She dismisses any talk of being an artist, but Vivian Williams has indeed created artwork that is changing the Vancouver Island community of Woss.

"You know, I had people say, 'the jaws are just wagging since you painted those hydrants,' and I mean that as a positive thing," Williams says.

The relative newcomer to the tiny North Island community first painted the fire hydrant outside of her home so it resembled a lighthouse. Her husband then suggested she paint others in the community as well in an effort to lift residents spirits.

At first, she thought the project meant that she would be painting 17 hydrants but then she says people kept finding more and more around the village. In all, she has painted 25 with one more requiring painting once it is repaired.

The efforts are being done through her own paint supplies and volunteered labour. She does, also, have the blessing of the local fire department.

"Oh they love them," Williams says. "Instantly, especially when I did the sported dog, you know, the dalmatian, they were really pleased with that."

Her handiwork is getting the attention of not only those who live in the community, but also tourists.

"She went out on her own time volunteering to paint them all," says Woss resident, Al Kaube. "There's not many people that would do that."

Kaube acknowledges the community has been hard hit over the past few years, especially since a railway accident in 2017 claimed the lives of three local forestry workers.

"It was a big impact and it was nice to see something a little positive instead of the negative," Kaube says.

Williams says the experience has been particularly touching, especially the reactions from those who lost loved ones in the community in recent years.