Visitors enjoying the Sooke Fine Art Show. Photo: Jen Hayward.
Visitors enjoying the Sooke Fine Art Show. Photo: Jen Hayward. 

Discover the enchanting world of West Coast art at the Sooke Fine Arts Show and Sale, taking place this year from Saturday, July 27 through Monday, August 5 at the SEAPARC Recreation Centre in Sooke. Delight in an immersive experience as the ice arena undergoes a stunning transformation into a dazzling 17,000 square foot gallery, adorned with over 375 original works of art. 

Whether you are a seasoned art enthusiast or a curious newcomer new to the world of art appreciation, there is something for everyone at this multi-faceted cultural festival. 

Now in its 38th year, the Sooke Fine Arts Show stands as the premier 10-day community arts event, proudly holding the title of the largest juried art show on Vancouver Island. The festival, which runs annually from the last week of July through the BC Day long weekend, celebrates the rich tapestry of artistic talent from Vancouver Island and BC’s Coastal Islands. 

Beyond the breathtaking display of artworks, visitors can immerse themselves in live music, artist demonstrations, enlightening lectures, and engaging activities tailored for all ages. From a leisurely afternoon of tea and scones for seniors to a vibrant day of artistic exploration for families, children, and youth, there’s something for everyone to enjoy.

Young visitors enjoy the 2018 Sooke fine Arts Show. Photo: Serena Laur
Young visitors enjoy the 2018 Sooke fine Arts Show. Photo: Serena Laur.

Visitors can purchase fine art pieces from the juried exhibition, check out smaller works at the gallery gift shop, and marvel at creations by budding talents from School District 62 at the Youth Art Gallery.

An impressive lineup of over 270 established and emerging artists showcases their original creations across diverse categories such as painting, sculpture, photography, fibre arts, ceramics, and hand-formed jewelry. Honoring outstanding creativity and skill, awards totaling over $12,000 await the deserving recipients.

Terrie Moore, Executive Director of the Sooke Fine Arts Society, expresses the collective excitement, stating, “We’re thrilled to build on the momentum of the record-breaking 2023 Show and create an even more extraordinary experience for our artist and attendees this year. The energy in our local arts community has been incredible, and we can’t wait to showcase the talent and creativity that awaits at this year’s show”. 

A visitor admiring works at the 2023 Sooke Fine Arts Show, featuring "Coronado" by Pat Acton, "Midnight Dancer" by Kate Woods, "Pelican with Giant Barnacles" by Carolyn Houg. Photo: SLR Photography.
A visitor admiring works at the 2023 Sooke Fine Arts Show, featuring “Coronado” by Pat Acton, “Midnight Dancer” by Kate Woods, “Pelican with Giant Barnacles” by Carolyn Houg. Photo: SLR Photography.

Behind the scenes, a dedicated team of over 300 volunteers works tirelessly throughout July, infusing the gallery with the spirit of the community that created the inaugural Sooke Fine Arts Show in 1986. Their efforts encompass every aspect of the exhibition, from constructing and illuminating the gallery, to arranging and presenting the artworks, to greeting guests as they enter the show, ensuring a seamless and immersive experience for all.

The grand unveiling of the Sooke Fine Arts Show takes place in the evening of Friday, July 26th with the exclusive Purchasers’ Preview Night. This ticketed event offers seasoned collectors and newcomers alike the first opportunity to acquire their favorite artworks while enjoying wine and hors d’oeuvres. Tickets for this special event, priced at $50 +GST, are available through the website at sookefinearts.com.

The Friday of the final weekend hosts the Artists’ Celebration Event, an invitation-only gala bestowing awards on the best of the best in the show.

Visitors enjoying the 2022 Sooke Fine Arts Show. Photo: Jen Hayward
Visitors enjoying the 2022 Sooke Fine Arts Show. Photo: Jen Hayward.

Daily admission prices are $15 for adults, $10 for seniors, with 17 and under free. Multi-day show passes are available for $30. All are available at the door or online at sookefinearts.com.

The show runs most days from 10am to 7pm with early closure at 5pm on August 2 and August 5.

Experience the magic of the Sooke Fine Arts Show – where art comes to life.

For more information, visit sookefinearts.com or call 250-642-7256.