I am a large scale muralist and private contractor, and have recently been doing some work in Hope. I was doing a window mural for an establishment on Wallace Street and was approached by another business owner who liked my work and repeatedly asked me to consider doing a mural on the exterior wall of his restaurant. I agreed to take a look and went there to scope out the project. He showed me a picture of what he wanted and we agreed on the terms and drew up a written contract specifying a retainer up front with full payment upon completion. I received a cheque for the retainer, purchased the paint and proceeded to prepare the wall for the mural.
Then next day I spent approximately 12 hours painting the mural and was very pleased with the way it was coming together. The owner was not there that day but an employee repeatedly came out and took pictures while speaking to someone on the phone in his native tongue which I didn’t understand.
When the owner finally arrived, he looked at the mural which was not yet finished and began fault-finding and insisting on changes to the original image and size. After some discussion it became very clear that he was not going to honour the contract.
I was outraged at his lack of honour and integrity as I had really endeavored to do my best for him. I stopped painting at that point. The next day I went to the bank to cash the retainer and was informed the cheque had been cancelled immediately after it was written – before I had even begun preparing to paint the wall. It was obvious to me that he had no intention of paying me right from the beginning.
In my view, this is the height of unscrupulous business practices and I felt it was my duty to bring this situation to light in the hopes that others will not fall prey to the same thing.