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Studio & Gallery Art Experience

5 Days / 4 Nights

Described as one of the “most densely artist-populated areas in Canada”, the Sunshine Coast has a long tradition of promoting its arts community. With countless museums, studios, galleries, workshops and festivals, one day is not enough to take it all in.  Spend your time here touring studios & galleries and then retire at night to a B&B, Suite or Cottage along the ocean or nestled in the woods, off the beaten track.

Day 1
Your journey to the Sunshine Coast is a shortcut to the cozy, coastal lifestyle that embraces artists of international stature with a love of the great outdoors.  Begin with a scenic 40 minute ferry ride aboard BC Ferries from Horseshoe Bay to Langdale. You will cruise through a breathtakingly beautiful passage studded by emerald islands.  Upon arrival, the scenic seaside village of Gibsons is your welcoming point to the Coast.  From the moment you arrive, the sense of culture infused with art will envelop you.

Many of the galleries in Gibsons are situated around Gibsons Landing, the historic waterfront overlooking the town´s marina and working harbour. An excellent starting point is the Gibsons Public Art Gallery. The gallery offers six or more juried exhibitions a year, focusing on local artists´ works in such diverse disciplines as oil painting, digital photography, pottery and fibre arts.  

Retire & rejuvenate at the Bed & Breakfast, Suite or Cottage of your choice

Day 2
The Sunshine Coast is an artists´ haven - home to a wide array of visual, performing, literary, holistic and media art talents.  Spend the next few days driving the self guided Purple Banner Studio & Gallery Route to connect with local artists.  The artists invite you to their galleries and studios to share their love of what they do and how the natural beauty of their surroundings inspires them.  Pick up a guide at your Bed & Breakfast, Tourist Information Centre, on the ferry or in galleries & shops.  Look for the flying Purple Banners and visit the artist actually at work on the Sunshine Coast.

Delight your palette with an ´a la carte´, 4 course ´prix fixe´ meal, or an elaborate chefs tasting menu while enjoying an amazing oceanview at Chasters Restaurant.  

Retire & rejuvenate at the Bed & Breakfast, Suite or Cottage of your choice

Day 3
This morning, continue your Studio & Gallery touring with a visit to the eclectic Sechelt Farmer´s Market where, on Saturday mornings, you´ll find a wide variety of local produce picked fresh that morning, plus jams, fresh baked breads & goodies and local artisans with their wares ... to name just a few.   You could possibly pick up some yummy items along the way for a picnic lunch to savour later in the day.

Sechelt is also home to the Sunshine Coast Arts Centre. This unique log structure features exhibitions by Sunshine Coast artists such as ceramics-maker Katie Janyk, photographer John Davis and mixed media artist, Les Niepo. Literary readings, live music and art courses also grace the centre.  For a taste of First Nations artwork, check out the museum gift shop at the House of Héwhíwus, or House of Chiefs. It´s dedicated to celebrating the culture of the Sechelt Nation and visitors can buy handmade moccasins, jewelry, blankets, sketches and more.

Discover one of the many great restaurants in Sechelt. Some favourites include Daphne´s Restaurant specializing in Greek & Mediterranean, Pebbles Restaurant with spectacular ocean and sunset views and Sushi Bar 5517 offering authentic Japanese cuisine.

Retire & rejuvenate at the Bed & Breakfast, Suite or Cottage of your choice

Day 4
Discover why visitors are enchanted with the haven of natural bays & inlets at the top end of the Sechelt Peninsula.  A relaxing scenic drive North takes you along the coastline passing by Sargeant Bay Provincial Park, Halfmoon Bay Lookout, Halfmoon Bay through to Pender Harbour, which has been called "the Venice of the North" for its lovely waterways.  Nature lovers are well-advised to visit the Iris Griffith Interpretive Centre and deepen your appreciation of the natural wonders of the Sunshine Coast. Hikes with local experts, interpretive trails, displays, exhibits, bird watching, library and much more are available.  

Continue exploring the area and browse through the gift shops and galleries and see the works of British Columbia artists and craftsmen, including modern abstract artists Motoko.  Explore art in Yurts at the Fibre Works Studio & Gallery, Yvonne Stowell´s private studio is a 28´ yurt and provides you the opportunity to observe the spinning, weaving and dyeing of fibres, or register for a workshop.  The Gallery exhibits works from local and international fibre artists.  

Visit the Egmont Heritage Centre Museum that displays everything from native artifacts to ship steering wheels to old salmon can labels.  The gift shop carries local arts & crafts, including photography, cedar baskets, native carvings, pottery, soaps, walking sticks, knives, fibre arts, jewellery, books and cards. New items are always being added throughout the year.  A fall lecture series features local writers and artists.  Demonstrations and classes are held in the Summer.

This evening, experience the creative coastal cuisine at The Restaurant at Painted Boat.  This casually elegant restaurant has a distinctly modern, coastal feel. The head Chef and his team are focused on highlighting the abundance of fresh ingredients available on the Sunshine Coast - creating a vibrant approach to a regional menu.

Retire & rejuvenate at the Bed & Breakfast, Suite or Cottage of your choice

Day 5
Join a breathtaking one and a half hour Slo-cat Harbour Tour through Whiskey Slough, where many famous boats by Reid, Gooldrup and Farrell were built. Cruise through Gerran´s Bay, over to Dusenbury Island with its historic sealing operation and out to the Indian Islands, at the mouth of Pender Harbour.  After a cruise through Garden Bay, pass Gunboat Bay and head for home. Along the way, you might also see eagles, seals and jumping salmon.

Upon your return, you´ll begin to make your way toward Langdale in preparation for   your ferry trip home.  Enroute, take time to stop at Davis Bay for a walk along the seawall and enjoy a latte at one of our cozy coffee shops as you watch the sun set over the Georgia Straight and, till next time, bid the Sunshine Coast goodbye.  

Sunshine Coast is your holiday paradise with ..... something for everyone ..... something for you!

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