AFTER a three-year campaign, Kyabram is finally set for its own splash of colour.
Member for Northern Victoria Mark Gepp announced today the Kyabram Project Committee has been awarded an $80,000 grant to start the Kyabram Water Tank project.
The $130,000 project will see the 500sqm Goulburn Valley Water Tank transformed from a plain structure into a large-scale mural.
Inspired by the success of the Silo Art Trail, the Kyabram Project Committee formed three years ago to investigate the feasibility of painting a mural in Kyabram to attract more visitors and reinvigorate the town.
Kyabram Project Committee secretary Joy Salter said everyone involved was overjoyed by the news.
“On behalf of the committee, I want to express our gratitude and a huge thank you to Mark Gepp, his staff and the Victorian Government for supporting this wonderful project. To get to this stage, we are thrilled and just can’t wait to get started,” she said.
“This project will be a huge benefit to Kyabram and the surrounding towns. I have seen how Colbinabbin and other towns on the trail have been transformed as visitors flock to the region, and we believe this one project will draw many tourists to a struggling town and give us a tourism boost.”
Highly acclaimed Melbourne-based mural artist Jimmy D’Vate has been commissioned to complete the Kyabram mural project, which will feature images reflecting the threatened species at Kyabram Fauna Park, precious local wetlands and rivers – and will celebrate the rich conservation and environmental qualities of Kyabram.
His mural creations at Rochester, Goorambat and Gunbower, together with murals across Australia and the world attract thousands of visitors each year.
This news follows the recent announcement of silo art projects across Northern Victoria, including St Arnaud, Wedderburn, Bendigo and Picola, which will also be completed by Mr D’Vate.
An economic analysis of the Silo Art Trail in 2019 has shown an extra spend of at least $260,000 directly over 11 months, which equates to an extra 576 visitors each month.
Indirectly, it creates new jobs across a variety of sectors and gives artists a wider platform to showcase their work.
Mr Gepp said the project would be a great benefit to Kyabram in a variety of different ways.
“I am very excited and proud to announce this funding which will see the Kyabram Water Tower project come to life,” he said.
“Well done to Joy and the Kyabram Project Committee for their hard work and persistence in getting this project the funding it needs to proceed.
“We cannot underestimate the importance of these bold projects. With the impact of bushfire, drought and a pandemic; the benefits to the community of being part of the art trail is enormous.”
Mr D'Vate said he was excited to get to work on this new project.
“This is really great news for the community. This project has been a long time in the works and it’s great that we can now get started,” he said.
“Kyabram’s land and environment are among its most valued assets – with the awesome fauna park in the centre of town an obvious inspiration. By focusing on these ideas, I look forward to creating a mural that not only looks great but will also stimulate community spirit and raise awareness of local threatened flora and fauna.”