Isle of the Arts Festival, Gabriola Island BC

Call for Workshop Proposals – Isle of the Arts Festival 2023

*** Update: The Call for Proposals is now closed. We’ll announce IoTA workshops and events in early March ***

We’re now accepting arts+culture workshops and event proposals for the annual Isle of the Arts Festival (IoTA), produced by the Gabriola Arts Council. The Isle of the Arts Festival 2023 takes place over ten days in the Spring, from March 30th to April 9th.

If you have a skill or event you would be interested in sharing on Gabriola, as part of this fun and fabulous festival, let us know. Previous festivals have included workshops on many subjects, from poetry to chalk to herbs to drawing to singing to woodworking and everything in between. Submit your workshop proposal by December 16th.

About The Festival

IoTA is all about making, sharing, learning, and being adventurous. It is a time to try something new and to challenge participants, so keep that in mind when you put in your application. Is this just another workshop or are you offering something we haven’t seen before.

Our Festival Coordinator this year is Naomi Melnyk and she will guide you the process of getting your workshop accepted into IoTA. We will let you know that this year we’ll be hosting a lively night market, open to all artists and makers, with about 18 spots available. Contact Naomi for more details.


A pottery workshop led by Graham Sheehan - potter building a pot out of clay with participants looking on Beau Wagner leads a group in an outdoor workshop learning about Indigenous heritage and nature tour

All The Details

The Gabriola Isle of the Arts Fest runs March 30th to April 9th, 2023. The deadline for proposals is December 16th 2022, by 5pm.

GAC pays $70 per workshop hour and covers the cost of materials, venue, admin, marketing, and more. Please email all proposals and/or questions to or fill out the form on

There isn’t a theme just yet, as we’re hoping the offerings determine that as the applications arrive. So no parameters beyond it has to take place on Gabriola during the festival and you can accommodate a minimum of 12 people, we can go larger, that is the minimum unless there is something specific about your workshop that it requires a smaller audience.

Please note we are also looking to live stream at least 5 workshops. We normally do this from the Gabriola Arts & Heritage Centre without a live audience, but on Zoom. We turn GAHC into a TV studio and the instructor has a large screen to see what their workspace looks like for participants. This is all about accessibility and reaching beyond the shores of our tiny island.

*** Update: The Call for Proposals is now closed. We’ll announce IoTA workshops and events in early March ***

Hiring: Isle of the Arts Festival Coordinator

The Gabriola Arts Council is hiring a Festival Coordinator for the Isle of the Arts Festival 2023

The successful candidate will have the following skills:

  • excellent communication
  • superb interpersonal skills
  • superior time management
  • workshop coordination
  • events coordination
  • community outreach
  • marketing and promotion
  • budget management
  • relationships with artists locally and regionally an advantage
  • detail oriented & organized


Position duration: November 21, 2022-April 14, 2023

$30/hr contract for approximately 220 hrs (subject to increase depending on skills)

Applications accepted until November 7th, 2022 at 5pm

If this sounds like you and you love a challenge, please send your resume and cover letter to :

Carol Fergusson, Executive Director


Gabriola Arts Council encourages applications from members of groups that have been marginalized on any grounds,

including sex, sexual orientation, gender identity or expression, racialization, disability, political belief, religion, marital or family

status, age, and/or status as a First Nation, or Indigenous person.

Diane Conrad U of Alberta Applied Theatre Research

Applied Theatre Presentation by Artist in Residence, Diane Conrad

Join us Sunday October 16th at 11am to meet GAC’s Kasahara Artist in Residence, Diane Conrad.

While on Gabriola, Diane Conrad, Professor at the University of Alberta, will be writing a book about her Applied Theatre Research; and on Sunday she will offer a free community presentation, sharing stories of how theatre strategies have been used to analyze and explore participants’ experiences and search for solutions to areas of concern.

  • Sunday October 16th @ 11am
  • Gabriola Arts and Heritage Centre 476 South Road
  • Everyone is welcome.

Diane will be sharing details from her 20-year research program using applied theatre with marginalized youth in alternative school settings, in a youth jail and with street-involved youth in the Edmonton area.

In case you missed her blurb in the last newsletter, applied theatre is term that describes theatre practices outside of traditional theatre contexts, most commonly with participants who have little or no theatre experience, but who have an interest in the issues being explored.

Applied theatre is focused more on process than on theatrical performance; its intention is to examine the world and our experiences, to raise awareness and to generate change.

In my presentation, I’ll share images and stories from the projects I worked on with youth. The image above, for example, is from a scene we created for a project with street involved youth. We called the project Uncensored. Its aim was to educate service providers who worked with the youth about the youths’ experiences in order to better meet youths’ needs. The scene, “Labels,” was based on youths’ experiences of feeling seen by service providers only as the labels that were applied to them from their files; they did not feel seen or heard as individuals who were struggling and deserving of assistance.

I hope to connect with a youth group while I’m here on Gabriola to explore their perspectives on whatever topic they deem relevant.

I hope to see you at my presentation.