How much is that mural on the wall?

The Canadian Country Music Heritage Society wants to find out how much its country music artist murals and Walk of Stars plaques are worth by having them appraised.

“We think that there’s a lot more value there than people appreciate [and] we believe it would help assist us greatly in major fundraising — corporate or grant writing initiatives — if we could verify we have a million dollars worth of art on the streets,” CCMHS president Ron Sanders told the city council at a recent committee of the whole meeting.

Sanders estimated the appraisal would cost about $10,000 and asked that the city partner with the CCMHS on the project

“The issue we have [is] it always sounds like we got lots of money, but we never have any money because the grants that we get are for those projects, there’s never any rent money in there,” Sanders told council.

He said the CCHMS would like to have the funds to be able to purchase the downtown building along Quilchena Avenue it’s currently located at, and its Walk of Stars plaques need maintenance.

Sanders told the Herald the CCMHS is now waiting on the city to respond, noting they need a funding partner to make it happen.

“We thought we’d let the city chew on it for a bit,” he told the Herald.

While the CCHMS may have mentioned the project at a committee of the whole meeting, Merritt Mayor Neil Menard told the Herald that despite bringing the idea to the city’s attention at a committee of the whole meeting the group has yet to make an official request to partner on the project.

“We haven’t had an official request from them, whatsoever” said Menard.

Then and now album to be recorded in Merritt

A special album will be recorded at the Canadian Country Music Hall of Fame in Merritt this spring. (Herald file photo).

Expect to see an influx of country music stars old and new in Merritt this April.

The Canadian Country Music Heritage Society (CCMHS) is producing a then and now album featuring hall of fame inductees partnering with up and coming artists to produce modern versions of their hit songs.

The album, which is expected to raise the local country music hall of fame’s profile on a national level, will be recorded in Merritt at the hall itself.

“We’re going to turn the hall of fame into a studio, providing sound tests work out okay,” society president Ron Sanders told council at a committee of the whole meeting on Jan. 30.

The album will involve 12 hall of fame inductees teamed up with another 12 up-and-comers, including names such as Aaron Pritchett, Gordon Lightfoot, Brett Kissel, Paul Brandt and Buffy Sainte-Marie.

The society received a matching grant of about $80,000 from Creative BC to produce the country music album, which will include shooting a music video.

The album is expected to be released this September in conjunction with the Canadian Country Music Association Awards, and is expected to cost about $160,000 to produce.