Baron to bring murals to Scotland
By Jolene Alberg - The Chronicle
It's not every day that a Baron and a Lady come to Lunch in Chemainus.
It's even more uncommon to have them come to ask for advice, but
then such was the story when Baron Gordon Prestoungrange and his
wife Lady Avril, attended a gala luncheon last week at the Chemainus
Theatre, hosted by the Chemainus Chamber of Commerce.
Pipers piped and the red carpet unrolled in the pomp and ceremony
regaled upon the Baron and his family, who travelled from East
Lothian, Scotland, which lies 12 miles east of Edinburgh, to learn
how arts and cultural tourism could benefit his hometown.
"We're just beginning," the Baron told the crowd. "Last year was
the first time I had ever heard about Chemainus and arts tourism.
I came up to see A Midsummer Night's Dream and we arrived early.
I saw these yellow footprints on the ground so I put my own feet
in them and off I went."
"Then I asked who's the villain behind all this and I was told
the biggest villain was a man named Karl Schutz." After forming
a friendship with Schutz and learning more about arts tourism,
the Baron sounded a little like the villain himself, talking about
how arts tourism is "about the sizzle, not the sausage" and buying
into Schutz's 'wow factor' ideology.
The Baron parallels his hometown to what Chemainus might have
become, had arts tourism not taken off. The area in Scotland,
originally a mining town, is now home to a third generation of
unemployed, but the Baron said there is potential. He outlined
a plan to restore an ancient brewery and paint murals on a sea-wall.
well as the International Management Centre Associations in the
UK and Australia, the Baron is on the right track to creating
a tourism boom in his hometown, according to Chamber members who
applauded his ideas.
"It isn't simply art tourism we're trying to embrace", he said.
"We need to restore social integrity and pride of the community
as well as art." The Baron attended a Friday luncheon with his
wife Lady Avril, and son Dr. Julian Wills, the baron of Dolphinstoun;
sister Anne Wills, Treasurer of Greater Victoria Performing Arts
Festival; and Dr. Elizabeth Sang, a family friend and Research
fellow at the University of Oxford.