It may seem like time has stood still for the past two years since COVID hit the scene, but the Chemainus Festival of Murals Society has kept moving forward.
There have been nine new additions of murals or sculptures since the pandemic and eight of them will be showcased during a walking tour of the Murals Unveiling Festival on Saturday, September 24.
“We continued with our plans, but we couldn’t have a festival,” said company president Tom Andrews.
The last walking tour for the public to see new murals and sculptures was in May 2018, so there’s plenty of catching up to do.
The opening ceremony and tour begins at 11 a.m. at 9756 Willow Street, behind the Willow Antique Mall, to see Coast Salish artist Maynard Johnny Jr.’s Rebirth, which just came up on Monday.
Andrews said Rebirth “symbolizes the rebuilding of relationships between Indigenous and non-Indigenous peoples. We think the time is right to add a mural by a local First Nations artist.
The rest of the route is easily walkable and anyone of any age can come along for the trip and an explanation of each piece.
“We’re going to do a little loop,” Andrews noted. “We’ll start with Rebirth in the alley between the Invitation restaurant and the theater.”
The second stop is opposite the Chemainus Theater to see the two new wind sculptures, then to see the recreated statue of Stefan in the In Search of Snipes exhibition at Heritage Square, followed by Chemainus Road circa 1945 by Kris Friesen on the side of the Violet Wild Cannabis Co. Building.
A few yards away is the Rotary Club mural, by Cim MacDonald, on the Rotary bunker across from the subway. MacDonald also did another recent mural at Mount Brenton Golf Course.
“The tour isn’t going there, it’s too far,” Andrews said. “We will mention it at the unveiling ceremony.”
Final stops are at the Chemainus Public Market to see the Chemainus Art Group’s A Joyful Spring in Chemainus collage inside and the In Tune With Nature piano outside.
“We will have a pianist playing music for us and we will have a celebration on the terrace there,” Andrews said.
“It’s a free event and we’ll end with music, desserts and refreshments at the market. It should be awesome.