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Chemainus takes Prestoungrange to its heart and more

Smithsonian Article

Baron to inspect Chemainus murals

Baron to bring murals to Scotland

March 23rd 2001 was the long awaited date when Karl Schutz could show Chemainus off to the Baronial visiting party, and as those of the Clan who saw him in action on Burns Night 2001 will expect, he did it in style.

Anne Wills and Liz Sang had by now joined the party that earlier in the week visited 29 Palms. After a pre Start visit to the Coffee Shop and Scottish Designs, Karl led a walking tour of the whole city telling the stories behind each mural. At the firestation a passing octogenarian chatted: "That's me", of tall timber under the axe. And in the Chinese quarter we found the advertising for Buckingham cigarettes.

Then it was 12 noon and time for a Civic Reception at the Chemainus Theatre. The red carpet was there and two pipers, the baronial entitlement. Then the Mayor and the President of the Chamber of Commerce welcomed all. Prestoungrange was invited to offer views about Arts Tourism Marketing to an audience of businessmen, artists, antiquarian bookies from Sidney, theatre folk, journalists and potters. He returned again to his learnt theme from 29 Palms - we are all selling civic pride in our history amplified via artistic interpretations we can all appreciate. Economic growth and regeneration comes from pride in oneself and one's community. Money alone cannot do it. Art Tourism is a means to that end.

Gifts were exchanged telling the history of both our towns, and many tales of Scottish ancestry and continuing links were shared. And then to the absolute delight of the Clan the Mayor gave us all the Key to the City of Chemainus.

With such a grant of access and token of friendship it would have been churlish not to have planned a future shared event between the two Arts Festival centres. And so a bold proposal was made, that:

..... for Burns Night 2003 a Gala Buns Festival of Songs and Poetry should be held at the Chemainus Theatre with the Supper before, and Glenkinchie as the tipple. Anne Wills volunteered to be on the ground liaison manager and Jennifer Bowker at the theatre will act as organiser. Next visitors following up will be the Baron Sergeand in June 2001 followed by Jane Bonnar in October 2002 as she visits at Moosejaw for the Global Arts and Tourism Festival. After such excitement, relaxation was needed and all retired to Betty and Karl Schutz beautiful home on the canyon for tea, and then back to the theatre for an excellent production of Sherlock Holmes' solution to the Hounds of the Baskerville.

Some day. Whatever next? New Zealand's Arts Tourism centre, next week is the answer!

Published Date: March 23rd 2001


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