Hooray, hooray for the month of May, for that’s when members of the Chemainus Festival of Murals Society come out to play!
Perhaps ‘play’ isn’t exactly the correct word, but the Society, which maintains, restores, and adds murals and artwork to the outdoor art gallery in Chemainus, has two free events planned to help celebrate Chemainus as Canada’s Mural Capital™.
On May 5, come out to Walk as One at One, at the new Chemainus Labyrinth in Waterwheel Park, in downtown Chemainus near the Visitor’s Centre, joining others around the globe to create a wave of peaceful energy washing across the time zones.
A labyrinth is an ancient symbol that relates to wholeness. It combines the imagery of the circle and the spiral into a meandering but purposeful path. It represents a journey to our own centre and back again out into the world.
The Chemainus Labyrinth is 40 feet in diameter and is created in the 11-circuit Braemore design from the 10th century and not overtly religious in nature.
It is a project of the Murals Society with assistance from the Municipality of North Cowichan and the Chemainus Rotary Club.
The first 100 people to complete the Walk on the Mild Side will receive a certificate of participation the Society.
There are more than 75 labyrinths on Vancouver Island.
The second public event is the Mural Festival on May 19, officially dedicating five pieces in the Society’s new Community Art series as well as two new murals in the original Historical Series, and a ‘welcome back’ salute to the Steam Train on Bridge over Chemainus River mural that was removed with the demolition of the old Visitor’s Centre and Fire Hall.
Celebrations will start at 11 am on May 19, at the Orca mural on the Chemainus Ace Hardware building at 9630 Chemainus Rd.
The Town Crier will announce each piece of art, while a piper and drummer will lead participants to the Kew Gardens Flagpole mural on the Back to Britain Pubs building.
From there the group will move to Willow Street for Lest We Forget on the Post Office, and the aforementioned Steam Train… on the Telus Building.
Then it off to The Five Cent Candy Bar War mural on Neighbourhood House.
The tour ends at the Chemainus Labyrinth in Waterwheel Park around 12:15.
Festivities continue at Waterwheel Park with entertainment provided by Masimba Marimba from Bopoma Music.
Chemainus Rotary Club members will be barbequing hotdogs and serving drinks (by donation) and there will be activities for children, as well as prize draws for those who get a Mural Passport stamped at each of the art induction ceremonies.