Painted mural in Chemainus

(Adrian Dorst photo)


Horse-drawn carriage, downtown Chemainus (Adrian Dorst photo)

Horse-drawn carriage, downtown Chemainus (Adrian Dorst photo)

Chemainus is a charming Cowichan Valley town located in the Vancouver Island region. Chemainus is noted for its creative community, but its artistic flair is most evident in the 40 plus vivid murals scattered around town that depict its culture and history.

In fact, the aptly nicknamed "Muraltown" has been internationally renowned since the early 1980s thanks to these widescreen depictions of colourful chapters from the town's past: First Nations, forestry, mining, and maritime culture. 

Chemainus' bold murals gambit sparked a turnaround for a struggling economy threatened with the closure of its major employer, the Horseshoe Bay lumber mill. Suddenly hundreds of thousands of visitors annually began making this quaint Vancouver Island oceanfront village a must-see on roadtrip itineraries. Today one can tour the murals on foot, by trolley car or horse-drawn carriage.

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