Homes go on display for the sake of art

The Art Gallery of Greater Victoria's House Tour returns with another walking tour of homes showing off a mix of art and architecture.

Joan Huzar at one of the homes featured in the Art Gallery of Victoria's House Tour.

The curating is done and six houses have made the grade.

The Art Gallery of Greater Victoria’s House Tour returns with another walking tour of half-a-dozen homes showing off a mix of art and architecture.

“I am amazed every year, the variety is just wonderful and we are blessed that these homeowners come to us,” said tour co-chair Joan Huzar. “It is an opportunity to get in and see what a homeowner with a vision (can do).”

More than 600 people took hold of the opportunity and attended the sold-out tour in 2011. With a cross section of homes and personal art collections ranging from 21st century to an updated Samuel Maclure-designed heritage home on the bill, Huzar has high hopes this year will be no different.

“To have a Maclure house is a real treat,” Huzar said. “A Maclure house by definition is an older home (but) this is wonderful because of what (the homeowner) has done to give it modern touches.”

Owner Linda Hartwig and her husband decorated, designed and renovated for seven years to get the house to where it is today – on the cover of the house tour brochure as one of the showcase homes.

“I saw its potential in the beginning,” said Hartwig, a former interior designer. “I like heritage homes and I’ve always had homes that I have done tons of work to, so it’s not unusual for me.”

Hartwig contacted the gallery and offered to join the tour after having some-10 years ago opened a previous home to visitors.

“Supporting the arts is important,” she said. “If it’s not people donating their time we won’t have any more arts.”

The lover of abstract has dozens of pieces in the home, all hand chosen to fit a constantly changing backdrop.

“I buy what I love and I try to buy local,” she said. “It speaks to me and I buy it.”

Hartwig sees her walls as canvases bearing carefully chosen pieces and hopes others take notice and adopt the same approach to bringing art into their homes.

“We need art; people need it,” Hartwig added. “People need to be encouraged to find their inner artist.”

Joining the tour are six local artists situated at each house to meet and greet, answer questions and demo their art alongside flower arrangements from the Victoria Flower Arrangers Guild.

“These people have all created these houses, imposing their style on their old house and coming out with a fabulous result,” Huzar said.


The gallery tour runs from 11 a.m. until 5 p.m. Sunday (Sept. 9). Tickets are $35. For more information visit



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