Renovations on the Sooke Arts Council Society’s new gallery and gift shop are down to the short strokes.
The work is almost completed, besides some finishing touches to the ceiling and moving everything into the new location on Church Street, said Lynda Slater, a long-time arts council board member.
The gallery should be ready to open by early August, with hours of operation Wednesday to Sunday from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. On Mondays and Tuesdays, the space will be available for rent.
“We’re here to provide a space for artists, people interested in art and those who want to explore more learning opportunities,” Slater said. “It’s all about community engagement. We want to be a hub that brings everything together, that publicizes artists through our shows, our gallery space and gift shop.”
Last year, the arts society sold more than $40,000 of art through its gallery and gift shop.
“That shows that this community is heavily involved in supporting the arts,” Slater said. “In turn, we can support everyone else through our grants from the B.C. Arts Council, the District of Sooke and other organizations.”
Slater said one of the priorities in the new space is to encourage young people to get involved with the arts council by offering free memberships for anyone under age 18.
“The more members we have, the better it is for funding opportunities,” Slater said.
For more on membership and volunteering opportunities, please go online to sookearts.com.
The arts society, a community institution since the mid-1980s, is also seeking to acquire a permanent space to conduct classes and promote learning opportunities in The Gathering Place, part of a multifaceted seniors centre that will be built next to the Vancouver Island Regional Library on Wadams Way.
Upcoming events for the society include the Beach Art Festival at Whiffin Spit on Sept. 11.
“We’re inviting artists to participate in plein-air, a French term for outdoor painting,” Slater explained. “Proceeds from their artwork will go toward fundraising for The Gathering Place. Artists who want to get involved should email email@example.com.
Sooke Community Arts Society members will also be at the Sooke Music and Arts Festival from Sept. 2 to 4 at John Phillips Memorial Park.