march 28 - april 7, 2024

Welcome to the 14th annual (take two) Isle of the Arts Festival!

IoTA: Strength Resilience and Creativity, offers you the opportunity to take a breath and discover what inspires you, how you are inspired by it, what you do to invite inspiration into your life and how you contribute to how others are inspired.

This year 30 multi-medium arts, culture and culinary workshops and events will get your inner creative moving and offer inspiration for the year to come. The festival has evolved over the years, but the Arts Council remains committed: To offer artists and aspiring artists to embrace their creativity To educate in the most respectful and fulsome way. To bring the community together through the arts and culture. To give artists and presenters a stage to share their skills and talents. With writing, dancing, painting, sewing, weaving, cooking, music and movement and more on the menu, there is something for everyone at this year’s festival. Have a look get and inspired.

The Gabriola Arts Council is thankful for its members, donors, and funders! Your support empowers our creative community. Together, we’re making art thrive. Thank you for making it all possible!

7 events

Thursday-March-28-Joelle-Rabu

Joëlle Rabu in Concert with Nico Rhodes

Thursday, March 28

$33 – doors 6:30pm, event 7:00pm

“Rabu is Edith Piaf, Bette Midler and Carole Burnett all rolled into one extraordinary performer. Her passion-filled voice is spine-tingling and her stage presence electric.”

With a music career spanning over four decades, Canadian songstress and actor Joëlle Rabu has been drawn back to the stage as she joins forces with her son, multi-instrumentalist, Nico Rhodes.

The connection that these two versatile performers have on stage is electric. The humorous banter that can only stem from their intergenerational points of view, their life’s paths that have caused heartache and laughter, and their vulnerability is the fodder that creates musicality and theatricality in an unforgettable evening of lively entertainment including much laughter and lush musical moments.

 

Learn more about Joëlle Rabu

Registration opens on March 12th for the general public, March 11th for GAC members.

Thursday-March-28-Angela-Sterrit-1

Reading and Reconciliation: One Book One Community

with Angela Sterritt and host Katherine Palmer Gordon

Saturday, March 30

$20 – doors 7:0pm, event 7:30pm

The national bestselling novel Unbroken is an extraordinary work of memoir and investigative journalism focusing on missing and murdered Indigenous women and girls, written by an award-winning Gitxsan journalist who survived life on the streets against all odds.

As a Gitxsan teenager navigating life on the streets, Angela Sterritt wrote in her journal to help her survive and find her place in the world. Now an acclaimed journalist, she writes for major news outlets to push for justice and to light a path for Indigenous women, girls, and survivors. In her brilliant debut, Sterritt shares her memoir alongside investigative reporting into cases of missing and murdered Indigenous women in Canada, showing how colonialism and racism led to a society where Sterritt struggled to survive as a young person, and where the lives of Indigenous women and girls are ignored and devalued.

Learn more about Angela Sterrit and this event

Registration opens on March 12th for the general public, March 11th for GAC members.

 

Pi'qwin Salmon

with Jared Qwustenuxun Williams

Wednesday, April 3 

$50 – 12:00-4:00pm

Proud Father, Husband, and Grandson, Indigenous Food Sovereignty Champion, Award Winning Writer, Accomplished Indigenous Chef, Indigenous Foods and Culture Educator, Indigenous Consultant, Hul’q’umi’num Language Speaker.

Experience the preparation of a Traditional Indigenous Lunch. Qwustenuxun will demonstrate the techniques used to prepare rare Indigenous delicacies and discuss their significance and value in Indigenous culture. You will observe root vegetables and smoked fish being cooked in a traditional Salish bentwood box, Pi’qwun salmon being cooked over the fire, and you will have an opportunity to enjoy Sxwesum, also known as Soap Berries or Indian Ice Cream berries. While things are cooking, Qwustenuxun will share Hul’q’umi’num language and Salish stories and legends.

Registration opens on March 12th for the general public, March 11th for GAC members.

Sunday-March-31-Gary-George

Cedar Healing Circle with shamanic drums, rattles, and chants

Sunday, March 31

$40 – 3:00pm – 5:00pm

Gary is a shamanic healer who uses traditional drums and rattles to create profound changes in the human body.

Come experience the healing energies of shamanic drums, rattles, and chants. Vibrations that can heal the body, frequencies that can enlighten the soul.

http://greywolfspiritmedicine.com

Spring Night Market

Friday, April 6

$2 – 5:00pm – 9:00pm

Bring a Toonie and come join in the fun at this year’s first Market of the season… An intimate shopping experience while enjoying live music. Sample the Surf’s offerings of food and drink in the restaurant or the pub. 

Saturday-April-6-Contemorary-2-step

Community Dance Social

Saturday, April 6

$10 – 7:00pm – 9:00pm

Join DJ Gwen Spinks and continue to dance – put your new dance class skills in action, or come in fresh with your old moves… maybe just drop in, share a beverage, and visit with friends. Any way you swing this, you are in for a night of fun, laughter, and dance

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Arty Party

Sunday, April 7

Free – 4:00pm-6:00pm

Don’t miss out on this unique opportunity to immerse yourself in the artistic spirit and mingle with fellow artists and art enthusiasts at this year’s Arty Party.  We would be thrilled to have you join us in celebrating the success of IoTA 2024. This year we invite all festival attendees and the community the opportunity to showcase and view festival projects and stories.

After exploring the awe-inspiring artworks, stay for a drink by the bonfire and revel in the artistic ambiance. Allow the sweet sounds of the Gabriola Song Keepers to serenade your senses or take this opportunity to connect with your festival companions, exchanging artistic stories and celebrating triumphs. Above all, take a moment to congratulate yourself for making the choice to be inspired by the artistic process.

This is a casual event, so please dress comfortably and appropriately for the weather. Your presence will add to the warmth and joy of the celebration.

Please note that GAC is beginning a new tradition of presenting the Arty Award at our AGM.  Join us at the Gabriola Arts and Heritage Hall, April 17th at 5:00 pm as this year’s recipient will be presented with the coveted and much loved Arty Trophy.

See 30 workshops below

Registration and Ticket Information

Registration opens:

GAC Members only- March 11, 10:00 am at artsgabriola.ca or in person at the GAHC, 476 South Rd Gabriola.

General registration- March 12, 10:00 am at artsgabriola.ca or in person at the GAHC, 476 South Rd Gabriola.

  • You must register in advance for all workshops and events.  For assistance, email iota@artsgabriola.ca
  • Workshops have limited space – spots are assigned on a first-come, first-served basis. A waiting list will be kept for workshops that are full. Register early – don’t be disappointed!
  • There are no refunds or exchanges for workshops or events.
  • Unless indicated, the registration fee includes all materials costs.
  • Check artsgabriola.ca for updates and additions.

workshops

Registration for workshops opens on March 11th for GAC members, and March 12th for the general public. Become a member to get access to early registration.

Friday, March 29

9:00am-5:00pm with Marylyn Beaubien and Frank Shoemaker

Marylyn and Frank have been creating basketry on Gabriola since 2002, and have conducted numerous workshops over those years

This potato basket is a smaller version of a traditional work basket, using grape vines or ivy as a starting point. Take home a lovely, unique basket at the end of the day, truly of your own creation. Materials to bring: a small bucket, old towel, scissors.

Gabriola Arts and Heritage Centre | $120 | max 12 participants | age 18+

12:00pm-3:00pm with Lorna Johnny

Lorna Johnny of Snuneymuxw is the quiet woman behind the exquisite bannock you may have experienced at special events on Gabriola Island. She is a calm and gifted natural teacher.

Learn to make bannock: fry bread and scow, oven baked bannock and a special bannock treat as well.

Agi Hall | $15 | max 14 participants | age 12+

6:00pm-9:00pm with Bryce Lalonde

Bryce has an extensive background as a multi-instrumentalist, recording engineer and producer of various genres of music.

You will learn how to create and record a piece of music with other participants in a beginner friendly environment. Materials to bring: Headphones (optional), any musical instrument you would like to bring, notepad and pen, flash drive.

Gabriola Arts and Heritage Centre | $25 | max 20 participants | all ages

6:00pm-9:00pm with Bryce Lalonde

Bryce has an extensive background as a multi-instrumentalist, recording engineer and producer of various genres of music.

You will learn how to create and record a piece of music with other participants in a beginner friendly environment. Materials to bring: Headphones (optional), any musical instrument you would like to bring, notepad and pen, flash drive.

GAHC| $25 | max 20 participants | all ages

Saturday, March 30

Session 1 |  10:00am-12:30pm | Graham Sheehan

Graham Sheehan has instructed many workshops over 40 years on Gabriola. He is a passionate developer of the creative spark in others.

This workshop consists of 3 sessions: 1) make your own ceramic piece, 2) glaze and decorate your piece, and 3) fire your piece of Raku art.

520 Argyle Lane | $80 | max 8 participants | age 12+

Session 2 | Friday April 5 | One hour drop in between 10:00am-4:00pm

Session 3 | Saturday April 6 | 10:00am-12:30pm 

10:00am-4:00pm | Joel Prevost

With over 25 years of experience, Joel has created an extensive body of work. He offers workshops in which he inspires students to perfect their skills in rendering the human form.

In this workshop, you will learn tricks of the trade for sculpting the elements of the eyes, which tools are right for the job, to get you sculpting these elements on a clay tablet.

Gabriola Arts and Heritage Centre | $195 | max 12 participants | age 16+

Session 1 | 12:00pm-3:00pm  | Stephen Levesque/Eric Anderson

Eric and Stephen have been using natural building methods and plasters for over a decade.

Join Eric and Stephen as they mix together natural ingredients used around the world to colour, seal, and beautify naturally made structures. Materials to bring: wear boots and work gloves.

2045 Thomson road | $57 | max 15 participants | age 14+

Session 2 | Saturday April 6 | 12:00pm-3:00pm

5:00pm-7:00pm | Taylor Haigh

Taylor is an artist and Tarot reader, creating The Fox Universe Tarot deck with a focus on self care.

Using a deck specifically designed with a self care focus, participants will be shown how to create a personalized routine using the cards to promote rest and healing. A self care deck will be available for purchase for $50 if desired. Materials to bring: a journal and pen.

Gabriola Arts and Heritage Centre | $26 | max 10 participants | age 12+

Sunday, March 31

10:00am-2:00pm | Cheryl Jacobs

Cheryl has been making jewelry for 35 years and teaching in the metal program at North Island College for 12 years.

Come have a half day workshop and set a beautiful quartz crystal in sterling silver of your own design. Materials to bring: close up glasses if desired.

Gabriola Arts and Heritage Centre | $98 | max 10 participants | age 15+

10:00am-2:00pm | Yarrow Koontz

Yarrow is an artist who works with textiles and natural dyes. She holds a BFA from Emily Carr and a Fashion Arts Cert. from VCC.

Participants will learn Japanese shape-resist dye techniques called Shibori. They will also learn some of the history of indigo and the importance of natural dyes in today’s changing climate. Materials to bring: old towel, apron, rubber gloves (the dish kind), wear clothes that can handle some indigo dye, lunch, and water.

Agi Hall | $80 | max 12 participants | age 12+

10:00am-3:00pm | Caroline James

Caroline is a professional mixed media artist living and creating on Gabriola Island since 2015. Teaching the joy of creativity lights her up!

Using a wonderful range of simple mixed media and processes in a relaxed atmosphere, participants will create and take home a beautiful piece of artwork that is deeply meaningful to each one. Materials to bring: water, lunch, warm comfortable painting clothes.

1490 Hess Road | $105 | max 8 participants | age 15+

3:00pm-5:00pm | Gary George

Gary is a shamanic healer who uses traditional drums and rattles to create profound changes in the human body.

Come experience the healing energies of shamanic drums, rattles, and chants. Vibrations that can heal the body, frequencies that can enlighten the soul.

Gabriola Arts and Heritage Centre | $40 | max 30 participants | age 18+

Monday, April 1

11:00am-1:00pm | Brendalee Astells

Brendalee has been living and creating on Gabriola for the past 9 years. She is excited to share with you some of what she’s learned along the way.

Bullet Journaling is a mindfulness practice disguised as a productivity system—a toolkit to keep you organized and aligned with your beliefs. Materials to bring: coloured pens. 

Gabriola Arts and Heritage Centre | $36 | max 12 participants | age 16+

4:00pm-7:00pm | Stephanie MacKay

Stephanie is the co-founder and director of Fianna Wilderness School. She specializes in ancestral knowledge, earth-based skills, and mythology.

This is a gathering to share ancestral stories and look into the layers of understanding and teachings that they offer. We will uncover the remaining vestiges of an intact, land-based culture and spirituality.

Gabriola Arts and Heritage Centre | $20 | max 12 participants | age 18+

Tuesday, April 2

Session 1 | 9:00am-3:00pm | Maria Tratt

Maria Tratt is a Gabriola printmaker whose figurative work is informed by themes of home, heritage, and connection in loosely composed visual stories.

In this 2-day, animal-themed workshop, students will be introduced to relief printmaking by carving their own linoleum plates. Students will leave with a minimum of 3 original art works. Materials to bring: sketchbooks, pencils, source material (images/sketches of animals), scissors, old clothes or apron to wear, and close-toed shoes.


Gabriola Arts and Heritage Centre | $225 | max 12 participants | age 18+

Session 2 | Wednesday April 3 | 9:00am-3:00pm

Session 1 | 10:00am-11:15am | Mara Brenner

Mara is the artistic director/owner of Gabriola Dance and Pilates since 2009. She is a highly experienced/certified teacher who adores teaching dance.

This is a ballet class for all adults/seniors of all levels. Simple steps can be done at the barre or seated and will be accompanied by beautiful music. Materials to bring: comfortable clothes and socks.

1030 Descanso Bay Road | $60 | max 14 participants | age 18+

Session 2 | Thursday April 4 | 10:00am-11:15am 

Session 3 | Friday April 5 | 10:00am-11:15am 

4:00pm-6:00pm | Paul Gellman

Paul is well-known on Gabriola for his musical contributions, including his weekly Music Workshop. He is a multi-instrumentalist, singer and coach.

There is almost nothing that can raise spirits more than singing three or even four part harmonies together. We’ll learn a few very singable tunes, so we get to sing, hear and feel the harmony!

Gabriola Arts and Heritage Center | $18 | max 12 participants | age 16+

Wednesday, April 3

Session 2 | 9:00am-3:00pm | Maria Tratt

See April 2 workshop listing for full details.

Gabriola Arts and Heritage Centre

Session 1 |  5:00pm-8:00pm | Jessica Miinguuaqtii

Jessica is passionate about creative emotional expression and the healing power of art. She has been teaching and creating for over 15 years.

Through the creation of abstract self portraits in paint and mixed media, you will be guided to uncover aspects of your facade self and hurt self to reveal your true self beneath. Materials to bring: clothing you do not mind getting paint on.

Gabriola Arts and Heritage Center | $125 | max 10 participants | age 14+

Session 2 | Saturday April 6 | 5:00pm-8:00pm

Thursday, April 4

Session 2 | 10:00am-11:15am | Mara Brenner

See April 2 workshop listing for full details

1030 Descanso Bay Road

Session 3 | Friday April 5 | 10:00am-11:15am

10:00am-12:00pm | Heather Cameron

Heather is a professional visual artist who works primarily in textiles. Her recent focus has been on visibly mending damaged and discarded clothing.

Heather will introduce some basic mending skills: making a tailor’s knot, working a running stitch, and needle weaving. Then we’ll use multiple colours of yarn to make your mends visible and unique. Materials to bring: a garment that needs some TLC.

Gabriola Arts and Heritage Center | $30 | max 10 participants | age 14+

1:00pm-5:00pm | Sandy Jasper

Artist, musician & writer Sandy Jasper has been painting for nearly 20 years. She’s participated in juried art shows & her art is sold at PAM in Van.

Have you ever wondered how stone mandala paintings are created? Now is your chance to find out! No previous experience or materials necessary, just bring your imagination! Materials to bring: reading glasses if needed, clothes you don’t mind getting paint on. 

Gabriola Arts and Heritage Center | $65 | max 8 participants | age 12+

4:00pm-8:00pm | Gabriola Fibreshed Working Group

Gabriola Fibreshed Working Group is Heather Cameron, Yarrow Koontz, Megan Adam, and Alyssa Semczyszyn, four textile artists with passion for soil to soil.

Explore textile options on Gabriola. Learn to process a fleece, be introduced to flax, spin some yarn, and experiment with natural dyes. Materials to bring: rubber gloves and any examples of local fibre for show and tell.

 Agi Hall | $60 | max 10 participants | age 14+

Friday, April 5

Session 3 | 10:00am-11:15am | Mara Brenner

See April 2 workshop listing for full details

1030 Descanso Bay Road

Session 2 | One hour drop in between 10:00am-4:00pm | Graham Sheehan

See March 30 workshop listing for full details

520 Argyle Lane

Session 3 | Saturday April 6 | 10:00am-12:30pm

2:00pm-6:00pm | David Lightly

Dave is an old cook who says, “Don’t call me a chef, I just want to cook good food—preferably in a group.”

We will cook two varieties of the old Spanish dish (paella), now called Gabriella after a haughty Spaniard said it can only be called paella if cooked in his hometown.

Gabriola Commons Kitchen | $98 | max 10 participants | age 14+

Saturday, April 6

9:00am-12:00pm | Celeste Snowber

Celeste Nazeli Snowber, PhD is a dancer, poet/writer who is a Professor in the Faculty of Education at SFU and an island woman at heart.

This workshop explores how dance, improvisation, voice, and words connect to our bodies and the earth, and crack open insight and inspiration. Materials to bring: comfortable clothes to wear, water bottle, a notebook for writing.

Gabriola Arts and Heritage Centre | $55 | max 30 participants | age 16+

Session 3 | 10:00am-12:30pm | Graham Sheehan

See March 30 workshop listing for full details.

520 Argyle Lane

Session 2 | 12:00pm-3:00pm | Stephen Levesque/Eric Anderson

See March 30 workshop listing for full details.

2045 Thomson road

1:00pm-4:00pm | Deb Chaney

Deb has been creating, exhibiting, and selling her contemporary abstract mixed-media paintings worldwide for more than twenty years.

Welcome open-minded creators of all sorts, eager to receive uplifting ideas and inspirations, and to participate in activities directly in support of your current creative project. Materials to bring: a pen and paper or a journal.

Gabriola Arts and Heritage Centre | $35 | max 15 participants | age 15+

Session 2 |  5:00pm-8:00pm | Jessica Miinguuaqtii

See April 3 workshop listing for full details.

Gabriola Arts and Heritage Centre

5:00pm-7:00pm | Gwen Spinks

Gwen has been teaching dance since 1989! She’s taught: Ballroom, Latin, Country 2-Step, West Coast Swing and Argentine tango—Dance gives her purpose and passion.

You will learn to dance the night away. The 2-Step has been around since the 1800’s! And is still going strong!!! Like all things that survive the test of time, it has evolved! This workshop will include the basic steps and turns as well as understanding the connection you need to get dancing.

Gabriola Community Hall | $20 | max 30 participants | age 16+

get involved

Do you love the arts? Do you want to be a part of keeping Gabriola Island the vibrant creative community that it is? 

Join our volunteer team and connect with artists, writers, performers and arts lovers in your community! The positions are fun and can be low commitment.

inclusivity fund

We strive to make all of our events accessible to as many people as possible. We’ve set up a pay-it-forward program to help people who may not be able to afford our regular ticket prices.

If finances are an obstacle, please apply.

this program is made possible by:

British Columbia Community Gaming Grants
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