Gabriola Arts Council

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Place Category: Art Councils & Cultural Centres

  • Engage. Enhance. Inspire.

    Every day is a celebration of arts and culture on Gabriola Island—the “Isle of the Arts”—in this community of writers, actors, poets, painters, dancers, musicians, sculptors, and potters. Artists are an important part of the island’s economic and social engine, and the Gabriola Arts Council (GAC) is committed to growing this sector through building audiences, and by increasing accessibility of the arts to people of all ages and interests. GAC supports local artists in all mediums and at all levels, while ensuring that local residents have opportunities to engage with art and artists, and that off-island communities are aware of our rich artistic resources.

    According to a 2011 Hills Strategy Research study conducted on behalf of the Canada Council for the Arts, Gabriola Island ranks sixth across Canada with respect to concentration of artists in the local workforce (5.8% compared to the national average of 0.8%).


    A creative, engaged, and inclusive community sustaining Gabriola’s vibrant island culture.


    To engage, enhance, and inspire the community’s cultural vitality through collaboration, leadership, and service.


    AMPLIFY the role of the Arts on Gabriola Island through vibrant artistic and community engagement programs.

    SUPPORT artists and other community members through meaningful resources and services.

    ENGAGE with Indigenous artists and communities.

    SUSTAIN the financial viability and assure the long-term success of the Arts Council.

    GAC’s core purpose is to provide opportunities for community members to engage with the arts, and to support local artists. Our three primary events are designed to fulfil this mandate:

    • Isle of the Arts Festival every April, featuring ten days of hands-on arts-based workshops and events;
    • Cultivate Theatre+Music+Art Festival in the summer, with 2 days of live music and theatre by local and visiting performers;
    • Thanksgiving Studio Tour—24th annual, with more than 80 studios and 100-plus artists.

    We offer a year-round Healing Power of Art program. This has been transformative work in our community, for both participants and their families, as well as for the professional artists and arts therapists who are instructors. Programs include:

    • Common Ground: An Arts-Based Support Group for Those with a Life-Challenging Illness;
    • Intentional Aging: Exploring the Path from Senior to Elder
    • Family Arts Collective

    In 2019, we held our inaugural Gabriola Reads event; modelled after CBC Radio’s popular Canada Reads program, five Gabriolans debated the book they considered to be the quintessential Canadian novel. Hosted by CBC’s Sheryl MacKay, and organized in collaboration with Friends of the Library, this sold-out event will become an annual item on GAC’s calendar.

  • #gabriolastudiotour

    Posted by Judy Mountjoy on Saturday, October 12, 2019

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