There’s nothing tacky about Chemainus

We raise our eyebrows, shake our heads and let out a rueful laugh over a Huffington Post article that declared Chemainus tacky.

It is so tempting to jump on our high horse and let loose with a stream of vitriol at the folks at the Huffington Post.

Instead, we will do what most of the good folks of Chemainus seem to be doing: raise our eyebrows, shake our heads and let out a rueful laugh.

We’re not sure what kind of research went into the piece that declared our Mural Town to be one of the six tackiest tourist traps in the province; the article makes no effort to explain the criteria or the methodology.

It’s not at all clear how many towns were considered, or even visited.

But one thing is pretty clear: the piece was not the result of months of painstaking research in an attempt to make some kind of definitive statement on the subject.

And it is also clear it was not meant to be mean-spirited. In fact, its biggest sin may be the headline. The word tacky is actually never used in the story itself; instead the writer uses the gentler “kitschy,” and all kinds of qualifiers like “a little bit too far,”  “a bit wearying,” and “even if they’re fun.”

It’s perhaps the least-pointed skewering of a community we’ve ever read.

But a counterpoint must be made nonetheless.

Of course downtown Chemainus is more geared to tourists than residents. That’s hardly news; residents have been making the same gripe for a generation.

But that does not make it tacky.

That is the history of a rich and vibrant community being celebrated on those walls, and it is being celebrated with class.

No vitriol here, just a firm message to the Post: you are wrong.

—Cowichan News Leader Pictorial

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