Gabriola Arts Council (GAC) respectfully acknowledges that the land on which we live and create is the traditional, ancestral, and unceded territory of the Snuneymuxw First Nation whose presence here reaches back to time immemorial. GAC respects and affirms the inherent rights and title of Snuneymuxw First Nation.
We endeavour to honour Coast Salish land and its treaties by strengthening our relationship and responsibilities to them. We are grateful to Snuneymuxw First Nation, who continue to share their knowledge about the history of the lands and water and their relations to them. We believe that the Arts can contribute to the healing and decolonizing journey we all share together and commit to honouring Indigenous self-determination, sovereignty and resurgence.
Gabriola’s Thanksgiving Studio Tour has been a success since its inception 25 years ago, and it continues to be one of the grandest art events in the Pacific Northwest. In 2019 more than 900 visitors from near and far enjoyed the Tour.
This year, 73 artists are participating in the Tour, with 4 of them participating for the very first time. These artists are numbered (#1 -#73) in this website and the printed guidebook you can pick up on the weekend of the tour. Some artists have open studios year-round and can be contacted to make an appointment for viewing.
While some Gabriola artists have physical studios, others might share their work with you on their kitchen table or in their workshop. It’s all about the art, not the space.
Gabriola is a small island in the Salish Sea off the coast of Vancouver Island, British Columbia. According to a 2011 study conducted on behalf of 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%). Those numbers ring true today.
Whether you stroll among the giant cedar trees in the Elder Cedar (S’ul-hween X’pey) Nature Reserve, kayak the beautiful sandstone shores, wonder at the rock formations at Malaspina Galleries, or enjoy a walk along one of the many beaches, Gabriola is rich in natural wonders. This richness is the perfect backdrop for any artist and provides inspiration to many.
Only a 20-minute ferry ride from Nanaimo, BC or a float plane trip from Vancouver to our very own Silva Bay. Come and enjoy what Gabriola has to offer, the creativity of nature and the inspired vision of the many artists who call it home.
The Gabriola Arts Council’s mission is to engage, enhance, and inspire the community’s cultural vitality through collaboration, leadership, and service.
Originally formed as Festival Gabriola Society on April 15, 1997, the organization became the Gabriola Arts Council effective October 19, 2006. We are a not-for-profit society under the Society’s Act, and a charitable organization under the Charities Directorate. We represent a broad section of the arts community on Gabriola. The “Isle of the Arts,” Gabriola is home to more than 200 artists and artisans who contribute to the cultural diversity of the island.
Our central programs include the annual Thanksgiving Studio Tour, the Isle of the Arts Festival, the Cultivate Festival of Music, Theatre, and Art and our Healing Power of Arts program. We have collaborated in or contributed to the creation of other arts-related events throughout the years such as poetry, musical performances and concerts, workshops and other educational forums. The Council also provides funding for artists through the Gabriola Artist Support Program and works with community groups on a regular basis.