New mural on the side of the building soon to house the Violet Wild Cannabis Co. shop. (Photo by Don Bodger)

New mural on the side of the building soon to house the Violet Wild Cannabis Co. shop. (Photo by Don Bodger)

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

Artist Friesen and crew complete installation on Violet Wild building

Chemainus Road circa 1945 is the latest mural in the Chemainus Festival of Murals Society’s Outdoor Art Gallery and the 45th in the Historical Mural Series.

Appropriately, the mural is located at the exact spot of the depicted scene on the side of the soon-to-be Violet Wild Cannabis Co. building – formerly the site of Leaf Compassion – and based on a photo showing Chemainus Road at the corner of Mill Street looking south.

The Jolly Trio Snack Bar is on the right. South of that building, at a later date, was a building that housed Jimmy Webster’s barber shop, a beauty salon, and upstairs, Dr. Bryant’s dental office. Clement’s Drug Store and Shaw’s Men’s Wear are on the left. The old Chemainus sawmill planer mill is in the distance.

The mural tells the romantic story from around 1945. The girl riding the bike is Aileen Heikkila, and the paper boy is Russ Roe. One day, as Aileen rode home after picking up the mail, some envelopes flew out of the basket of her bike and Russ helped her retrieve the wayward mail. Aileen and Russ went on to celebrate a wonderful 59-year marriage and partnership.

Their son Dan and his wife Sue own the current building on the site of the former snack bar, at 9750 Chemainus Road, and they proposed the mural to the Society. They will be lighting the mural soon.

The artist who painted the mural, Kris Friesen of Victoria, is familiar around the community for his recent work on the side of the Osborne Bay Pub Liquor Store in Crofton. Friesen painted the mural on marine plywood and installed it with the help of Dean Irwin and Andrew Moir of TimberStone Construction. Mark Myers of Back to Britain Home Pubs will be framing it.

“The mural took about three weeks to complete, and I did it in my Victoria studio on panels, like the Osborne Bay Pub mural,” Friesen pointed out.

The installation was done after dark under the lights, with plenty of photos and progress videos taken to record the event for posterity.

The Chemainus Festival of Murals Society manages the mural program for the Municipality of North Cowichan, explained board member Peter Collum.

“Mural creation is a multifaceted process. It begins with an idea developed by the society or by a member of the public. Sometimes a building owner approaches the mural society with an idea. Photographs, historical information and other materials are gathered and researched. The next step is often to scout locations and choose the preferred one, once the owner is on board. The society appreciates the generous cooperation of so many Chemainus building owners. We couldn’t do the work without them.”

As for the artists, they respond to a request for proposals, which go to the society’s steering committee for recommendations to the board of directors to make the final decision, Collum added.

“Last-minute details about the mural are discussed with the artist. As part of their contract with the society, the artist then paints a maquette, an artwork that depicts the final mural in miniature. These maquettes eventually end up on loan to the Chemainus Valley Museum. The cost of the mural is usually funded primarily by the society, but sometimes building owners or individuals provide some or all of the funding, or contribute in other ways.

“Originally, the wall was usually prepared for the mural to be painted on directly, but these days, if the wall is problematic, the work can also be painted on marine plywood and installed. When the work is completed, the artist’s name and date are added and the society celebrates the new addition by describing and promoting it in the media and on its website and waits for the appropriate time and circumstances for the official dedication of the mural.”

In this case, Friesen did utilize marine plywood and the installation was done last Wednesday, Oct. 28.

art exhibitCommunity

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

 

It’s a stretch from a ladder to get new mural secured in place. (Photo by Bjorn Nettleton)

It’s a stretch from a ladder to get new mural secured in place. (Photo by Bjorn Nettleton)

New mural comes together on the side of the Violet Wild Cannabis Co. building. (Photo by Bjorn Nettleton)

New mural comes together on the side of the Violet Wild Cannabis Co. building. (Photo by Bjorn Nettleton)

Mural installation in progress. (Photo by Bjorn Nettleton)

Mural installation in progress. (Photo by Bjorn Nettleton)

Artist Kris Friesen on the ladder installing the first panel. (Photo by Peter Collum)

Artist Kris Friesen on the ladder installing the first panel. (Photo by Peter Collum)

Just Posted

The victim of the homicide on Cowichan Lake Road early Monday morning was 17 years old, and was stabbed in the incident. (File photo)
Duncan homicide victim was 17 years old

RCMP report that teenager was stabbed

It’s been almost a year since the last public performance inside the Chemainus Theatre. (Photo by Don Bodger)
Lead donors pledge $60,000 in matching campaign at the Chemainus Theatre

Perrys, Hiltons and Duncan Iron Works help to Bridge the Gap during COVID shutdown

Doug Routley is the chair of a special committee on reforming the Police Act. (File photo)
Routley selected chair of a special committee on reforming the Police Act

Nanaimo-North Cowichan MLA acknowledges there will be a lot of material to process

Beautiful flowers spring up on Thetis Island during February. (Photo by Kelly Bannister)
Weather conditions cover the full spectrum in February

The only thing missing from the region was a more summerlike feel

Police are investigating after a man was killed at a home on Cowichan Lake Road early Monday morning. (Kevin Rothbauer/Citizen)
Police investigating early-morning murder in Duncan

One arrested after man killed at Cowichan Lake Road home

Older rental apartments are prime candidates for renovations, and could result in lost affordable housing stock. (Zoë Ducklow photo)
B.C.’s renoviction overhaul a good start, but won’t preserve affordable stock, lawyer says

And still no protection for people who can’t pay rent due to COVID-19

Cannabis bought in British Columbia (Ashley Wadhwani/Black Press Media)
Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

Activists from the Fairy Creek Blockades hold the injunction application notice which was submitted by logging company Teal Jones to the B.C. Supreme Court. The application, which asks to have blockaders removed from the sites that stop access to cut blocks, is set to be heard on March 4. (Photo contributed/Joshua Wright)
Activists hunker down to protect Fairy Creek near Port Renfrew from logging

Forest company Teal Cedar applies for injunction to remove seven-month-old blockades

(Photo by Marissa Baecker/Shoot the Breeze)
B.C. WHL teams to hit the ice with Kelowna, Kamloops hub cities

Kelowna, Kamloops centres chosen to host B.C. WHL teams for 24-game regular season

(File photo)
RCMP arrest man after report of gun-toting threat-maker near Parksville schools

43-year-old man taken into custody; students at nearby schools were asked to stay inside

The machines are akin to ATMs and allow drug users at risk of overdose to get hydromorphone pills dispensed to them after their palm has been scanned to identify its unique vein pattern. (CANADIAN PRESS)
Feds dole out $3.5M for ‘vending machines’ to dispense safer opioids in B.C.

The machines are located in four cities across Canada, including Vancouver and Victoria

Kelowna’s lakefront visitor centre is one of 130 around the province. Tourism businesses have been hardest hit by COVID-19 restrictions on travel. (Destination B.C.)
Tourism, small business getting COVID-19 help, B.C. minister says

$300M grant program has delivered $50 million so far

Most Read