By David Klassen
WINNIPEG — A new mural at The Forks is honouring the late founder of Sk8 Skates for his community activism and helping to pioneer Winnipeg’s skateboard scene.
Jai Pereira is being remembered as the Graffiti Gallery marks its 20th anniversary with London-based artist Mr Cenz in the city to complete a mural at The Plaza Skateboard Park.
“Our longstanding partnership with the Graffiti Gallery has allowed us to support some fantastic art projects in The Plaza,” said Paul Jordan, CEO of The Forks.
“It is great to see this piece coming together in honour of Jai — someone who really contributed to fostering the skateboarding community in Winnipeg.”
Pereira was killed in a vehicle crash in 2001 and Colin Lambert took over the reigns of the business in the years that followed. The current owner was hired by Pereira when he was a teen.
“Through owning Sk8 Skates, Jai brought Winnipeg’s skate scene together and created a strong sense of camaraderie,” Lambert said.
“Though he’s not with us today, Jai’s impact has been felt across the Winnipeg skateboard community. I am forever grateful for everything he’s given us, and I am stoked that he’s being honoured in this way at The Plaza — and that he may be able to continue inspiring young skateboarders the way he inspired me.”
The mural is expected to be completed this weekend.