourhood. The “Kits Wings” was created in 2017 by Canadian artists Steve and Sandy Pell who were inspired by bald eagles that live near Kits Beach. It’s massive! 40-feet wide. And it was also designed to fit within a basic mobile phone shot from the sidewalk so that photos can easily be shared on social media.
This next part about Kelowna got cut from the segment for time, but I wanted to include it in this blog post anyway!
Kelowna, B.C. in the the beautiful Okanagan is known for its wineries, but is also home to an annual mural project that’s gaining popularity. The Uptown Mural Project is fairly new, community initiative by the local business association, adding five large scale urban murals each year in a neighbourhood of Kelowna that really isn’t as widely visited by tourists. But now it’s absolutely a must-stop for me anytime I’m in Kelowna! The murals are done by artists from across Canada and their locations are all strategically selected in order to allow for short walking tours within the Rutland neighbourhood.
Instagrammable Walls of Montreal, Quebec
Montreal is a must-visit for murals—in fact it’s home to the most popular Canadian mural festival, and I believe the longest-running. The Montreal MURAL FESTIVAL takes place every June since 2013. This celebration of art has transformed the city— and reinforces Montreal as an ultimate tourist destination and go to global destination for contemporary urban art. The majority of the nearly 100 murals run along Montreal’s Saint-Laurent Boulevard alone, is just incredible! Large scale pieces that brighten so many alleyways and parking lots.
Instagrammable Walls of Toronto, Ontario
Toronto is home to the very famous Graffiti Alley which runs alongside Queen Street West, a popular neighbourhood full of shops, restaurants and well, Instagrammable Walls! It’s hard not to find others snapping photos here. Graffiti Alley is considered a beloved attraction that was legitimized about a decade ago by business owners who didn’t want graffiti street art to be removed. They were also pushing back on being ticketed by the city for not removing the graffiti. The Queen Street West Business Improvement Association got the area designated as culturally significant. Many of Toronto’s murals are a result of the city’s Street ART Toronto initiative which started just a year after Graffiti Alley received its designation, and they’re often changing so each visit can yield new walls!
- Check out all my Guides to Instagrammable Walls
- In Edmonton? Book me for a private Instagrammable Wall tour
- Follow my Instagrammable Walls of the World Instagram Account @igwalls
Thanks again to Cityline for having me on to chat about one of my favourite things!!!