2023 Paint the Train

For this year’s competition the Arts Council of Surrey, the Langley Arts Council, Arts New West  and the FVHRS expanded the scope for both subject choice as well as geography. The scope expanded over the years and this fifth version now encompasses all things rail related in the region of the lower Fraser Valley and the Lower Mainland since 1886. The BCER was one of the early rail connections in BC, but was not alone.

This year again included a category for Juniors. Considering Juniors to be aged 10 through 17, this is the fourth category for judging.  Juniors are not awarded a full cash prize but are recognized with gift certificates and artist’s supplies provided by donors.

All submissions were displayed at Newton Cultural Centre during November 2023; winners went on tour at Township of Langley Civic Centre December 12, 2023 through January 8, 2024; the display of winners then moved to the New Westminster Arts Council Gallery January  through January 29; upon request from Surrey Libraries, the Winners tour continued from February 2 to March 31.

The People’s Choice Award ran throughout the various displays and added online voting accessed via QR code.


For 2023 we were pleased to welcome three respected local artists as judges this year. Jim Adams, Suvi Bains and Jarnail Singh selected the winners and Honourable Mention prizes.

The four partners of Paint the Train decided to reset the scope of the Paint the Train competition and consider new challenges. We expect this review will take some time to evaluate and then attract expanded sponsors. Please check later for news.

2-D Painting & Drawing on any substrate

First Place

A Railway Rainbow

Rainbows have throughout history been symbols and signs for many. In Norse mythology, rainbows symbolized a bridge that connects the world of men. Today, rainbows are seen by many as a symbol of hope, promise, and unity. The connectives of the seven colours coming together, is not unlike to the connection the Railway offered to our country of Canada. When the railway was founded in 1881, it offered unity, promise and hope to people from the east coast to the west coast as the exchange of goods and services was made possible for the first time in history and built/transformed the communities that we have today

Artist: Carla Maskall

Medium: Acrylic on canvas

Second Place

At the Water Tower

CPR 3716 taking on water at tower somewhere in Fraser Valley

Artist: Gary Weston

Medium: Acrylic on canvas

Third Place

The Motorman

One of the FVHR motormen posed for me in Car 1225. I wanted to focus on that role in keeping the FVHR spirit thriving.

Artist: Bob Gunning

Medium: Oil on Canvas

Honourable Mention

Goldon Express

Trains were once a comfortable way to travel, connecting cities across Canada.

Artist: Richard Desteur

Medium: Oil on Canvas

3-D Mixed Media, Printmaking, Sculptures & Fiber Arts

First Place


I call this 3D scrapbooking. I wanted a way to get my hobby of model making “up on the wall”.

Artist: Brian Rudko

Medium: Mixed Media

Second Place

Figures With Wheels 2

These drawings are an invitation to a travelling to another realm and towards another perspective. Inspired by railway and velocipedes, I use the figure and the wheel as a symbol of movement. I use many layers of color washes combining color pencils, graphite, watercolor, acrylics on heavy weight paper by erasing and reworking and reprinting.

Artist: Beatrice Cosovanu

Medium: Mixed Media

Third Place

Connecting Town and Country BCER 1930

Our combined work of photography and stitch is a visual depiction of the connection between town and local communities by BCER, allowing produce and dairy to travel back and forth from farm to city.

Artist: Lynne Kelman & Carla Paterson

Medium: Mixed Media (Photography and Stitch)

Honourable Mention

Lost Track

The track that might take souls to their destination now was the part of a mine that took lives of various people.

Artist: Maan Kaur

Medium: Mixed Media on Canvas

Photography and Digital Art

First Place

New West Station

For this series I wanted to focus on some trains seen as ordinary and would often be overlooked, though they still hold their own unique qualities that should be appreciated.

Artist: Lukas Smith-Weston

Medium: Photograph

Second Place

Reliving the Past

Artist: Helmut Gruntorad

Medium: Photograph

Third Place

Royal Lullaby

CONNAUGHT’S bedtime on Coronation Day.

Artist: Isabel McCurdy

Medium: Photography on Canvas

Honourable Mention

Changing Landscape

20 years ago none of these high-rises were around King George Skytrain Stn. The area is ever-changing, bringing development, while crowding the Land. Who knows what it will look like in 20 more years…. Although I love the sunrises and sunsets off the windows of these skyscrapers, I suffer for the trees that were cut down to build them and wonder what have WE done to this unceded traditional LAND that belongs to those who are not benefiting from these developments. I guess this is the power of progress that railways and sky trains bring.

Artist: Ardita Fishta

Medium: Photography

Junior Category

Winning Artist

Interurban on the Railway

This artwork displays an Interurban by the Fraser Valley Heritage station.

Artist: Gyan Gawander

Medium: Acrylic, Markers and Pencils

People’s Choice

Based on votes from attendees, both in-person and virtual at all the presentations in Surrey, Langley and New Westminster.  This award was announced in May 2024 issue of The Spotlight.

Our Congratulations to Isabel McCurdy

Photography & Digital Art:

Isabel McCurdy, “Royal Lullaby”

Produced with the Support of our Corporate Sponsors

A warm thank you to our corporate sponsors, without whose support this event would not be possible.