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Up Here looking for submissions of walls for new murals

Festival looking to facilitate the creation of half-a-dozen new murals this summer
The 2017 mural “Under Ground” by Jarus is seen here. The mural is located at 58 Lisgar Street in downtown Sudbury.

The ninth edition of the Up Here urban art and emerging music festival is coming up Aug. 18-20, and even though summer seems far away, organizers are already in planning mode.

A signature part of the festival is the creation of new murals in and around Greater Sudbury’s downtown — 48 and counting.

Notable murals include the original “You Are Beautiful” mural on Durham Street, the Alex Trebek mural on Sudbury Secondary School and the somewhat controversial multicoloured mural on the former hospital on Paris Street.

Beyond the large murals such as those referenced above, artists also create mini-murals by decorating hydro boxes each year.

The festival aims to facilitate the creation of half a dozen new murals this summer.

“Murals tend to transform forgotten spaces,” said Jaymie Lathem, general manager and “top banana” of the Up Here Festival.

“They kind of reinvigorate and allow new perspectives to be gained by the community and visitors. But it also highlights the spaces that we have and celebrates our community as well, and all the kinds of corners and pockets that Sudbury has.”

But murals require walls, and so the folks behind Up Here have put a call out for its list of possible walls for future murals. 

“Ideally, we'd love to look at walls that have a lot of visibility, but also spaces that hold community connection are also really important,” Lathem said.

“So it doesn't just need to be a wall but on a main street. But there's so many walls and spaces in neighborhoods that are super important that you'd love to highlight also.”

While the festival has concentrated on Sudbury’s downtown in the past to create a density of murals fostering an urban art gallery, people are welcome to suggest walls in other parts of Greater Sudbury as well.

You also don’t need to own the wall in question to make a suggestion to the folks at Up Here.

Brick walls and concrete are best, but stucco works well too. Metal is trickier, and plastic siding doesn’t work at all.

Lathem said if you’ve submitted a wall in the past and it hasn’t been chosen, don’t get discouraged — they haven’t been forgotten.

“So it is about pairing the perfect artist with the perfect wall,” she said. “So it does take some time.”

If you’d like to submit a wall for consideration by Up Here, visit

Heidi Ulrichsen is’s associate content editor. She also covers education and the arts scene.