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Ford Canada brought out their fleet of shiny new 2017 Fusions out west this week, just in time for Vancouver’s first-ever Mural Festival.

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In case you didn’t know, close to 40 local and international street artists are currently creating some gorgeous art on our city’s walls around the Downtown Eastside and Mount Pleasant in time for the inaugural Vancouver Mural Festival that will include live music on several stages, a local marketplace plus interactive art exhibits along Main Street (between 7th and 12th).

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The Vancouver Mural Festival takes place tomorrow, however the murals will (hopefully) remain intact long after the weekend.

Us in car

Last night, Ford teamed us up on a local graffiti scavenger hunt/Fusion test ride, discovering several works of art, many of which were new to me (after my Toronto Graffiti Alley visit last summer, I’ve been out trying to unearth street art around Vancouver).

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Our tour began at The Warehouse Studio at 100 Powell, with several Ford Fusions neatly lined up against a gorgeous, colour-filled wall of characters.

Dinner prep, Art of Fusion Chef Kim

After our little discovery tour, we met up at an East Van space for a long-table, fusion-inspired multi-course dinner created by Chef Juno Kim.

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Even the tablecloth was colour-splashed to tie into the night’s theme.

Wine and beer flowed along with lively conversation as we filled up on some tasty dishes ranging from Albacore crudo tuna with citrus-cured cucumber to 33 Acres of Sunshine-brined pork shoulder with crispy coriander chicken skin.

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Chef’s favourite Elotes (Mexican style grilled corn), prepared with several local cheeses, summer herbs and charred scallion, anchored a fine meal.

Ben Tour

The creative fusion began as we congregated in the adjacent room with BC artist Ben Tour to learn about street art’s origins, its superstars and vibrant, supportive community. Street art has gone massive and is considered the new global art movement. It’s also fantastic to see Vancouver embrace this wicked art form.

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Ben’s art can be seen on Keefer Street behind El Kartel, a project he worked on with Red Bull a few years back. Another one of his works is behind 49th Parallel Cafe on Main Street.

Ford Art of Fusion-14 Me doing graffiti art

Once we got some tips on spraying and detailing, we had our own shot at creating on stretched canvas with high-quality (read less stinky) Spanish-made street paint along with Sharpie tip-style pens for small details.

Get out your comfy sandals, stay hydrated and check out some beautiful art this weekend.

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The other “star” of the evening was the 2017 Fusion, a complete refresh of the vehicle, with an expanded range of tech and safety features. The Fusion, Fusion V6 Sport and Fusion Platinum models add to a lineup that already includes three EcoBoost engine choices together with the two hybrids (Fusion Hybrid and Fusion Energi plug-in hybrid).

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2017’s Fusion offers 20 driver assisted technologies including audible alerts, pedestrian detection, lane-keeping system, cross-traffic alert, changing traffic speeds and blind-spot detection.

The hybrid model’s packed with a 2.0 litre engine along with an electronically controlled continuously variable transmission and a high-voltage electric motor for a smooth, quiet ride.

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Fusion Energi features a 7.6-kilowatt-hour lithium-ion battery for an expected range of 19 miles using electric power only. But get this: the car automatically switches to an efficient 2.0-liter gasoline engine when the battery is depleted, allowing you to drive over 500 miles.

A configurable MyView screen allows display customization including Brake Coach, helping you drive more efficiently as you view power vs. lithium-ion battery consumption.

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In all, Ford’s created the most technologically-advanced midsize car in North America with the Fusion. Visit Ford Canada online for more info. Unwatermarked images by Jeremy Dyson.

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