SUDBURY -- Calling it a “time capsule” of the old Sudbury General Hospital and the unmistakable rainbow mural, the Sudbury Writers’ Guild is going public with its latest book.

“Painted Voices is a collection of poetry and poems in French and English,” said Sudbury Writers’ Guild president Thomas Leduc. “We have photos and stories about people who worked there, people who visited. We have opinions on the mural and how people feel about it. It’s a real little time capsule of the hospital and the mural.”

The book took about 17 months to complete, with entries submitted from more than 60 people who have been impacted over the years by the building, whether it be through work or simply viewing it in passing.

“I called the City of Greater Sudbury transportation department and they told me 30,000 people on an average day drive by this hospital,” said Bernie Hughes, with the Hospital Mural Project.

“It’s a bit of a social phenomenon -- a cultural phenomenon, really.”

With the final copy having gone to press, officials said they’re hoping it helps residents take a step back and really think about the colourful addition to the city.

“I’m hoping that people will think about their community -- both the mural and the hospital -- and think about other aspects of the community and how their social and cultural lives fit in a very deep part of the community of Sudbury,” said Hughes.

“This is just one example of how community, society and culture fit into the community.”

“We are hoping that people reminisce about their experiences here at the hospital and take into account how much effort it was to get a hospital here in the city and just think about art and the mural and what everything means to you,” Leduc added.

The pair said with the book published and with the help of a grant from the city, they’re now preparing for Phase 2.

“We’ll be taking some of the text from the collection and doing a series of posters to set up around the city and around the building for people to enjoy throughout the year,” said Leduc.

Copies of Painted Voices are available for $15 through the Sudbury Writers’ Guild website.