Street banners play up heritage icons

New banners help create a colourful scene along 176 Street.

You may have noticed colourful new banners adorning city lamp posts along Cloverdale’s major thoroughfares and in the historic downtown.The City of Surrey’s yellow, orange and blue banners pay tribute to three aspects of Cloverdale’s heritage, says civic beautification coordinator Patrick Klassen.There’s a cowboy with a lasso, a tractor with a stylish blade of wheat grass, and an interurban rail car – nods to the famous rodeo, long-running agricultural activity, and our celebrated transportation hub heritage.The iconic images are part of the city’s banner program, but were designed in conjunction with the Cloverdale Business Improvement Association and the Cloverdale District Chamber of Commerce – two groups that work to promote “historic” Cloverdale.“The three themes go with the character of Cloverdale,” says Klassen, who adds the city, the BIA and the Chamber are sharing some of the costs, about $9,000, with the city paying for installation and ongoing maintenance.“We coordinated and cooperated on the design, and cost-shared on the cost,” an arrangement that’s unique, he said. Normally, the city pays 100 per cent of the cost of the hundreds of banners installed across Surrey.“The BIA is a key partner for us in downtown Cloverdale,” he said.The Cloverdale banners are located along the 150 poles on the bypass from Highway 10 to 64 Avenue, and along both 176 and 176 A Streets from 60 Avenue to Highway 10, where the heritage-themed lamp standards installed a few years ago as part of long-term revitalization plans for Cloverdale have been equipped with some special hidden features.Not only do they evoke an era where cast iron and lamp light ruled, the attractive posts have a complicated self-watering irrigation system – ensuring Cloverdale’s hanging flower baskets are the best hanging baskets you’ll see in B.C., Klassen says – they’re also designed to carry overhead wires to power a future heritage electric tram or rail car along historic 176 Street.The city, BIA and Cloverdale Chamber of Commerce are cooperating on another upcoming project – installing a heritage gateway sign or feature at the entrance to Cloverdale alongside Highway 10 at 180 Street that would let motorists know they’ve arrived in the historic town centre. Kal Tire has been asked to create a landscaping berm as part of plans to redevelop its 5621 180 Street service station.“The BIA and the city will come in at a later date and construct some sort of heritage marker or feature,” Klassen said. The final design may be a work of public art created out of black metal and wood materials. “We’ll try and do something that will have the same look and feel as the character we’ve developed along 176 Street,” he said. “There’s a look and feel that downtown Cloverdale is developing into.”The City of Surrey maintains banners on 750 poles at various gateways, main roads and town centres to showcase community pride and spirit.Each year, the Civic Beautification and Public Art programs collaborate on public street art banners that fly along specific areas of Surrey. Last year, the city commissioned Robert Davidson to design a set of street banners that were installed on King George Blvd. near the Surrey Arts Centre. Banners designed by celebrated B.C. painter Gordon Smith, 91, debut in early March.