Mural Capital Hosts Global Mural Conference
Jul 09, 2012
(News Release) CHEMAINUS — Chemainus will welcome the world to its doorstep this fall as it hosts a conference to highlight arts and culture as economic generators in conjunction with the 8th Global Mural Conference (GMC).
For four days in September the conference will welcome economic development executives, tourism boards, municipal CEOs and decision makers, international and local muralists, and artists to explore methods to create a competitive edge in economic development and tourism utilizing the arts and culture.
“We have a totally unique approach to economic development, which has been successful, and is continuing to be implemented in our region and in Chemainus,” says Lou Roelofsen, co-chair of the 8th GMC.
The conference, running September 10 to 13, 2012, will draw upon international, as well as regional expertise from Vancouver Island communities, including municipal government officials, North Cowichan Mayor, Jon Lefebure, and CAO Dave Devana, Randal Huber of the highly successful Chemainus Theatre Festival, Dr. Karl Schutz who spearheaded the Chemainus mural program, international artist Dan Sawatzky, and keynote speaker Bill Baker, author and international tourism branding expert.
Baker says cities of all sizes, into the next decade, will have to work harder at marketing themselves and developing a competitive identity, than has ever been done in the past.
“Chemainus is an excellent example for delegates to experience how public art can be used as an economic development strategy,” he says.
Some points Baker will cover during his keynote address at the conference include: why tourism has an important economic development role during today's tough economy; how tourism and public art can benefit investment; new business relocation and recruitment of new residents; how small cities can increase their competitiveness; and how to get "more bang" from marketing.
Chemainus showed the world its true spirit and determination, achieving fame through the hands of artists after the community’s sawmill — North America’s largest at the time — closed its doors in 1982. The town now boasts a booming arts scene which converges with its history and local attractions, and proudly showcases local and international talents.
“Against commentary that suggested we couldn’t do it, Chemainus has shown it is the Little Town That Could...and Did,” says Tom Andrews, Chemainus Festival of Murals Society.