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mural-21-chemainus-harbourTucked between mountains and the sea is the isolated yet remarkable town of Chemainus, BC. This amazing place was once a hub of activity for miners, fishers and loggers, but when these industries failed the First Nations and other peoples in the area converted the town into an artists' mecca, and now boast the widest collection of outdoor art, known as the Chemainus Murals.

Getting There

Only 30 minutes south of Nanaimo in the Cowichan Valley, this cozy town of 3900 is waiting to be explored. To get there, simply follow Highway 1 south and take the exit to Chemainus. You can drive and check out the many beaches and viewpoints along the way, or catch a Greyhound bus to save yourself the drive and enjoy each other's company. Check out Getting to Nanaimo website for more information about getting to the island by foot, bike, ferry, airplane, car and seaplane.

What to See

The Chemainus murals are an arrangement of forty-on outdoor artworks, and have earned the town the prestigious title of mural capital of North America. Each mural depicts a piece of the town's history, and was lovingly painted by local talent. mural1 When you enter Chemainus you will notice a network of footprints, which are the 'guide' for your tour of these amazing pieces of work. Start at the first mural, titled "Steam Donkey" by Frank Lewis and Nancy Langana, located on Willow Street and go from there. If you get hungry or thirsty while walking around feel free to stop in one of the many caf├ęs or restaurants for some refreshment. The Chemainus murals are a tribute to the triumph of a community that was once faced with the choice of deserting their town, or finding a way to sustain themselves without a viable industry. In this day and age there are few places quite as special as Chemainus, BC.