On May 16, artist Luigia Zilli and the B1 Group kicked off a colourful way to raise funds for the Milton, Ont., velodrome, which will be built for the 2015 Pan/Parapan Am Games. Zilli, an artist who’s been painting cycling-themed pieces since 2005, has contributed a work entitled “Stringing Out” for auction. Also up for grabs are tickets to a draw for a MCipollini Speed track bike valued at $13,450.

The painting entitled Stringing Out is being auctioned off to raise funds for the Pan/Parapan Am Games velodrome, which will be built in Milton, Ont.

The painting entitled Stringing Out is being auctioned off to raise funds for the Pan/Parapan Am Games velodrome, which will be built in Milton, Ont.

Artist Luigia Zilli and her art

Artist Luigia Zilli and her art

Zilli comes by her artistic passion for bikes honestly. She used to race in Italy on the road. Later, she covered races for television. In 1999, she moved to Vancouver. Throughout the next few years, she grew to miss the cycling culture in which she was so immersed. In an effort to alleviate some of her “cycling homesickness,” she began to paint. In 2005, she produced her first work called “Tour de France.”

Now, the Oakville, Ont.-based artist is excited about the velodrome project. “I’m really happy about it,” Zilli said. “The velodrome will be a way to get Canadian youth more passionate about and more competitive in cycling. I think it will help a lot.”

Zilli is no stranger to helping with development of the sport in Canada. During her stay in Vancouver, she worked with the city of Burnaby, B.C., on the creation of the Giro di Burnaby, which is now part of BC Superweek.

After the construction of the project, Zilli hopes to bring her connection to the velodrome full circle, or full oval, and have an exhibition of her art in the new facility.

To participate in the auction of Zilli’s “Stringing Out,” visit the MCipollini store at 70 Yorkville Ave., Toronto, Ont., M5R 1B9. To enter in the draw for the MCipollini Speed track bike, visit B1 Group’s website. Currently, the  Milton Velodrome Capital Campaign Committee needs to raise $5 million more to reach the goal of $56 million.

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