Announcing the Hidden Messages Poetry Project

Poems Along the Active Transportation Network Are Revealed in the Rain


The City of Nanaimo's Active Transportation and Culture & Events sections are pleased to announce a new collaborative public art and poetry project from the Urban Design Roster that pairs poetry with design to bring hidden creativity to the active transportation network.

Nanaimo design team Webb Creative made stencils using poetry by Nanaimo’s Poet Laureate, Kamal Parmar. The haiku poems celebrate active commutes and Nanaimo's natural and urban surroundings. Installed along active transportation routes in ten locations across Nanaimo using hydrophobic materials, the poems are revealed as hidden messages when it rains. Each poem is paired with a QR code link, so members of the public can also listen to the poems on their mobile devices, rain or shine.

The project is installed just in time for Go By Bike week, May 30 - June 3 at ten locations across Nanaimo: McGirr Sports Field Trail, E&N Trail at Northfield Road, Haliburton Road multi use path, Colliery Dam, Bowen Park Trailway, Queen Elizabeth Promenade, Departure Bay Walkway, Walley Creek Trail, Front Street and Metral Drive at Mostar Road.

Link to Strategic Plan: Activating Art in transportation corridors, and on waterfront walkways is a direction found in the Community Plan for Public Art.

Key Points

  • Eco-friendly hydrophobic poems across the active transportation network are revealed when it rains.
  • New Public Art along pedestrian and cycling routes to encourage healthy activity, rain or shine.


"I’m thrilled that poetry and art can be part of the story of active transportation. When revealed, these playful haikus encourage a cheery moment on a rainy day for those who roam along our cycle and pedestrian paths."

City of Nanaimo




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