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Portage, Main barriers art shifts to ‘Manitoba pattern’

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Artwork on the barriers at the intersection of Portage Avenue and Main Street is changing for the first time.

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Artwork on the barriers at the intersection of Portage Avenue and Main Street is changing for the first time.

The pedestrian barriers were painted in 2019 with a Pride rainbow motif. This time, the theme is “pulse” — meant to reflect how Winnipeg’s community, while diverse, has commonalities that connect one another.

“Whether rich or poor or different ethnicities, we all have the same colour blood and we all have a pulse,” artist Jonato Dalayoan, who designed the new outdoor displays, said Friday in a statement.

The pedestrian barriers at Portage and Main were painted in 2019 with a Pride rainbow motif. This time, the theme is “pulse,” which is meant to reflect how Winnipeg’s community has commonalities that connect one another. (Ruth Bonneville / Winnipeg Free Press files)

Dalayoan, who is also the owner of 4Two Design Inc., said the colourful weaving pattern, meant to signify the coming and going of people at the intersection, was inspired by common cultural designs in Métis, Ukrainian, Cree, Filipino, African, and Norwegian cultures.

The design, chosen after a selection process, is set to be painted over the next several weeks.

“The goal was to create a design we all can be proud of and call our own Manitoba pattern. One culture made up of unique people,” said Dalayoan.

As long as the pedestrian barriers are up, it’s good they are being used as a space to bring more art into the city’s core, Downtown Winnipeg Business Improvement Zone chief executive officer Kate Fenske said.

“The Downtown Winnipeg BIZ is hopeful that, one day, the intersection will be open to pedestrians, but until that day comes, it is important the area is highlighted as the heart of our city where commerce, arts and culture all come together.”

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