Head to Pender for the Island of Art Festival

July 24, 2012 Comments Off
Head to Pender for the Island of Art Festival
Pender Island artist Frank Ducote at a 2008 showing

Some of the grandest surroundings you'll ever experience are BC's Gulf Islands!

It's been too long since MIke and I have been over to Pender Island to visit Keith Watt and Barbara Reid of Morning Bay Vineyards and Estate Winery, but we would surely love to try to get over there again soon. If you love to combine a passion for wine and art (does anything go better together?), you could have it all this summer as Pender Island becomes an Island of Art every weekend from July 14 to August 14 for a month long art festival!

This summer consider this summer visiting Pender Island, part of the Southern Gulf Islands served by the BC ferries network through Tsawassen and Schwartz Bay. It's only a short hop from either terminal!

From July 14 to August 14, Pender becomes an Island of Art, a festival celebrating the arts and talented artists of Pender Island. Outdoor art shows, demonstrations, openings, and children's art activities, markets and galleries and home studio tours beckon every weekend in a month-long celebration of the arts.

"Pender probably has the highest proportion of artists per capita of anywhere in Canada," says festival organizer, Keith Watt, marketing chair for the Pender islands chamber of commerce. "Art is what we do and who we are, and this summer we are bringing out our best art for you."

Every weekend during this month-long festival is studded with  major Pender arts events. "Art off the fence" kicks off  on South Pender Island July 14-15, an outdoor show with artists in attendance as well as island music and food. Red Tree Cooperative Gallery picks up on July 21 and 22. Their seventh anniversary party and show features outdoor displays and demonstrations all at the historic Hope Bay Centre. "Art in the Orchard" takes place Saturday July 28 at historic Corbett house orchard. On the August long weekend, the  Pender Islands Arts Society holds its 41st annual show and sale August 4 and 5 at the Anglican parish hall, while the "Port to Starboard" tour features home studio visits to a dozen artists in Magic Lake Estates on August 5 and 6. And finally, on the weekend of August 12, 13, and 14, the Pender Islands Community Hall is alive with music, art and spoken words, all part of the Fourth Annual Island Mosaic Festival. 

And throughout the festival, more than 30 artists are opening their home studios for visitors to see their portfolios, to see them at work in their studios, and to talk to them about their work and their life as an artist on Pender Island. 

Gently curving country roads shaded with fir and maple, quiet coves with just enough beach for two, lambs and calves being born in farm fields, a visit to an artist's home studio to see his work, and his life, in progress, Island of Art makes Pender's passion your passion. 

Accommodation at Poets Cove  Resort and Spa, at the Inn on Pender, at Currents at Otter Bay, various B&Bs such as Spirit of the Waters,  Delia shangri-la, Corbett house, Oceanside Inn and Arcadia by the Sea as well as camping at prior park provincial park and port browning marina. 

Six ferries a day from Schwartz bay and two from Tsawassen via BC ferries at www.bcferries.com. Pender is also accessible via Washington state ferries from Anacordes to Sidney then Schwartz Bay to Otter Bay. Flights via Seair from south terminal at Vancouver airport, or via Kirkland air from downtown Seattle. Marinas at port browning, otter bay and Poet's cove, with a fuel dock and customs clearance. Land transport on Pender via Pender Island Cab at 250-629-2222.

It looks like there will be plenty of events for the whole family — Pender Island is a beautiful destination (not just for wine), so go and enjoy!

- post by Stacey