An Arts Center in the Heart of Chemainus?


Chemainus Valley Cultural Arts Society (CVCAS) is envisioning an “Arts Center” in the heart of downtown Chemainus.

CVCAS Background

CVCAS has been promoting arts and culture in the greater community since 2001. Residents, merchants, visitors and tourists benefit from CVCAS projects and initiatives including Rain Forest Art Gallery (featuring works from more than 50 Visual Artists in the Local Community) and Summer Concerts and Music in the Park in Waterwheel Park.

We have also put on several winter performances each year, such as the renowned “Lady Day at Emerson Hall” and our monthly Open Mic series. All of these events have become important additions to Chemainus and help brand us as an Arts Town as was initiated by our beloved Murals and the Chemainus Festival Theatre.

Over the past couple of years new arts businesses, including Rainforest Arts, Maple Lane Guitars, JD Stevenson Gallery, the Maple Lane Candle Factory and Bound to be Different have sprung up, indicating new merchants also believe in our Arts persona. to further the efforts of these new arts businesses and our brand, the question becomes: How can we position Chemainus to go all the way and dare to become “Vancouver Island’s Arts Capital”?

OPPORTUNITY KNOCKS: seize it NOW before it passes us by!!!

For quite awhile now, we have heard citizens (and visitors!) lamenting and worrying about the large store-front building that is EMPTY, directly across from our beautifully refurbished Waterwheel Square.

This square is home to Waterwheel Park, the Museum, Visitor’s Center and the Chamber of Commerce. It is the hub of our summer festivals, summer market, CVCAS musical productions, and other community events such as our Christmas and Halloween events, Canada Day Celebrations and more. This space can and SHOULD become the crowning glory of our Arts Town in the form of a new Arts Center.

The old Chemainus Foods building is currently for rent, but Anthem Properties has told us they would be willing to sell it to the Municipality. CVCAS feels strongly that this key property should be owned and controlled by our own residents to take Chemainus to the next level as THE definitive arts town on Vancouver Island.

THEREFORE…

CVCAS is contacting local groups and residents to obtain support and become stakeholders and partners in founding a new Arts Center in the Old Chemainus Foods building. We are willing to demonstrate the feasibility, social and cultural advantages and sustainability of an Arts Center in the Municipality of North Cowichan’s Chemainus. We need YOU to help make it happen.

If you have questions, want to offer your support or have other comments, please contact us at info@cvcas.com.

Thanks for helping us to make Chemainus “The Little Town that KEEPS DOING”!