REGINA -- Alleys in downtown Regina have just got a lot more colourful.

This year, many artists have turned the corridors from drab to fab by painting doors.

“It started out as part of the city’s response to deterring unwanted graffiti and the program has grown from that,” said Janell Ranae Rempel, the research co-ordinator for the Regina Downtown Business Improvement District.

The alley door paintings are located between the 1900 blocks of Scarth and Hamilton streets. Saskatchewan artists have painted most of the doors.  

Alley art in downtown Regina.

Artist Pepito Escanlar, who moved from the Philippines in 1975, said this project has given local artists a bigger platform to showcase their skills.

“It’s important for artists like me because it means we have the exposure that we really need,” said Escanlar. “It’s a great program and I love to be a part of it.”

He said he’s always been inspired by Regina’s downtown architecture.

“Being an immigrant coming from the Philippines, you tend to be more observant of the differences between the country I came from and Regina,” said Escanlar. “The contrast of the old buildings and the new buildings is what I find really interesting.”

Clara Chen, who painted one of the doors in the alley, said the project depicts all walks of life in the city.

“I wanted to show the multiculturalism that has been emerging in Regina for the past few decades,” she said.

Alley art in downtown Regina.

Chen’s art is also a mantra to her heritage. Her last name is featured on the door in her native language.

“To have this displayed publically is a great way to have these kinds of ideas easily accessible for anyone,” she said.

Escanlar painted the back door of the Copper Kettle Restaurant. Owner Anna Gardikiotis said the project has connected the community.

“With all the local artists, there’s a great connection to our community,” said Gardikiotis. “That’s what our business is all about, so the fit was there.”