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Chairs 'chip' in for new shelves

Talk about a unique fundraiser! Inspire Shawnigan, a group of folks that seem to get a lot of mileage out of every idea, recently teamed up with a local business, Village Chippery, for a paint-in.

It took two days and plenty of inspiration as well as effort but the result was special indeed.

Inspire's membership coordinator Rebecca Barnard said that the Chairs for the Chippery project was a good way to raise the profile of her group as well as earn some money.

"We're trying to get awareness of Inspire out there. I walked around the village recently talking to every one of the merchants and only three of them even knew what we were. They see a sign but they don't know what Inspire Shawnigan is."

The aim for the building, at 1760 Shawnigan Mill Bay Rd., is to provide a place where creativity, art, culture and heritage meet.

"We're hoping to be able to sell local artisans' work from there. It's going to be a combination of that plus a workspace where you can take classes or give classes. Also, we'd like a meeting space. So, in order to be able to show and sell something we have to have shelves. And we had no shelves and no money to buy shelves. The paint-in was actually a moneymaking project." So, where does the restaurant come in? "The Chippery paid us $20 per chair to paint their chairs. We had 22 chairs from them," she said. "Then each person does their own thing, as long as it's not religious or political and in the colours she chose: red, white, black, grey and a touch of silver."

Barnard liked the novelty factor behind the idea.

"She will have a very interesting restaurant and I think people will start popping in to see which chairs are in. She can only fit half of them in at one time."

There will be a revolving gallery of chairs.