It seems things are moving very slowly in Chemainus these days and the town needs a jolt of energy.
The January through March period is traditionally slow, but there’s no reason why it has to be this way.
Many businesses are on reduced hours or closed for long periods up to a month or two or more for a so-called winter or holiday break, presumably in anticipation of busier times in the spring and summer.
There’s never a guarantee how busy it’s going to get later so more needs to be done to let people travelling know Chemainus is open for business and worth a stopover all the time to see the murals, enjoy the shops and partake in some activities.
This is a tourist and arts destination that shuts down far too much during the first part of the year.
We seem to have all our eggs in one basket later in the year with the Giant Street Market, SummerFest celebration and the regular musical concerts at WaterWheel Park.
The Chemainus Business Improvement Association’s Pumpkin Spice 10K Fun Run in November was a great addition to the community and proved an event outside the jam-packed summer schedule can be successful, too.
It would be great to see something happen in the winter months, perhaps revolving around the Family Day long weekend or spring break in March. There are people looking for something to do during these times. Why not have a gathering here to benefit the town?
It’s obviously too late for this year, but the Family Day weekend would be ideal for some sort of Winter Festival that would feature more than just skating sessions at Fuller Lake Arena. Perhaps the Municipality of North Cowichan’s programming resources could be utilized to stage a competition at the skateboard park and a celebration around town to mark the late stages of the season and the transition to spring.
Many communities do it and it could be a great success here. We don’t have snow, but could always manufacture some and hold another family-friendly event that would surely go a long way toward breaking the town out of the doldrums.