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Like it or not, the Coronavirus pandemic will be the most talked-about news for this generation and those to come.

COVID-19 has already claimed more lives in the US than the Vietnam War (58,200 military deaths) as well as changed the way we will eventually travel, shop, dine, work and visit our hair salons, fitness centers, spas, doctors, dentists and hospitals.

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Along Robson Street’s shuttered and plywood-boarded retail row, dozens of local artists have turned the heart of downtown into a pandemic-inspired art gallery.

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The Vancouver Mural Festival commissioned 40 artists to add their talent, working with the Robson Street Business Improvement Association to connect artists with business owners.

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This helps artists in two ways: a gig and funds. For the public, the main goal is to inspire hope.

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The City of Vancouver, local BIAs and sponsors have funded this project, covering the costs of supplies (via a $400 voucher) and an honorarium for each mural artist.

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After weeks of staying close to home, I recently ventured downtown on my bike to view the Robson Street gallery and was amazed at the variety of murals as I walked down Robson from Burrard to Bute.

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[“We have never been closer” is Jason McCrea’s message at Foot Locker]

I’ve yet to venture to the Gastown murals, but here’s a look at what Robson Street holds. Hopefully the mural festival will be able to preserve the murals post-pandemic.

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A few people were out with cameras while I was there but the City reminds us all to keep our physical distance.

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If you’d like to see some of these artworks online, visit Vancouver Mural Festival on social media and search for the #makeartwhileapart hashtag.

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