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Mural celebration to include Chemainus Easter party

Carey Newman’s longhouse carving will be getting an addition on April 23 at 11 a.m. during Chemainus’ mural celebration.

Chemainus is getting ready to paint the town for their annual mural celebration.

The 29th annual Festival of Murals Celebration is slated for April 23 with a load of family events planned for the Easter weekend.

Lou Roelofsen, president of the society, said the event is a great way to engage the community.

The celebration is held every year, but since the 29th edition falls on Easter, they are pulling out all the stops.

“Because it is Easter, we tie it into some family events that are being organized around town,” said Roelofsen

For this year’s celebration, the Festival of Murals Society is furthering its work promoting Emily Carr’s Chemainus connection.

First Nation’s carver Carey Newman will be on hand to unveil his interpretation of Carr’s Skidegate Eagle. The red cedar carving will be installed above the longhouse front he carved in a previous year.

Representatives from the Skidegate First Nation will also be on hand.

“We can really tie Emily Carr to what she was doing in her life, which was painting First Nations scenes.”

Ingrid Rennblad with the Chemainus Chamber of Commerce notes the murals are an important part of Chemainus since they capture not only the history of the town, but the people involved.

“It’s the history of the town that’s been painted on the walls and you have a lot of people connected to those murals,” said Rennblad, pointing out the diversity of the town.

But the murals’ significance means a great deal not only to Chemainus, but to all of B.C. Some of the murals, she added, depict the evolution of the forestry industry in the province.

“It’s an easy way to walk through that whole era.”

There are now 41 murals.

The mural maps are a hot item at the visitor centre.

Of the people who come through, Rennblad said the picture of the three chiefs, called Native Heritage, is always a popular choice.

“That is really the signature piece. It’s a very powerful piece.”

Asked for her favourite, Rennblad is quick to answer: “The Hermit.”

The schedule of events for the celebration include:

Friday, April 22:

• Dress up your pets photo competition and kids colouring contest deadline is 8 p.m. April 22. Drop off is Chemainus Foods and Hansel and Gretels.

• Free swimming for kids at Best Western Plus from 11 a.m. to 8 p.m.

Saturday, April 23:

• There is a kids eat free pancake breakfast at 9 a.m. at Best Western Plus. Adult tickets cost $6.

• A kids’ colouring contest drop off is at Hansel and Gretels.

• There will be an acting and improv workshop at the Chemainus Theatre Festival rehearsal hall starting at 10 a.m. You must pre-register by calling 250-246-9800 ext 7020.

• There will be a backstage tour of the Chemainus Theatre Festival at 9:30 a.m. Pre-register by calling 250-246-9820.

• By George will be performing at Waterwheel Park from 10 a.m. to 11 a.m. and again at 2 p.m.

• The Skidegate Eagle will be unveiled at 11 a.m. in the Waterwheel Park parking lot.

• Baby chickens and bunnies will be on display along Willow Street from Friday, April 22 to Sunday, April 24.

• Dress up and become a mural artist at Waterwheel Park from 12 p.m. to 2 p.m. Cost is $5.

• The witch is in at Hansel and Gretel’s on Willow Street from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.

• Kids can get their faces painted at Flowering Tree, 2863 Oak Street, from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.

• Kids can also take part in Easter arts and crafts from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. in Waterwheel Park.

• Isabel Askew, a historic figure in Chemainus, will be handing out Easter eggs in Waterwheel Park from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m.

• The BC Celtic/Roots Trio will be performing in Waterwheel Park from 12 p.m. to 2 p.m.

• There will be a high tea with musical parade of hats at the senior centre at 2 p.m. Cost is $5.

• The museum will be open all day with free admittance.

• There will be movies on the big screen at Best Western Plus for kids while parents shop from 2 p.m. to 5 p.m.

• The Paul Black Blues Band will perform at the Dancing Bean Cafe at 8 p.m. Cost is $12.

• The Gospel of John, a movie made in 2003, will be playing at the Calvary Church. Call 250-246-9121.

• A Saturday Dance with Happy Hans will be held at the senior centre from 7 p.m. to 10:30 p.m. for $7. Food and bar included.

Sunday, April 24:

• The Best Western Plus will be holding a free family swim from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m.

• St. Michael’s will be offering communion at 2858 Mill Rd at 10 a.m.

• The Calvary Baptist Sunrise Service, 3318 River Rd. will be at 10 a.m.

• There will also be a hot dog lunch snack down at Waterwheel Park at noon for $2 to $5 and Easter Egg hunt at the Chemainus Valley Historical Society at 11:30 a.m.

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