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Within the Municipality of North Cowichan, no other community boasts as long a history and perhaps as strong an identity as Chemainus. The around 4000 Chemainus residents describe their community as friendly, proud of their history and small town character, where people of all ages and backgrounds are respected. Residents enjoy outdoor recreational opportunities while having regard for the environment, and value a variety of employment opportunities.
Chemainus is world-famous for its murals. The Festival of Murals is a successful revitalization project that began in 1982 with the unveiling of five murals painted onto existing buildings. In 2012 there are now more than 40 murals and sculptures depicting the heritage and history of Chemainus. Visit the Chemainus Festival of Murals Society for more details.
Enjoy local dinner theatre at the renowned Chemainus Theatre Festival. Plan to be entertained in this beautiful example of architectural design. You won't be disappointed by the high-calibre talent in any of the productions which draw audiences from all over Vancouver Island.
Take a ride through town on the steam train or a horse drawn carriage, stroll through Waterwheel Park, enjoy a concert at the outside amphitheatre, or explore the dozens of unique shops and galleries of folk art, First Nations art, pottery and antiques. When you need a rest, Chemainus is the perfect place for lunch at one of the many excellent restaurants and tea houses.
You can also tour a working sawmill and a busy port where you can watch huge freighters load up with lumber for distant markets or enjoy a quiet few hours perusing the artifacts at the Chemainus Valley Museum.
From Chemainus, board a BC Ferry for hiking, kayaking or fishing on nearby Thetis and Penelakut Islands.
Chemainus has a wide range of accommodations, from small motels and hotels to campgrounds, hostels and bed and breakfasts. Whatever you decide to do, Chemainus makes the perfect destination for a day trip or a weekend getaway!