Chemainus business community asks ‘where are we going from here?’

The Chemainus business community is hosting a Think Tank session Sept. 11 from 5-7 p.m. to look at where the town is headed.

The Global Mural Conference is coming to Chemainus, and some people are wondering how it will help the economy grow.

And the economy will be a hot topic Tues., Sept. 11 during an evening Think Tank session looking at where Chemainus wants to be five, 10 and even 20 years from now.

Murals transformed Chemainus from a sawmill town to a tourist destination. Pending the success of the conference, Cowichan Valley officials hope to use the arts to transform the area.

“I think it has a great future, and I think the mural program will continue as aggressively as it has in the past,” said Chemainus Festival of Murals Society president Tom Andrews. “We have 42 murals in our historical series and two murals in our Emily Carr theme and we will continue adding to that. The main thing now is to maintain and keep them looking their best and colourful and attractive so people will come and see them.”

Dan Sawatzky, an international artist and a speaker at the conference, comes with a simple message for Chemainus and the Cowichan Valley — be the best.

“This is the message — is your town the best? In the world and not just the area? Is your business the best in the town, the Island?” he asks. “You must do sculptures, signs and buildings and you can never stop. The minute you stop, you start sliding backwards and other towns start passing you. You must always go forward.”

The Global Mural Conference takes place Sept. 10-13. During the conference, the Chemainus and District Chamber of Commerce and the Chemainus Business Improvement Association will host a “Where Are We Going From Here?” Think Tank session Sept. 11 from 5-7 p.m. at the Seniors Drop-In Centre at 9824 Willow St.

The session will be facilitated by Bill Baker, president of Total Destination Marketing and an expert on creating competitive cities.

The session costs $15. Contact Jeanne at chamber@chemainus.bc.ca or 250-246-3944 to be placed on the list.

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