The latest mural in Castlegar is not only special because of the collaboration involved in its creation, it’s also unique in that the paint used actually helps purify the air.

Located on the side of the ARC Youth Programs building at 625 Columbia Ave., the mural was painted by Pass Creek artist Matty Kakes using Airlite, a new form of paint that has anti-bacterial, anti-viral, and anti-mould properties. It also helps acts as an air purification technology by using sunlight to activate a process called photocatalysis, a chemical reaction caused by light.


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The Castlegar News did an article about the mural earlier this week and in it writer Betsy Kline calculates the anti-pollution qualities of the new mural are equal to approximately 81 square metres of mature forest and absorbs the pollution created by 17 cars per day. She arrived at the number because, as she writes, “The company Airlite claims a square metre covered with Airlite eliminates up to 0.390 g/sq. m of nitrogen dioxide each day. A 100 sq. m patch of Airlite should reduce air pollution as effectively as an area of 100 sq. m planted with mature trees.” She goes on to write that, according to the company, Airlite can absorb up to 237.8 grams of CO2 for each kilogram of paint applied.

Using this type of paint was Matty’s idea but the overall mural was most definitely a community project: various lenders pitched in for the project, a variety of people were involved in the labour, and the idea came from Eugene Voykin, a friend of the program manager at ARC Youth Programs. In the Castlegar News story Matty is quoted as saying, “There is a positive impact of murals. In addition to beautifying, it is also community building to work together with people to create a sort of ownership to the space, especially with young people.”

To see the unique mural in person, visit the ARC Youth Programs building at 625 Columbia Ave.