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'Yarn bombing' project adds explosion of colour in North Vancouver

Community art pieces will be on display all summer
A recent community art project has added a vibrant explosion of colour to the Central Lonsdale neighbourhood.

The Cascadia Society recently wrapped up one of its annual summer projects, which this year involved “yarn bombing” a pair of Douglas firs and a rhododendron in front of the centre located on West 19th Street.

Starting in May, members and companions at Cascadia – which bills itself as a life-sharing community serving people with special needs – started knitting and crocheting all kinds of creative, colourful squares and patches.

“Everybody did their own little squares or pom-poms or crochet pieces, in their own bubbles, for the whole month,” said Simran Likhari, community arts projects lead at Cascadia. “There was absolutely no guidelines – you had your own creative freedom.”

In June, the squares were collected and knitted together to form a larger whole.

After seeking permission from the City of North Vancouver, the yarn was then wrapped around a pair of large trees and a rhodo in front of the centre in order to show off the members’ work and brighten up the street. The yarn project has been up and on display for the last two weeks.

Yarn bombing is described as a type of “guerilla knitting,” where artists use yarn to graffiti or spruce up a space instead of the more typical paint or chalk.

About 12 Cascadia members helped work on the project.

The finished pieces show off a cornucopia of colour and shape, and some even include uplifting messages for the community to take in.

“They’re just there to cheer people up. People stop by and smile, and they come and take selfies,” said Likhari. “For our people, it’s a feeling of pride. It’s an art show out there for everybody to see.”

The artistic yarn wraps are expected to stay up throughout the summer and will be taken down this fall, added Likhari.