Murals enhance spirit of town

Thank you for highlighting the many murals that are being created in Summerland.

Dear Editor:

Thank you for highlighting the many murals that are being created in Summerland.

I agree that they contribute substantially to our town’s spirit and aesthetics.

While you mentioned that they do not create taxes or jobs, I would like to suggest otherwise.

The community of Chemainus on Vancouver Island has successfully and intentionally utilized a mural program in the last 20 years to draw many thousands of tourists to their small town.

The results have been an increase in tourism related businesses resulting in taxes and in jobs for residents — many of them young people.

The town embarked on this plan as a result of the loss of a major employer in the 1980s.

Other towns, such as Stratford, Ontario and  Ashland, Oregon, have had extraordinary successes in growing their respective Shakespeare Festivals into major economic drivers for their communities.

The Stratford festival was also created as a response to tough economic times.  Summerland currently has a wonderful Shakespeare Festival geared to students.

Could this be expanded to the general public?

Possibly.  Our town has so much to offer.

Let’s celebrate the achievements and explore the possibilities.

Christine Petkau



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