A new mural celebrating both 4 Wing and the City of Cold Lake now stands behind the Small Arms Range – Photo by Mike Marshall / The Courier News 

A new piece of art can be seen just beyond the gate to the General Restricted Area at 4 Wing, courtesy of one of the members here.

A new mural celebrating both 4 Wing and the City of Cold Lake now stands behind the Small Arms Range. The mural, featuring a look at the landscape of the area, a CF-18 Hornet, and emblazoned with “Fighter Town Alberta”, is the work of Cpl Barry Haughian, who works in the Carpentry shop on-base.

Haughian has been in the Canadian Armed Forces (CAF) for four years and 4 Wing is his first posting. He is originally from Edmonton.

“All my life, I’ve been an artist,” explains Haughian. “I had been working with tattoo and decal designs. When I made the jump into the military, I still had those skills so I try to apply them wherever I can.”

The idea for the mural came from the 4 Wing Online Suggestion Box, a relatively new tool that was started before the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Cpl Haughian presented several different designs and iterations to the Wing Headquarters team and the final vision was supported,” says 4 Wing Lesson Learned Officer Maj Kael Rennie. “The hope in the future is that units could use it as a backdrop for unit pictures, presentations, etc.”

The mural took about two years to go from idea to reality, with Haughian starting work earlier this year.

“I started work on it in late June, and I’ve been working on it every day, weather permitting,” says Haughian. “It took about a month and change to finish, maybe over 100 hours. Sometimes I would come out at night and do a transfer of the image using a projector. The projector wasn’t as powerful as I’d hoped, so a few times I had to get quite artistic.”

Haughian says he came up with the design by looking at past ideas he had thought up.

“I pulled some ideas from tattoos I had designed and tried to pull something together that would be both ‘Military’ as well as ‘Cold Lake’ and feature the landscape and outdoors. I tried to keep things simple.”

On August 23rd, a few members of 4 Wing including Wing Commander Col Dave Turenne and Chief Warrant Officer Lee Darling took their first looks at the finished work and were pleased with the results.

Haughian says he hopes anyone who has a look at the mural gets a positive feeling.

“I hope it boosts morale, breaks up a little of the monotony of a day, and, in the wintertime especially, I hope it reminds us that there is a couple of months of summer just around the corner.”

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