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Building new economy through tourism


Dear Editor: "Mural Arts " are the new buzzwords in the community of Botwood, thanks to a piece in The Downhome in March and recent coverage by The Advertiser. Our cause has also been greatly advanced by NTV, CBC Radio, VOCM and Rogers Television. The goal of our committee is to see Botwood become a World Class Mural Arts Tourist Destination. We envision Botwood, not as it is today, but as it could become. We have been inspired by "The Little Town That Did" - Chemainus on Vancouver Island. Chemainus, a small town of 3,500, depended on the sawmill industry, which closed in the early 80's. In 1981, Dr. Karl Schutz began working with the town to revitalize the downtown core. Well-known artists painted the town's history on the walls of buildings. Today, there are 42 murals, numerous new businesses, and in excess of 400,000 visitors per year. These murals turned a once declining sawmill town into an international tourist destination and a $25.6 million dollar annual economy.

Dear Editor:

"Mural Arts " are the new buzzwords in the community of Botwood, thanks to a piece in The Downhome in March and recent coverage by The Advertiser. Our cause has also been greatly advanced by NTV, CBC Radio, VOCM and Rogers Television.

The goal of our committee is to see Botwood become a World Class Mural Arts Tourist Destination. We envision Botwood, not as it is today, but as it could become. We have been inspired by "The Little Town That Did" - Chemainus on Vancouver Island. Chemainus, a small town of 3,500, depended on the sawmill industry, which closed in the early 80's. In 1981, Dr. Karl Schutz began working with the town to revitalize the downtown core. Well-known artists painted the town's history on the walls of buildings. Today, there are 42 murals, numerous new businesses, and in excess of 400,000 visitors per year. These murals turned a once declining sawmill town into an international tourist destination and a $25.6 million dollar annual economy.

We were privileged to have Dr. Schutz, the originator and architect of the Chemainus Mural Project, with us from March 23 - 26. Dr. Schutz travels the globe with the message " Believing is Achieving." While in Botwood, Dr. Schutz conducted awe-inspiring workshops, met with the Town Council (and other groups) and attended a press conference. At the Thursday night banquet, Dr. Schutz gave a stimulating power-point presentation on the success of Chemainus. Terry French, Minister of Tourism Culture and Recreation was in attendance. Foodland manager Melvin Edison, presented our chairman, Mike Shainline, with a cheque for $6,250 to start our first mural. The old Botwood Cottage Hospital will be painted on the Foodland building. This project will coincide with this summer's Come Home Year activities.

Vaclav Havel once said, "We must not be afraid of dreaming the seemingly impossible if we want the seemingly impossible to become reality." With the support we are receiving from all areas, the seemingly impossible (increased tourism and new economic development) will become a reality in Botwood.

Elsie Wells

Press Officer

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