This wall space on the back of the Chemainus post office will soon look a lot better with the addition of a 100th anniversary Chemainus Fire Department commemorative mural. (Photo by Don Bodger)

This wall space on the back of the Chemainus post office will soon look a lot better with the addition of a 100th anniversary Chemainus Fire Department commemorative mural. (Photo by Don Bodger)

Chemainus Fire Department 100th anniversary mural taking shape

Artist who’s a newcomer to Shawnigan Lake putting the finishing touches to the project

The details are being kept under wraps, but a very special addition to the Chemainus mural project is nearing completion and will be unveiled soon.

People are getting fired up over word that a rather drab wall at the back of the Chemainus post office is about to sparkle with a mural to commemorate the 100th anniversary of the Chemainus Fire Department this year.

“The fire hall proposed a mural for the 100th anniversary and the society has been working with the fire hall to have the mural created,” explained Shannon Bellamy of the Chemainus Festival of Murals Society.

Angela Carlson, a newcomer to Shawnigan Lake in August from Burnaby, was selected to paint the mural and has been diligently working toward finishing it at her home studio by the end of the week, with a possible unveiling around mid-June.

The eight-foot by 20-foot mural is a collage of scenes – both historical and current – and being painted on marine plywood known as Crezon, Bellamy explained.

“We thought that was the best to use on that location. Some of the best walls for painting on are gone. That’s why lately we’re getting down to fewer and fewer walls; the Crezon is the way to go. It’s on a framework.”

Anticipation of what the finished product will look like, especially for such a prominent anniversary that has otherwise been lost in the COVID shuffle, is building.

“It’ll be a surprise,” said Bellamy. “It’s a really neat mural. It starts way back and comes to the present.”

Carlson, who turned 55 on Victoria Day in the middle of doing the project, is thrilled to be joining the family of Chemainus murals artists.

Related story: New mural depicts a love story in the making along Chemainus Road

“It’s really exciting,” she said. “It’s quite an honour and quite a welcome to Vancouver Island. People know right away what the Chemainus murals mean.”

Carlson was born in Brandon, Manitoba and lived in Saskatchewan briefly before her family moved to Prince George where she primarily grew up. She also lived in the Okanagan for several years before moving to the Lower Mainland in 2007 and on to Shawnigan where Carlson and her husband Neil VanderWerf chose to relocate upon his retirement.

Carlson attended the Emily Carr University of Art and Design during her 20s, graduating with a Bachelor of Fine Arts. In Burnaby, she worked for many years in a scene shop that does scenic elements for theatre, trade shows, film and attractions.

Doing a mural, however, is “quite different from doing a backdrop for theatre,” she conceded.

For one thing, “people are hopefully going to stop and contemplate,” Carlson indicated. “It’s nice to be part of that collection and selection of people.”

The maquette Carlson did of the mural in the process will eventually be added to the Chemainus Valley Museum collection.

The fire department mural has required some additional research to get all the details just right from archival photographs.

“It’s been kind of fun and it’s been really challenging to make sense of things where the visual information isn’t complete,” said Carlson.

Five sheets of the Crezon plywood will make up the overall mural. She likes working with the material.

“A lot of sign makers use this,” she pointed out. “It’s really smooth on one side.”

The official date for the unveiling will be announced soon and whether there can be a public gathering for the event with COVID restrictions easing.

Other murals are in the works for the Rotary Club of Chemainus bunker wall and the Mount Brenton Golf Club in the near future.

Artfirefighters

 

Angela Carlson, a newcomer to Shawnigan Lake, is doing the 100th anniverary Chemainus Fire Department commemorative mural. (Photo by Neil VanderWerf)

Angela Carlson, a newcomer to Shawnigan Lake, is doing the 100th anniverary Chemainus Fire Department commemorative mural. (Photo by Neil VanderWerf)

Angela Carlson’s mural is being kept under wraps for now, but will soon be unveiled. (Photo by Neil VanderWerf)

Angela Carlson’s mural is being kept under wraps for now, but will soon be unveiled. (Photo by Neil VanderWerf)

Just Posted

Chris Wilkinson
Chris Wilkinson column: This could be the worst thing done to you during the pandemic

As a result, all of us will contend with more ‘scarcity’ thinking and mindset.

The Crofton trailer park home where the bodies of two people were found. (Photo by Don Bodger)
Mom still waiting for answers after daughter and her fiance found dead in Crofton

Pair discovered dead in their Crofton home in May identified as Rachel Gardner and Paul Jenkins

FILE – Perry Bellegarde, National Chief of the Assembly of First Nations, takes part in an event on Parliament Hill in Ottawa on Tuesday, July 7, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Sean Kilpatrick
Indigenous Peoples Day must be a ‘call to action’, says Assembly of First Nations chief

Discovery of children at Kamloops residential school site must lead to change, Perry Bellegarde says

Robert’s column
Robert Barron column: Looking forward to 39 Days of Summer

I have always been a big fan of live music.

Cowichan seniors have a new resource. (submitted)
Free Cowichan Seniors program offers social prescriptions

Seniors 60 and over who are at higher risk of frailty due… Continue reading

The border crossing into the United States is seen during the COVID-19 pandemic in Lacolle, Que. on February 12, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Paul Chiasson
VIDEO: Border quarantine to soon lift for fully vaccinated Canadians

Eligible travellers must still take multiple COVID-19 tests

One Reconciliation Pole and two Welcome Figures were unveiled during a ceremony in honour of truth and reconciliation on National Peoples Indigenous Day at the Vancouver School District in Vancouver, B.C., on Friday, June 21, 2019. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chad Hipolito
Horgan marks Indigenous Peoples Day by urging recognition of systemic racism

National Indigenous Peoples Day has been marked in Canada since 1996

A man makes his way past signage to a mass COVID-19 vaccination centre at the University of Toronto’s Mississauga campus during the COVID-19 pandemic in Mississauga, Ont., on Monday, May 17, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Nathan Denette
Canadians encouraged to see mRNA shots as interchangeable as more 2nd doses open up

Doctos urge people not to hesitate if offered Moderna after getting Pfizer for their first shot

Chief of Defence Staff Jonathan Vance sits in the front row during a news conference in Ottawa on June 26, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
Defence committee rises without report on Vance allegations

Committee had been investigating the government’s handling of complaints against former defence chief

The Coquihalla Lakes washroom is getting upgrades. (Submitted)
Coquihalla to get upgrades to aging washrooms

The Ministry of Transportation is providing $1 million in funding to upgrade 3 rest areas

The Crofton trailer park home where the bodies of two people were found. (Photo by Don Bodger)
Mom still waiting for answers after daughter and her fiance found dead in Crofton

Pair discovered dead in their Crofton home in May identified as Rachel Gardner and Paul Jenkins

The Sacred Hearts church on PIB land burned Monday morning. (Theresa May Jack/Facebook)
Two churches on First Nation land in South Okanagan burn to the ground

Sacred Hearts church on Penticton Indian Band land was reduced to rubble

Tl’etinqox-lead ceremony at the site of the former St. Joseph’s Mission in Williams Lake, B.C., June 18, 2021. (Angie Mindus photo - Williams Lake Tribune)
‘We are all one people’: Honouring residential school victims and survivors

Love, support and curiousity: Canadians urged to learn about residential schools and their impact

Indigenous rights and climate activists gathered outside Liberty Mutual’s office in Vancouver to pressure the insurance giant to stop covering Trans Mountain. (Photo by Andrew Larigakis)
Activists work to ensure Trans Mountain won’t get insurance

Global campaign urging insurance providers to stay away from Canadian pipeline project

Most Read