From July 22 to August 1 the Sooke Fine Arts Show invites art lovers, and those curious about art, to visit SEAPARC Leisure Centre in Sooke, where the ice arena has been transformed into a sparkling, 17,000-square-foot gallery, displaying 370-plus original works of West Coast art.
The Sooke Fine Arts Show is a 36-year strong, 11-day community arts experience, and the largest juried art show on Vancouver Island. Over 9,000 people attended in person in 2019 and more than 10,000 visitors viewed the show online in 2021.
After a two-year online experience, the show returns this year as a live, in-person festival of arts, showcasing exceptional artworks by artists from Vancouver Island and BC’s Coastal Islands. This celebration incorporates live music, artist demos, lectures and activities for all ages, including two tea-and-scone afternoons for seniors and a day for children and youth. In addition to offering a chance to view and purchase the juried world-class fine art, a gallery gift shop displays smaller works for sale, and the youth art gallery proudly features works created by talented students from the regional high schools.
Over 280 established and emerging artists will have their original works exhibited in categories such as painting, sculpture, photography, fibre, ceramics and hand-formed jewelry. Several will take home awards totalling over $12,000, acknowledging their outstanding creativity and skill.
Behind the scenes during most of July, more than 300 volunteers will be busy doing what it takes to create the gallery. Everything they do, from helping construct and light the gallery, hanging and placing the artworks, greeting guests and running the activities, reflects the character of the community that inspired the first Sooke Fine Art Show in 1986.
“The Sooke Fine Arts Show continues to bring together our community of artists, volunteers and appreciators of art,” said Terrie Moore, executive director of the Sooke Fine Arts Society. “Every year for 36 years, volunteers have been showing up to do what it takes to put together this show and their pride and spirit is reflected in the outcome: a work of art in itself.”
Show sponsors are key in making the show happen: “The support from all levels of government, from our local community businesses, big and small, and donations from community-minded people helps make the show possible,” says Moore. “Whether it’s through direct sponsorship or discounts and gifts in-kind, we are grateful for their continued support.”
The Sooke Fine Arts Show is unveiled on July 21 with Purchasers’ Preview Night, an exclusive, ticketed event that allows seasoned and new art collectors and purchasers first access to view and purchase their favourite unique artworks. Guests at the Preview Night will enjoy beverages and assorted hors d’oeuvres by 4 Beaches Catering, live music with Broke and Blue, and the excitement of experiencing a live art event again.
Purchasers’ Preview Night tickets are available for $45 at sookefinearts.com. Visit the website for more information.