Skip to content

Meet the Island’s Mr. Clean: mural washer keeps it clean in Chemainus

Wayne Gilmore has spent more than two decades removing filth from mural town’s walls
Spring cleaning in Chemainus means mural washing, a job Wayne Gilmore’s been doing since 2001. (Photo by Art Carlyle)

Mural washing goes with the territory in Chemainus as part of spring cleaning.

The job of keeping the community’s massive outdoor art display free of debris has been in the hands of Wayne Gilmore for more than 20 years. He started this year during the last week of April and has selected less busy times to complete the task over a two-week period.

“The washing is done early morning and late afternoon because some parking makes access difficult,” Gilmore pointed out.

Going back to 2001, he’s followed a well-defined routine and gained a familiarity with the project.

“Over the years I have developed a close relationship with each mural, almost a friendship,” Gilmore confided. “I enjoy taking care of them. They have added a few new ones now and then that adds a new dimension.”

The Chemainus Festival of Murals Society was fortunate to find the right man for the job long ago and know they can count on it being done right.

“Over the years, I’ve had many conversations with people who said how much they appreciate the work the society does to maintain them,” Gilmore indicated. “Each mural must be appraised as to the type of brush and soap used. Certain murals have been done with better paint products. Chemainus has much to be proud of.”

The hardest one to clean, he feels, is No. 12, the Native Heritage mural.

READ MORE: Unveiling tour showcases newest murals and sculptures since 2020

Don Bodger

About the Author: Don Bodger

I've been a part of the newspaper industry since 1980 when I began on a part-time basis covering sports for the Ladysmith-Chemainus Chronicle.
Read more