Discover the Captivating World of Art at the Sooke Fine Arts Show

Sidney Fine Arts - Sponcon 2023
Photo credit: SLR Photography, artworks left to right: “Collective Jewels” by A. Garrett-Hanneson (glasswork); “I Can See Clearly Now” by S. Voldeng (ceramic), “Now We Are Six”, B. Bccaffrey (dress), “Sun Break”, F. Licsko (oil on canvas)

From July 29 to August 7 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 375 original works of West Coast art.

The Sooke Fine Arts Show is a 37-year strong, 10-day community arts experience, the largest juried art show on Vancouver Island. In 2022, over 7,500 people were in attendance.

The show returns this year to SEAPARC Leisure Complex in Sooke as a 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 a tea and scone afternoon for seniors and a day of art experiences for families, children and youth. Along with 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.

This year, 277 established and emerging Island artists from as far as Haida Gwaii will have their original works exhibited in categories such as painting, sculpture, photography, fibre, ceramics, and hand-formed jewelry. Several will take home awards totaling over $12,000, acknowledging their outstanding creativity and skill.

Sidney Fine Arts - Sponcon 2023
Photo credit: J. Hayward; artworks L-R: “Wanderlust” by L. Butt; “Still Life II” by M. Villa; “Cow” by Zu; “Reaching” by V. Kuehne; “Kayaks” by G. Dow.
Sidney Fine Arts - Sponcon 2023
Photo credit: J. Hayward; Jennifer deGroot demonstrating her painting technique.
Sidney Fine Arts - Sponcon 2023
Photo credit: SLR Photography (group scene at Purchasers’ Preview Night).

Along with the main gallery, 32 youth artists from Sooke School District 62 high schools and home-schooled students, have had works juried into the show. 52 of their pieces have been chosen for display in the dedicated Youth Art Gallery. 

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.

Sidney Fine Arts - Sponcon 2023
Photo credit: T. Moore; Young artist, Lillian, and her creation.

The show kicked off with a sneak peek, exclusive preview with Purchasers’ Preview Night on Friday, July 28.

Regular day tickets are available: $15 for adults, $10 for seniors, with 17 and under free. Reduced rates apply for Family Artz Day, Tuesday, August 1 (adults accompanied by children, $5, after 2:00 pm), and on M-art-ket Night, Thursday, August 3, from 5 – 9pm, $5 after 5pm.

For more information and to purchase tickets, check the website: http://www.sookefinearts.com or call the office at 250-642-7256.