All hail The Curator!

Cim MacDonald holds her certificate recognizing her 20 years of service to Chemainus and the Festival of Murals Society

Cim MacDonald holds her certificate recognizing her 20 years of service to Chemainus and the Festival of Murals Society

Twenty years and counting – not quite a generation, but close to it – that’s how long Cim MacDonald has been Curator of The Chemainus Festival of Murals Society.

That’s 20 years of hard work restoring, cleaning and maintaining the appearance of the over 40 murals in the Chemainus outdoor art collection. She helps maintain Chemainus’ claim to Mural Capital of Canada™.

MacDonald was recently presented with a certificate celebrating her service to the Festival of Murals and to North Cowichan by Society President Tom Andrews. “You do an amazing job keeping Chemainus’ outdoor art gallery clean, fresh, and appealing for the public to view and enjoy.” He said. “Thank you, Cim, for all you do for the Society and for Chemainus.”

MacDonald is a fine artist and photographer based in Chemainus. Her two newest murals, unveiled in August, are interpretations of Emily Carr’s Big Raven and Blunden Harbour. They are the fourth and fifth murals MacDonald has painted in Chemainus, The Little Town That Did™. The others are The Telephone Company – Circa 1915, Passing the Torch, and the Carr-inspired paintings on the mural First Nations Villages as seen through the eyes of Emily Carr.

Emily Carr's "Big Raven" interpreted by Cim MacDonald

Emily Carr’s “Big Raven” interpreted by Cim MacDonald

MacDonald’s artwork hangs in collections worldwide, including those of Queen Elizabeth II and Iona Campagnolo, former Lieutenant Governor of British Columbia.

Born in Scotland, MacDonald came with her family to Victoria when she was seven. She majored in fine arts at university before joining the BC government in Victoria. Later, she took a job at the Crofton mill, where she worked almost 20 years.

MacDonald remembers painting greenware in post-war Scotland, sitting around the kitchen table with her mother, aunts, and grandmother. When her father joined a seniors’ art class, he inspired MacDonald to try her hand at painting again. A number of courses later, she began to exhibit her art and to teach others to paint. She also hosted a beginner course in watercolour for television.

Carr's Blunden Harbour, interpreted by Cim MacDonald

Carr’s Blunden Harbour, interpreted by Cim MacDonald

Because of her long affiliation with the lumber industry, MacDonald is known for her commissions with industrial and marine themes. Her paintings can be found in corporate collections including Rivtow and Fletcher Challenge Canada. IBM and Domtar have also included her work in their Canada-wide exhibitions.

In recent years, MacDonald has been recognized for her fine-art photography as much as her art. She is the author of two books: The Chemainus Gardens – The Beauty of the Seasons; and The Unexpected Birder. She has plans for two more, one for the BC Forest Museum in Duncan, and another for Cowichan Family Life.

Read more about MacDonald at