Project Overview

The design pieces illustrate James Bay’s character, colouring and local curiosities. Nautical, wet-wintry and garden images reflect the neighbourhood's Pacific Ocean and harbourside location. As well, bows and old styles of windows convey the neighbourhood's old-fashioned look. They also feature a family enjoying the window decorations on display. These elements, together with a large starry night sky, create a look of festiveness that invites viewers to imagine their own displays.

For this annual event, prints included large format posters, tabloid-sized posters, and handouts, which also featured a second illustration in the same theme.

Project Commissioner

Window Wanderland

Project Creator

Alannah Bachynski | Design


Samantha Bartlett, Event Organizer, Recreation Program Coordinator at James Bay Community School Centre
Terry Leoppky, Former Event Organizer
Alannah Bachynski, Designer

Project Brief

Window Wanderland is an annual community craft event; for the event, residents craft and decorate their home and apartment windows, then visit, or rather wander, through their neighbourhood to see decorations created by their neighbours.

Window Wanderland is organized in cities across the globe and it began in Bristol, UK where satellite events continue to be supported. Four years ago, a neighbourhood in Victoria, Canada called James Bay was the first community in North America to host the event locally.

To give the designs a look of place locally, event organizers asked for the designs to reflect James Bay's local character; old-fashioned, quite colourful, nautical and North Westcoast-ian.

Project Innovation/Need

The designs are unique to the event and neighbourhood of James Bay. This led the designs to successfully convey the look and character of the neighbourhood and its generally jaunty residents. The designs connect the event theme with the community. For this reason, the designs brightly reflect Window Wanderland events, held around the world, and attract enthusiasm within James Bay.

Design Challenge

A design challenge posed included capturing and conveying the key concept of the event, whereby community members craft and display window decorations and then join friends and family to see those of homes in the neighbourhood. As well, the designs were asked to look unique to the James Bay neighbourhood so as to resonate with residents. As well, organizers asked that the designs feature a young family and senior members of the community with varying levels of mobility, whom they especially wished to participate.


The designs have been widely well received. The event is now in its fourth year in James Bay where it continues to grow. The designs were created on a volunteer basis the first year when activities were first lifting off the ground. They have been reprinted each year at the request of the organizers with updates to dates and event details. Their success could therefore be marked by their repeated use, enthusiasm for the illustrations, and growth of the event.

The designs were also requested for use by another Canadian city planning to also host a Window Wonderland event. (This request was declined, however, to maintain the integrity of the designs.)

As described above, the designs also met challenges posed to capture the event's key theme, to reflect the neighbourhood, and to feature a young and multigenerational family with varying levels of mobility.

Success of the designs may also be noted by their visibility in the community. The signs appeared in such locations as wide pillars in front of the neighbourhood's most visited grocery store, at a busy and open facing community centre, as well as at the local elementary school. Posters and handouts were posted and shared throughout the community and by local businesses.

This award celebrates creativity and innovation in the traditional or digital visual representation of ideas and messages. Consideration given to clarity of communication and the matching information style to audience.
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