With Westside Culture Days a few short weeks away, it was the time to start pulling all the pieces together to this massive mural project puzzle.

A new call for painting volunteers went out and I started gathering names of artists who wanted to participate in this creative event.

I had arranged for the mural creation to take place at the Westbank Museum, which would make a nice tie between the history of West Kelowna and its bright future. They were super helpful & extremely accommodating. They allowed us to store our painting supplies temporarily at their location until the Culture Days weekend.

Just when I felt things were under control a bombshell exploded in my lap.

The volunteer who had arranged for all the donated supplies had asked for the wrong number of pieces of plywood. Instead of the intended 6 pieces, as was stated in the numerous presentations, meetings, emails and diagrams, 4 pieces of plywood were delivered 3 days before I had scheduled a group of volunteers to prime the wood. I spent 5 hours sorting out this new mess of shrapnel even though I did not have the 5 hours to spare. Two extra pieces of plywood were eventually ordered for delivery on priming day.

After again feeling under things were under control, unfortunately, I soon realized this volunteer informed me of the wrong thickness of plywood.

The morning of priming, the 2 new pieces of plywood were delivered but the store made a mistake and brought ½” which had to be returned for the 5/8” I had ordered. And then, when we started priming these new pieces of plywood we realized the original 4 pieces that were donated were not 5/8” but were actually ¾”. “Seriously, could this get any more messed up?” I thought.

Why was I fussing with the thickness of the plywood, you may wonder. The reason is that you need a uniform and solid surface as your foundation for painting. Otherwise, you will not get the quality you are wanting to achieve as your end result.

As the leader of this project, it is my ultimate responsibility for this mistake. Next time, I will check and double check the order before proceeding. But know that, whatever can go wrong will go wrong. This is something every leader needs to expect and you must be flexible to find a solution to the problems that arise.

I decided to go ahead with the priming and will need to deal with the 1/8” ridge during installation. I am hoping the thinner pieces will be shimmed but that will be something that I will need to solve at a later date.

On the positive side, the paint supplier, Cloverdale Paint, was wonderful and donated more paint than we had originally ordered. At the end of the day, they gave us 4 gallons of primer, 4 gallons of colour, 2 quartz of colour plus some latex gloves and plastic to cover the used brushes to keep them from drying out. This was more than we had needed for the 8’x24’ mural (192 square foot) but I didn’t want to run out during the weekend.

Just when I needed some positive news, this paint supply store overwhelmed me with their generosity. I also had 3 great volunteers who came out to prime and we managed to finish 3 coats of primer on all 6 boards plus all the colour blocking. We were cleaned up and ready to go by 3:00.

In my next blog post, I will tell you all about our Westside Culture Days weekend.