Chemainus is 4 km up the road again, and has a population of 4,000. This community was named in 1871 for the Tsimminis, a Salish tribe, whose name is derived from the island Halkomelem phrase “bitten Breast”, referring to the crescent shape of Chemainus Bay, which according to legend was a bite taken from a bystander by an excited shaman during a tribal ceremony.
The town even has a public 18 hole golf course. Chamainus is also the departure point for Ferry rides to Thetis and Kuper Islands. While Kuper is mostly Indian Reservation and private land, Thetis is a pleasant place for a drive, bike ride, paddle or a swim.
Chemainus has Canada’s largest outdoor art gallery. After the shutdown of the town’s only art gallery in the early 80s, the town revitalized its core by painting murals of the area’s history around its downtown. Over 250,000 visitors come each year to view the 32 large murals, making the town a must for both art lovers and artists.
at Waterwheel Park
Has outdoor concert/theatre stage, and great views of waterfront, statue of HR MacMillian, the timber tycoon.
at Waterwheel Park
Showcases the early forestry industry. Located beside Tourist information office.
The Chemainus Theatre
9737 Chemainus Rd, Chemainus, BC V0R 1K0
250-246-9820 or 1-800-565-7738
Offers great dinner theatre with both matinee and evening performances.
Chemainus Festival of Murals
Box 1311 Chaminus BC, V0R 1K0
32 large murals on downtown buildings, illustrating the area’s history. While begun with local artists, the murals have since attracted artists from around the world. For $1 you can get a map for a self-guided tour, for $2 you can take a guided tour and for $5 get a carriage guided tour. The actual festival is held over July and August and includes street dances, parades, stage entertainment and artists at work. Start your tour at Waterwhell Park, where the map of murals is posted.