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A mix of old and new will put some historic ads in Winnipeg's Exchange District on display.

American designer Craig Winslow is coming to Winnipeg for an event called Painted in Light, in which he will digitally restore old ads painted on buildings and project the renewed images over top of the originals.

The former Adobe Creative resident has been hunting these "ghost signs" all over the US and Europe. He's digitally restored signs in London, England, Cincinatti, Detroit, and his hometown of Portland, Maine. This will be his first time in Winnipeg and one of his biggest installations.



Winnipeg advertiser and ghost sign enthusiast Matt Cohen is the organizer of the event. He says there are about 150 ghost signs spread over 20 blocks in Winnipeg. He picked the five ads that will be featured at the Painted In Light event, and says his personal favourite is one of a giant SX canned ham painted on a Bannatyne building.

Cohen gives walking tours of Winnipeg's ghost signs. He started curating the historic ads while on the Advertising Association of Winnipeg board in 2014, when the organization was looking to do something special for its 70th anniversary. He says it's a passion project he'll probably be continuing for most of his life.