The City of Selkirk is showing support for the people of Ukraine by lighting up its recently-painted water tower.
The newly-installed lights are part of a rejuvenation for the tower, which has long been a local landmark in Selkirk.
At the base of the tower will eventually be a mural depicting the city’s past, present and future.
“We’re proud of the water tower, it’s been a recognizable Selkirk landmark for decades and now with our logo on top and a mural that will tell the city’s story coming to the base, we want to light it up,” said Mayor Larry Johannson.
Until the weather warms up, the mural will have to wait. For now, the tower has taken on a different meaning by illuminating in yellow and blue lights to show support for the people of Ukraine.
“It’s a small gesture to show the people of Selkirk stand with the people of Ukraine,” Johannson said.
Russia invaded Ukraine on February 24. According to data released Saturday by the Office of the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, at least 579 civilians have been killed in Ukraine since the start of the war, and more than 1,000 have been injured, including 54 children. Of those killed, 42 were children.
Johannson said while the first lighting of the tower is a sombre occasion, having lights at the base will be a crime deterrent for the future.
“Areas that are lit up are safer and the lights deter vandalism. We want as many people as possible to enjoy our latest work of public art and lighting will allow for that.”
The new lighting system will project light on the base of the tower to ensure the future mural will be visible after sunset and will project beams of light up the neck of the tower. These beams will be remotely controlled and have the ability to project any colour or a combination of colours to mark special occasions — similar to the “Winnipeg” sign at The Forks.
The mural has been factored into the city’s 2022 budget and a request for qualifications is available until April 22 on the City of Selkirk website.