›› Mila Czemerys

The annual Fernwood Pole Painting Day is coming up on Saturday, September 9th. Kids, local artists, families, neighbours, one and all are invited to take part in this community building art project. Please join us and brighten up our neighbourhood with your creative ideas and paint a pole.

Would you like to paint a pole in ­Fernwood? Here’s how to get involved:

  • Pick-up a Pole Painting Kit. These will be available on Thursday, August 24th at the Picot Night ­Market in Fernwood Square between 4pm and 9pm. They will also be ­available in Fernwood Square on Wednesday, September 6th between noon and 6pm.
  • Design your pole! Simple and bold graphics are great & stencils help, too. Draw out your ideas.
  • Check with the neighbours before painting a pole, drop off our letter for your neighbour—template included in your pole painting kit.
  • Tidy up your pole using a thick pair of gloves and needle nose pliers, carefully remove staples and other things that might interfere with your art!
  • Set-Up your site: Before painting, place newspaper, a drop cloth or cardboard on the sidewalk to ensure no paint gets on the sidewalk. Please be careful and aware of cars and traffic on the road.
  • Prime your pole. We recommend priming your pole with your base coat paint on Friday, September 8th. This will allow time for the pole to dry before you paint your design. It can take a few hours for the base coat to dry.
  • Paint! You are invited to paint your telephone pole on Saturday, ­September 9th. Did you know all the paint used in this project has been salvaged from Hartland ­Landfill? If it is raining, please wait for a sunny day to paint your pole.
  • Clean up. Make sure you clean up all your supplies and keep or ­dispose of them responsibly. Post your wet paint sign on your finished pole
  • Admire your work and show your friends.


How do I register or sign-up to paint the pole outside my house?

There is no formal registration for painting a telephone pole. To ensure you get to paint the pole you wish, please download and print or pick up a “This Pole has an Artist Poster” sign and tape it to your pole. When your design it created, please inform and discuss with your neighbours, letting them know what art everyone will enjoy together. Fernwood NRG does not assign poles.

What does a pole ­painting kit include?

  • An info sheet about pole painting
  • One large container of primer/basecoat paint
  • Four to five containers of colourful paint (you choose the colours)
  • Signage: “This Pole has an Artist”, “Drive Slow”, and “Wet Paint” signs
  • A letter for your neighbour letting them know what you would like to paint the pole you’ll enjoy together
  • Paint brushes
  • Sponges
  • Shelf liner/MacTac (to create stencils)

When do I paint my pole?

Pick up your Pole Painting Kit on ­Thursday, August 24th at the Picot Night Market in Fernwood Square between 4pm and 9pm or in Fernwood Square on Wednesday, September 6th between noon and 6pm. Paint your pole on Pole Painting Day—Saturday, ­September 9th.

How long does it take to paint a pole?

It takes approximately 2-3 hours to paint a pole depending on the complexity of your design. You will need to paint a basecoat (primer) and potentially tidy up the pole before painting by removing staples. We suggest doing this on Friday evening. Then Saturday, paint your design. We ­recommend preparing your design beforehand and using stencils to create your graphics.

My pole is already painted, am I allowed painting over it?

The beauty of the Pole Painting ­Project is the temporary nature of the art, the ­community spirit, and vibe it creates. While it is not our role to choose who gets to paint which pole, we highly suggest using our letter to inform and discuss with your neighbour before painting.

If the pole has tags on it but the pole is still beautiful, please take this time to restore your pole! If it is looking old, ­perhaps some new art is welcome. This is all up to you, the neighbourhood!

What are the rules?

  • No splatter or drip painting
  • Avoid using text in your design
  • No logos or commercial images
  • No overt political and religious ­symbols or messaging
  • No painting is allowed on the sidewalk or any surface other than the pole
  • Have fun!

I would rather the pole near my house not be painted, how do I ensure this?

Create a “Please leave this Pole Blank” sign or come by the Fernwood Community Centre to pick one up. Post it on the pole near your house that you wish to not be painted.

On May 28th 2011, Fernwood NRG, Emily Grav of The Paint Box School of Art and Beth Threlfall coordinated the painting of over 100 telephone poles with bright, bold, colourful designs on ­Fernwood Road and Gladstone Avenue. Since then, ­Fernwood NRG has organized the ­painting and touching up of hundreds of telephone poles. This project has helped to slow traffic, curb signature tagging, and create warm, friendly, and beautiful ­streets. All the paint used in this project has been salvaged from Hartland Landfill.

Find this event on Facebook here