Each year, the Transcona BIZ hosts the Festival of Banners. This initiative invites all schools in Transcona to participate in a project that recognizes the artistic talent that exists in the community and strengthens the partnerships between local schools and businesses within the Zone.
The theme for 2021 is Transcona Wild, celebrating wildlife and wild spaces from around the world. Students from K-12 in the Transcona area were encouraged to research their favourite animals and habitats to design a banner. A total of 65 students were chosen by the community to paint their artwork on large banners that are displayed around downtown Transcona. We were overwhelmed by the amount of students who chose to participate, with over 700 entries!!
Winning artists were contacted to pick up their pre-traced large banner and painting supplies from the Transcona BIZ office, to take home and re-create their masterpiece on a grand scale (both sides of the banner had to be painted!). Completed banners were returned to the BIZ office and installed on hydro poles around downtown Transcona for all to enjoy over the next year!
History of Festival of Banners
Each year, we select a different theme for the banners. Some themes from previous years include:
2021 Transcona Wild
2020 The Unofficial Bird of Transcona, the Flamingo
2019 There’s No Place Like Home
2018 Park City
2017 Canada Summer Games
2016 I Found it in Transcona – Showcasing Our Hidden Gems
2015 Your Canada, Your Transcona – 50th Anniversary of the Maple Leaf Flag
2014 Transcona Memories – Hi Neighbour Festival 50th Anniversary
2013 Good Neighbours/Strong Communities
2012 Transcona Centennial
2011 Healthy Living/Active Lifestyles
Throughout the years, with the assistance of the division’s Art Consultant at RETSD, requests for banner submissions have been distributed to schools throughout Transcona. The students then create their banner designs on paper to scale, and all these are submitted to the Transcona BIZ, where a panel of community “judges” will select the winning entries to be painted as actual banners. Over an intensive 3 days, students, BIZ staff, parents and school staff work to assist the students in painting their banners. Transforming a 4 by 11-inch drawing into a 30 by 90-inch street banner is not an easy task, especially for students in elementary school! The BIZ typically receives over 1000 paper submissions.
In recent years, we’ve had to do things a little bit differently, sending our contest home as homework! Students are encouraged to create their banners and drop them off or mail them into the BIZ office at 108 Bond St. The winners are chosen by the community online. Our Transcona BIZ Summer Students trace the submissions onto the double-sided banners and put together painting kits of heavy-duty outdoor paint and brushes. Once everything is ready, families are invited to pick up their banners and supplies and begin the painting process at home. A lot of parents remark about how much bigger the banners are when they are down from the light poles, but also how much fun working on this project together is.
Over the years the Festival of Banners program has been acknowledged in many ways. In 2017, it was recognized on a national scale by the Canada Summer Games Committee. Their Eyes of the Nation Launch event took place in Transcona with several of the young banner artists in attendance displaying their banners proudly.
Make sure to check out all the banners hanging throughout Transcona, along Regent Ave West between Day Street and Plessis, along Bond Street between Regent Ave and Pandora, along Pandora Street between Day Street and Plessis, and on Plessis Street from Pandora heading south under the underpass.