Eastside Mural Project wraps Russian Hall

Richard Tetrault in front of the Russian Hall's balalaika woman, just part of the massive mural now transforming the building at 600 Campbell Ave.

Richard Tetrault in front of the Russian Hall's balalaika woman, just part of the massive mural now transforming the building at 600 Campbell Ave.

All four murals in the beautiful Eastside Mural Project unveiled today are remarkable in their own right, but the showstopper has to be the Russian Hall at 600 Campbell Ave., where Richard Tetrault and his band of muralists have turned the building inside out, making its concrete surface an expression of the Russian community’s history.

Built in the 1930s by immigrants from Croatia, in what later became Yugoslavia, the Hall was taken over in the 1940s by the Russian community, which appreciated its location just two doors from the city’s Russian Orthodox Holy Trinity Church. (The Ukrainian Community Centre is just around the corner on Pender.)

Today the entire surface of the hall is covered with graphic references to one of the city’s earliest immigrant communities and their homeland.

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Mayor Gregor Robertson helps Commercial Drive residents cut the ribbon to welcome their new mural at Fratelli's.

The entire mural project is a celebration of the centennial of Britannia High School. The Commercial Drive commmunity is the focus of the mural at Fratelli’s Bakery at 2nd and Commercial. Cycling, industry and community activism are the focus beside Koo’s at Adanac and Clarke. The mural at Britannia is near the community centre entrance.

All four are a striking contrast with the Olympic building wraps now springing up downtown.