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People painting on sewer lines

Painting on the Sewer Lines draws a celebratory crowd

180 residents in attendance at City event

There were a lot of people of all generations out playing with paint on Saturday, and I hope we’ve given them a reason to think about and feel connected to the infrastructure beneath their feet.

Germaine Koh, Engineering Artist-in-Residence

July 15 2019 –

Residents of all ages came together over the weekend for Painting on the Sewer Lines, a family-friendly event that invited members of the public to add their own splash of colour to the Nanaimo Street Upgrades. 

The event, which took place on July 13 and saw 180 people in attendance, had six sewer pipes used as canvases for whatever fun, creative works of art popped into residents’ minds. 

Eventually, these pipes will be installed as a part of the Nanaimo Street Upgrades to improve critical sewer infrastructure with a separated and larger-capacity system.

Community event concept

Engineering Artist-in-Residence Germaine Koh, who helped plan Painting on the Sewer Lines and established its concept, was proud of the event’s ability to bring residents young and old into the process of infrastructure upgrades.

“Painting on the Sewer Lines was a fun street party that brought the neighbourhood together, but it was also meant as an entry point for residents to better understand their city,” she said. “There were a lot of people of all generations out playing with paint on Saturday, and I hope we’ve given them a reason to think about and feel connected to the infrastructure beneath their feet. 

“To me, the end product was less important than bringing the local community together to build memories about their neighbourhood — but many of the residents were also happy to hear that the maintenance workers climbing through these pipes would see their painting.”

Painting on the Sewer Lines was designed to engage residents in learning about the essential engineering infrastructure that plays a large and often unseen role in our everyday lives – and add a few brush strokes of their own creativity. 

Learn more about the Nanaimo Street Upgrades