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A few weeks ago, we went on a road trip to Vancouver Island. There we stopped at Chemainus to take a break from the road. This small community is located between Victoria and Comox, on the island’s east shore. The small town has become a popular spot thanks to the murals that adorn many of the its buildings.
Chemainus was founded in the 1800s as a logging town. Its name honours chief “Tsa-meeun-is” (Broken Chest), a brave man who survived a deep chest wound. The Chemainus First Nation people inhabited this beautiful valley for centuries, and their heritage is very much present in many of the murals around town.
Back in its early days, Chemainus received many Chinese immigrants. They came to work in the lumber operations and, later, on the Trans Canada railroad. There are also murals reflecting some of their history on this part of the land.
When the mill finally closed down in the 1980’s, the people of Chemainus came up with the idea to decorate the town with artists’ murals that would celebrate their heritage to attract visitors.
There are about 40 murals spread out about the town. They are easily accessible by following the footprints painted on the sidewalks which guide you from one piece to the next.
We enjoyed our walk around town discovering these art pieces. Below you can see my favourite. Unfortunately, it was too late in the day, and the ice cream place was already closed.
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Thanks for your posting.