Cultivate Performing and arts festival - logo

july 1 – 9, 2023​

welcome to Gabriola's 5th annual cultivate festival

July 1 - 9, 2023

Join us in celebrating theatre, music & art over nine days amidst the natural wonders of Gabriola island. Cultivate is about creation, connection, and community. 

Youth 15 and under have free admission.

Please note: there are no refunds for ticket purchases

what's new in 2023

The Gabriola Arts Council is proud to present a festival that reflects the essence of Gabriola. This year you will find programming at a variety of venues around the island over nine days. From tap dance to Baroque, World Music to Punk Space Disco, local theatre to international presenters. The focus is inclusivity and diversity, something for everyone on the Isle of the Arts.


Gabriola Arts & Heritage Centre

476 South Road

Gabriola Commons

675 North Road

Gabriola Community Hall

2200 South Road

Surf Lodge and Pub

885 Berry Point Road

Phoenix Auditorium (at The Haven)

240 Davis Road

Rollo Centre

685 North Road

Skol Pub

355 North Road

Food is an important part of any festival and our local restaurants have many yummy things for you to eat. 

Food Service:

Lions Club BBQ – July 2

The Lions will have their BBQ out at noon on July 2nd at the Commons

Lions Club Pancake Breakfast – July 9

The Lions will have their famous pancake breakfast at 9am on July 9th at the Commons.

Local Restaurants

All of these fine establishments have amazing menus, plus they will have Cultivate specials.

1. Gabriola Golf Club

825 South Road
see website for hours

2. Ground Up Cafe

560 North Road  
7am – 3pm + (6-10pm July 9th only, late night snacks and the famous grilled cheese)

3. Mad Rona’s

500 North Road

4. Skol Pub (open late)

355 North Road
12pm – 10pm – late night food service during the Cultivate Festival.

5. Surf Lodge & Pub

885 Berry Point Road
12pm – 8pm 

6. Woodfire Restaurant

500 North Road  
4pm – 9pm

7. Firetruck Grill

3415 South Road (At Page’s Inn on Silva Bay) See for hours

8. Island Meat and Deli

590 North Road
Monday 11am-5pm, Tuesday – Friday: 8am-6pm
Saturday: 8am-5pm

9. Bruno’s Kitchen and Catering

240 Davis Road
Monday-Saturday 4-9pm


Click on any icon on the map to see more details & get directions

volunteers needed

we have so much to do

Cultivate is looking for people who would like to be a part of the volunteer team putting the show together. Moving gear, shuttling performers, making sandwiches, delivering sandwiches, setting up chairs. The work is diverse and rewarding. Volunteers will have an opportunity to see a show on us!

at a glance

saturday, july 1


Footprints of the Wolf & Gabriola Drummers

saturday, july 1st | 11:00 am

@ the gabriola arts & heritage centre | free event

We are Footprints of the Wolf family drum circle from Snuneymuxw. Elder Salautia, Wantieta Settler, Elder Tsumkwaut, Doris Sagutch, Elder Xwe’A’Kwan,  Elsie White, Elder Tsumkwaut, Deborah Good, Harriet Aleck, Leanor Hampton, Satia Hampton, Elijah Seward, From hereditary Chief Louie Good family.

Community Drum Circle hosted by “Voodoo” Dave McGrath.  Dave is an experienced and enthusiastic drummer/teacher/  drum circle facilitator always happy to share his passion for percussion.  Whether you are an experienced drummer or complete novice, Dave will have you entrained and entertained, spreading the joy of rhythm and building community.  


Baroque Fairytales

saturday, july 1st | 2:00 pm

@ the gabriola arts & heritage centre | $25

Classic Baroque in an intimate trio setting (west coast and internationally acclaimed artists).
Majka Demcak performs works from the Baroque and Classical eras with zest and an improvisational freedom. Organist and harpsichordist Christina Hutten has presented recitals in Canada, the United States, and Europe. Rebecca Ruthven is Principal Second Violin of the Vancouver Opera Orchestra and plays regularly with the Okanagan Symphony Orchestra. 

Rumba Calzada

saturday, july 1st | 7:00 pm

@ the gabriola commons | $25

Originally formed in 1991, by Boying Geronimo and now headed by his son, Raphael Geronimo, Rumba Calzada has been a favourite with Vancouver’s Latin Jazz and Salsa enthusiasts for over 25 years. 
“Canadian based Rumba Calzada brought the house down with their eclectic mix of Latin, Salsa and Afro-Cuban rhythms.” – Adam Lee, Music-Room – Malaysia
“This one stays in the CD player. A classic.” (, New York)

sunday, july 2


Move! Groove! Play! With Sundaze Soundsystem and Playbriola

sunday july 2nd | noon - 6:00 pm

@ the gabriola commons | free event

Deejay TMG and Isltrax from the Gabriola Sundaze crew bring their signature laid-back grooves for another afternoon chill-out, daytime get-down at the Commons. Expect an eclectic 6hr journey mix of sun-kissed house music, funk, soul jazz, dubby downtempo, soft rock, new age and ambient. We provide an enjoyable atmosphere. You fill it with community vibes. 

The PLAYbriola! Popup Cardboard Adventure Playground! A manifestation of play in a public setting featuring and re-purposing an abundance and assortment of loose parts and cardboard: PLAYbriola popups have evolved to become temporary autonomous zones for children’s and adult’s play…growing and becoming temporary art installations and creative worlds of wonder. The cardboard playspaces are animated by Clown Playworkers from the Cirque Ambulant Collective who do the bidding of the ones at play.


Space Disco Band

sunday, july 2nd | 7:00 pm

@ the gabriola commons | free event

Forming in late 2018, this band hails from the halls of Nanaimo District Secondary School. With influences of 90s/ early 2000s alternative and emo scenes, as well as pacific-northwest folk, internet-era indie and classic garage goodness. Dominic Le, Soma Love, Cooper Hills and Gabriola’s very own Aidan Olmsted, with some recent editions including Mary Allen and Sonam Maki, a collective that is a driving force in the youth sector of Nanaimo’s eclectic local music scene.

monday, july 3


Snuneymuxw Stories - The Rhythm of Words

monday, july 3rd | 2:00 pm

@ the phoenix auditorium | $25

Dave Bodaly, Snuneymuxw Elder:
Dave Bodaly is a Snuneymuxw First Nations photographer, genealogist, and cultural tour guide on Saysutshun (Newcastle Island). He is also a weaver, and has been teaching cedar weaving classes since 2007. A descendant of the Bodalys of Northamptonshire, England, Dave carries his great grandfather’s name Laxiya; he believes it is important to share his views about Truth and Reconciliation in a cultural perspective with all who are willing to listen and learn.

Celestine Aleck
Celestine Aleck descends from the Yeshqhan clan of Snuneymuxw First Nation. At the age of four her mother’s father, Ronald Aleck, groomed her to be a historian by teaching her stories of the territory and surrounding territories. In addition, her grandfather, and others, taught her the traditional names of family and many other community members. She is grateful for this knowledge as it has forged in her a deep understanding of her people and culture.


Tina Jones Quintet

monday, july 3rd | 7:00 pm

@ the phoenix auditorium | $25

The Tina Jones Quintet features Chad Geekie- piano and Fender Rhodes, Ken Lister- acoustic bass, Duncan Symonds- guitar and pedal steel and Hans Verhoeven- drums and percussion. To add to the unusual instrumentation, Tina plays banjo, trumpet and flugelhorn, her main vehicles for songwriting.

tuesday, july 4

david morris

52 Stories - David Morris

Due to circumstances beyond our control, this show has been cancelled. 

Isolation_Inspiration Finale

Vancouver Tap Society - Tap Artistry

tuesday, july 4th | 7:00 pm

@ the gabriola island community hall | $30

Tap Artistry is an ensemble created by passionate tap dancers who collectively create, explore, and build community through tap dance.  Their work encompasses the roots of the art form, paying homage to the masters, while featuring their cutting edge rhythmic interpretations. Dancers: Jordyn Lemire, Claudia Chamzuk, Isabelle Kwan, Shreyas Rai, Jeffrey Dawson, with Joel Hanna and special guest Jessie Sawyers.

wednesday, july 5

The Flame - Deborah Williams

Due to circumstances beyond our control, this workshop has been cancelled. 

sheila nor head shot

Old Dog New Tricks - Sheila Norgate - This show is SOLD OUT

wednesday, july 5th | 2:00 pm

@ gabriola arts & heritage centre | $25

Does creativity have an expiry date? Sheila Norgate, self-taught 73-year-old artist, writer, and feminist comic (not as oxymoronic as you’d think), lays bare her creative practice as it meanders from paint to memoir to performance to videography and back again. 


Rhythm of the Night Market with Agi Co-op

wednesday, july 5th | 4:00 pm - 7:00 pm

@ the gabriola commons | free event

So much fun to join forces with the Agricultural Co-op to present a Wednesday Night Market at the Gabriola Commons on North Road. Agricultural and artisan vendors gather to sell their wares, while music fills the airwaves and the feeling of celebration is in the air. 


Duncan Symonds - The Big Bounce New Orleans Quartet

wednesday, july 5th | 7:00 pm

@ the skol pub | $20

One half of Toronto’s roots-rock darlings The Actual Goners, award winning singer, songwriter and multi-instrumentalist Duncan Symonds fronts a stellar group of musicians playing music inspired by Dr. John, The Meters, Neville Bros and other staples of the New Orleans sound. 

thursday, july 6


Gabriola Players - A Scene Three Ways

Due to circumstances beyond our control, this show has been cancelled. 

Paul Gellman Fiddle singing GZAL May 23 2019 small

Paul Gellman Band

thursday, july 6th | 7:00 pm

@ the gabriola island community hall | $25

Paul is a singer/songwriter and multi-instrumentalist (piano, guitar, violin), with three albums of original music, the latest being Globalize, released in June, 2020. Since 1977 he has been a band leader, side person, coach and musical director. He brings a full band together for a show at this year’s Cultivate Festival featuring mostly original music with a few favourite covers. There will be dancing!

friday, july 7


Twilight Radio Theatre - THE EVENING SHOW IS SOLD OUT.

friday, july 7th | 2:00 pm & 7:00 pm

@ the surf lodge & pub | $30

Step back in time, to the golden age of radio with Twilight Radio Theatre! Imagine you are in a sound studio in the ’40’s, attending a live broadcast of a classic radio show. All the laughs, thrills and chills – along with live Foley sound effects, hilarious commercials and fabulous music… that is Twilight Radio Theatre! 

saturday, july 8

Print-The Royal Cajun Band-PRINT READY copy

Royal Cajun Band

saturday, july 8th | 2:00 pm

@ the gabriola island community hall | $20

Cajun music is music to dance to, music that makes you feel good, a music that makes you want to let go and have yourself a time. Not dancing is not an option! The brainchild of Steve Taylor (washboard) the band also features: April Stainsby, Edgar Bridwell -fiddles, Gary White -accordion, Jimmy Roy -steel guitar, Michel Drouin -upright bass, and Sandy “Bone” Smith on rhythm guitar.

Graham Villette photo

Graham Villette - Organized Crime

saturday, july 8th | 7:00 pm

@ the skol pub | $25

Graham Villette is Nanaimo based jazz musician and has been playing music professionally for over a decade. For the last 8 years Villette has had the pleasure of working with many prominent jazz musicians including Cory Weeds, Joe Magnarelli, Akiko Tsuruga, John Lee, Ben Henriques, Attila Fias, Ryan Oliver, And Tony Genge.

sunday, july 9

Jon Bartlett & Rika Ruebsaat

Summer Camp Stories - Rika Ruebsaat

sunday, july 9th | 10:00 am

@ the gabriola commons | free event

Rika Ruebsaat’s My Paddle’s Keen and Bright, a collection of stories containing campers’ lived experiences. These are the stories of campers between the 1940s and the early 2000s. Join us for a session of summer camp stories and sing along.


Bob Wyche Memorial Chanty Sing

sunday, july 9th | noon

@ the gabriola commons | free event

Bob Wyche (1947-2022) was born in Nottingham and came to Gabriola in 1986. He was a boat-builder, sailor, teacher, photographer, wood- and metal-worker who could make or repair just about anything. Bob was a life-long folkie and loved sea chanteys. 
Gabriola’s Bob Bossin founded the legendary folk group, Stringband. His songs have been sung by Pete Seeger, Ian Tyson, The island Singers and many others. Website:
Jon Bartlett and Rika Ruebsaat have been singing together for over forty-five years and have been involved in every aspect of folk music – singing, collecting, publishing, educating, producing radio programs, and organizing folk music societies and festivals

ending cultivate on a high note, we welcome


Frazey Ford - SOLD OUT

sunday, july 9th | 7:00 pm

@ the gabriola commons | $40

On her third album U kin B the Sun, Vancouver-based singer/songwriter Frazey Ford inhabits an entire world of shapeshifting rhythm, elevating every beat and groove with the subtle magnetism of her mesmerizing voice. With its graceful collision of soul and psychedelia and sometimes ’70s funk, it’s a body of work that invites both self-reflection and wildly joyful movement, and ultimately sparks a quiet transcendence.

This show is sold out.

call for entry

rhythm art show

Cultivate 2023 is all about finding your rhythm. 

We are hosting an art show where the inspiration is RHYTHM, however that strikes a chord, in whatever medium. 

Stop in at the Gabriola Arts & Heritage Centre any day during the festival between 11AM – 4PM for the wall art display & sales, except during scheduled performances in the space. 

the rhythm of the night market

For one night the Gabriola Arts & Heritage Centre, we will be joining forces with Agi Coop at the Gabriola Commons will become a centre of activity for all that is food, art, and music. Artists will be set up to share their works with you from jewellery to watercolours. Agi will have a selection of vendors offering food and produce. You can wander the Commons grounds during a festive evening where art provides the backdrop for a community event.

July 5th, 4-7pm. Free admission.

this festival is made possible by:

British Columbia Community Gaming Grants