It may seem like time has stood still the last two years since COVID arrived on the scene, but the Chemainus Festival of Murals Society continued moving forward.
There have been nine new additions of either murals or sculptures since the pandemic and eight of those will be featured on a Mural Unveiling Festival walking tour Saturday, Sept. 24.
“We kept going with our projects, but we couldn’t have a festival,” said Tom Andrews, the society’s president.
The last such walking tour for the public to view new murals and sculptures took place in May of 2018 so there’s a lot of catching up to do.
The opening ceremony and tour begins at 11 a.m. at 9756 Willow St. behind the Willow Antique Mall to see Rebirth by Coast Salish artist Maynard Johnny Jr. that just went up on Monday.
Andrews said Rebirth is “to symbolize the rebuilding of relationships between Indigenous and non-Indigenous people. We believe the timing is right to add a mural by a local First Nations artist.”
The rest of the route is within easy walking distance and everyone of any age can come along for the journey and an explanation of each piece.
“We’ll do a little loop,” noted Andrews. “We’ll start with Rebirth in the alley between Invitation restaurant and the theatre.”
The second stop is across from the Chemainus Theatre to view the two new wind sculptures and then to see the recreated Stefan statue in the In Search of Snipes display at Heritage Square followed by Chemainus Road circa 1945 by Kris Friesen on the side of the Violet Wild Cannabis Co. building.
Just a few feet away is the Rotary Club mural, done by Cim MacDonald, on the Rotary bunker across from Subway. MacDonald also did another recent mural at the Mount Brenton Golf Course.
“The tour’s not going down there, it’s too far out of the way,” Andrews indicated. “We will mention it during the unveiling ceremony.”
The final stops are at the Chemainus Public Market to view the Chemainus Art Group’s A Joyful Spring in Chemainus collage inside and the In Tune With Nature piano outside.
“We’ll have a pianist play some music for us and we’ll have a celebration on the patio area there,” said Andrews.
“It’s a free event and we’ll finish up with music, desserts and refreshments at the market. It should be great.”