Skip to main content

IN PICTURES: Murals popping up on Winnipeg bridges


Cool Streets Winnipeg and Centre Culturel Franco-Manitobain are making sure Winnipeggers' walks are a little more colourful this summer.

The two organizations are joining forces to paint murals on eight bridges throughout Winnipeg – one of the murals is already finished, while another is in the works.

"This is year seven of the bridges. It came about as a one-year project, thinking, 'Hey let's talk about how great pedestrian bridges are and we'd love to see more of them in the city,'" said Stephane Dorge, the organizer for Cool Streets Winnipeg.

"People have loved it so much. It really created a sense of place on each bridge that every year we've been coming back and creating new ephemeral murals on each bridge as a way to encourage people to go walk, bike, roll, and explore all the different locations."

Lily pads can be seen on Niakwa Road bridge as part of the mural by Kale Sheppard called "Leap, frog" on June 18, 2024. (Jamie Dowsett/CTV News Winnipeg)

With the mural being at people's feet, Dorge said it gives people the opportunity to actually stop and admire the work, and also be a part of the paintings as well.

The first mural completed was on the Niakwa Road Bridge and is titled "Leap, frog."

The bridge features lily pads floating on top of the water, and artist Kale Sheppard said they were inspired by their childhood.

"There was a pond we used to go to with lily pads and I wished I could leap across them," Sheppard said.

The bridge on Niakwa Road has a new mural painted called "Leap, frog." June 18, 2024. (Jamie Dowsett/CTV News Winnipeg)

They noted the goal of the project was to make it interactive for all who go on the bridge.

"I do a lot of murals on walls and I wanted to do something that was really utilizing my canvas."

Not too far away, the second bridge mural is underway on Niakwa Trail.

Mike Zastre is the artist working on this bridge, and his design will feature a giant sperm whale fighting a giant squid.

The design for the Niakwa Trail bridge will see a sperm whale fighting a giant squid. June 19, 2024. (Jamie Dowsett/CTV News Winnipeg)

"I think we've all struggled a little bit in the last few years, and that's sort of what the painting represents," said Zastre. "Everyone says that inside of us, there's two wolves. That's not true. Inside there's a whale and a squid. Sometimes we're the whale and sometimes we're the squid."

He said he enjoys painting ocean creatures and he hopes others will enjoy his art as well.

Mike Zastre is seen mapping out his giant squid versus sperm whale mural on Niakwa Trail bridge on June 19, 2024. (Jamie Dowsett/CTV News Winnipeg)

"This bridge doesn't get used as much, so hopefully here's another way to get people out and see that there's still some more trail."

As of Wednesday, Zastre was chalking out his design with the hope of having it completed soon.

Kale Sheppard (left), Mike Zastre (middle) and Stephane Dorge (right) stand on Niakwa Trail bridge before it has been painted with the sperm whale versus giant squid mural on June 19, 2024. (Jamie Dowsett/CTV News Winnipeg) Top Stories

Video shows B.C. grizzly basking in clawfoot tub

A donated clawfoot bathtub has become the preferred lounging spot for a pair of B.C. grizzly bears, who have been taking turns relaxing and reclining in it – with minimal sibling squabbling – for the past year.

Biden tests positive for COVID, will self-isolate in Delaware

U.S. President Joe Biden, under pressure from fellow Democrats to drop his re-election campaign, tested positive for COVID-19 while visiting Las Vegas on Wednesday and is self-isolating after experiencing mild symptoms, the White House said.

Stay Connected