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WEST SHORE ARTS: Community events aplenty this summer

New columnist Johanna Henderson focuses on the local arts scene

Summer offers many wonderful things, among them an abundance of art events, as well as the sometimes overwhelming heat of the sun.

This past weekend’s Acres of Art event at the West Shore’s Coast Collective provided visitors a chance to bask in the leafy shade of the historic Havenwood grounds and enjoy the cool breeze off the Esquimalt Lagoon, while checking out some of the best art the region has to offer. Those who missed the event, take heart: July is packed with art-focused events happening in our community.

Until Aug. 31, Fort Rodd Hill’s Artist-in-Residence program sees the gorgeous park and national historic site play host to local artists, who benefit from the inspiring surroundings while interacting with the public. The program features make-and-take art activities and a small onsite gift shop.

Artists across Metchosin and East Sooke will once again open up their homes from July 24 to 28 for the annual Stinking Fish Studio Tour. It’s a great chance to gain insight into the people and process behind the art, while picking up unusual gifts and treasures you won’t find anywhere else.

The 28th annual Sooke Fine Arts Show, one of the premiere art events on Vancouver Island, takes place from July 25 to Aug. 4 at the Seaparc Leisure Centre in Sooke. The event boasts more than 375 pieces of art and sees over 8,000 visitors during its 11-day run. Adjunct events, including a Seniors’ Tea, Artz4Youth exhibitions and the Taste of Sooke food sampling celebration round out the event.

Wine lovers and artists unite on July 27 for the Colwood Rotary Art and Wine Festival. Sample the bounty of several Vancouver Island wineries, as well as tasting samples created by local chefs while perusing the work of more than 30 Island artists. Live music and the gorgeous scenery of Fort Rodd Hill provide the perfect setting for this event, which attracts hundreds of people each year.

Start off B.C. Day weekend with a concert of pop and opera favourites sung by renowned local tenor Ken Lavigne at the Church of the Advent in Colwood on Aug. 2. The concert also serves as the kickoff event for the West Shore’s B.C. Day Performing Arts Festival on Aug. 4, a free event at Westhills Stadium featuring music, dance, theatre and children’s activities.

Find more information about these events and others at westshorearts.org/arts-events.php.

editor@goldstreamgazette.com

Also check out:

• Metchosin Community House (4430 Happy Valley Rd.) – Art on the Walls: Visions of Metchosin, until July 31

• Coast Collective (3221 Heatherbell Rd.) – Showcase III, on until July 20; It’s a Small World, from July 23 to Aug. 3 (artist meet and greet happens July 26 from 2 to 4 p.m.)

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