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Happy Holidays from the Nanaimo Arts Council

 With Christmas around the corner, everyone is looking for new safe ways to celebrate the holidays. Spreading holiday cheer can be as simple as making a phone call to someone you care about. Why not call your elderly neighbour, your dad, your aunt, your sister, fill in the blank ______.

However you choose to celebrate, we wish you a very magical holiday season!

Annual General Meeting

The Nanaimo Arts Council’s AGM was held virtually on October 28, 2020. President Sean Gallagher reported that although 2019 was a turbulent year, with the loss of the waterfront gallery, the focus was on plans for the future with a goal to support both new and established programs and events.

An announcement was made that NAC was asked to run next year’s Nanaimo Art walk. This event, which has been running for over twenty years, allows businesses and artists to partner together to display art at different establishments throughout downtown Nanaimo. The next art walk is planned for the winter of 2021.

The new NAC website was unveiled with plans to promote an online gallery for artists to display their work during COVID and beyond. Events such as Art Around Town, a well-established, and long-running event at The Port Theatre is still a go with the added future bonus that photographs of the artwork will also be on display on the new website.

NAC will continue to run the Islands Short Fiction contest with the support of Vancouver Island University, The Vancouver Island Regional Library, and the Nanaimo Foundation. There is no entry fee for the junior or youth categories, to encourage them to participate.

Other news

NAC has added a new board member, Becky Thiessen. Thiessen is an artist with a Master’s in Community Planning. She has over eighteen years of community development work and has been an art educator. Her work has ranged from women’s advocacy, family and community outreach and child and youth arts education.

Support Local

While we may not be mingling, there are still ways to get those last-minute gift items for those in your bubble. Many local artisans have safe pick-up options from their home studios, and there’s still time to shop via online markets. Many downtown Nanaimo businesses are open, and some are available for private scheduled appointments. Pick up a ceramic mug, a crocheted hat, or maybe some hand-printed cards to scribble a note to that special someone. Then it is time to snuggle up to sip hot cocoa while live-streaming a music or dance event in your PJ’s. That doesn’t sound so bad does it?

Board Member position available: Secretary

We are currently seeking someone to join the Board in the capacity of Secretary. If you think this might be you, please review the duties described below, and contact us at admin@nanaimoartscouncil.ca.
The primary duties of the Secretary position are:
  • taking minutes of general meetings and Directors' meetings
  • keeping the records of the Society following the Society Act
  • managing the correspondence of the Board, and
  • filing the annual report of the Society and making any other filings with the registrar under the Society Act. 
Hello Everyone!

The Nanaimo Ukulele Festival is happy to announce a virtual Christmas Holiday Sing & Strum on Sunday, December 13th beginning at 2:00 PM.

Since we were unable to put on our Spring Sing & Strum, as well as our Fall Festival due to Covid, we thought we would try our hands at a 'virtual festival' like so many out there are doing. With that in mind, what better way to kick off the Holiday Season than with a short Christmas Sing & Strum? This is a free event, but please note that it will be limited to the first 100 registrants.

Below is a link to Register for the Zoom Meeting. Just click on this link and it will take you to the Zoom App where you will need to Register for our event. Once you have registered, you will get an email confirmation with the Zoom Meeting Link.

We will send you out the Christmas Holiday Songbook a few days in advance of our get together.

We look forward to reconnecting with you all soon!

Organizing Committee

You are invited to a Zoom meeting.
When: Dec 13, 2020 02:00 PM Vancouver

Register in advance for this meeting:

After registering, you will receive a confirmation email containing information about joining the meeting.




will be virtual this year 

Instead of an in person tour we have created a virtual tour of various studios you will find on this website. A website with examples of their work, a way to connect with them and a 360 degree view of their studio.
Artists are still available by appointment, so if you see something you like give them a call or send them an email and set a time for you to visit their studio in person. Artists have been severely impacted by COVID-19 and cancelling the Tour is another blow to their bottom line. Whether you purchase a piece online or make an appointment, your support means more now than ever.

To find out more visit

Did you know my book is now available at Iron Oxide Art Supply and Literacy Nanaimo Book Shop? These are both wonderful abundantly inspiring shops in downtown Nanaimo! There are also a couple left at Cheeky Monkey Glassworks too.


‘Tis the season to give local, to give often, and to give for your friends and family!

Give the gift this year that educates, informs, and entertains, all for your local library. This holiday season, Vancouver Island Regional Library invites you to “Give Library” by giving beautifully packaged library cards for those you love – and they’re free.

The perfect stocking stuffer, a library card can be used at any of our 39 branches and gives cardholders instant access to:

  • Millions of books
  • Thousands of ebooks and audiobooks
  • Streaming movies
  • Downloadable and streaming mp3 music
  • Magazines and newspapers from around the world
  • Learning a new language online with Mango Languages
  • Free access to Lynda.com to learn photography, graphic design, and more!

You can pickup a Give Library stocking stuffer card while supplies last at any of the local stores below OR by visiting a library and receiving a bookmark with instant, online access.

Pick up your Give Library gift to give today before they’re gone!

Already have a card? REGISTER HERE


The Port Theatre is closed to the public until the new year. We wish you a safe and happy holiday season!


Image: Anna Wong, Tein Long #7 (Celestial Dragon), 1967, lithograph on paper, A/P, 56.4 x 50.4 cm, Collection of the Wong Family, Photo: Blaine Campbell
Wishing you a safe and joyful holiday season!

We look forward to connecting with you at the Gallery and in Art Lab in 2021. 

Our current exhibition, Anna Wong: Traveller on Two Roads runs through
February 7, 2021. This exhibition is organized by the Burnaby Art Gallery
and co-curated by Ellen van Eijnsbergen and Jennifer Cane.

exhibition features over seventy works of art by Anna Wong, including paintings, drawings, hand-pulled prints, and large-scale textile pieces. Wong’s artwork, made during a lifetime of travel and cultural influence from Vancouver’s Chinatown to New York City, and from Quadra Island to Beijing, resonates with Nanaimo Art Gallery‘s current programming inquiry What moves?  

Stay tuned for upcoming
workshops such as Gel Plate Printmaking with Aaramë on January 20. More details and additional programming will be announced once restrictions are eased. 

Visit us if you’re looking for great gifts! On Sunday, December 13 from 12-5 PM
The Gallery Store Print Sale is extending into Art Lab to create a safe shopping experience as you browse a unique selection of original prints by local printmakers. Prints are an affordable way to collect original works of art and they also make great holiday presents. Shop local this season and support our region's artists. The Gallery Store also offers Gift certificates that can also be redeemed towards hands-on experiences for kids and adults in Art Lab.

Looking to bring your colleagues, friends or family together for a fun and creative hour online? Learn about our
Online Holiday Art Party with local artist Lee Stead. Explore your creative side as you experiment with clay via zoom as Lee guides your creation of a clay selfie or clay animal of your choice.

Thank you for your support during this challenging year. 

With best wishes,  

Staff and Board
Nanaimo Art Gallery

Holiday Hours:
December 24th and 31st – 10 am to 2 pm
December 25, 26 and January 1 - Closed
On to 2021
Art show plans for what will be CVAC's 50th year (1971-2021) are moving along, so if you are interested in renting the Annex, Studio or the Gallery either for a solo show or with a group of other artists, give us a call.

Take Home Clay Kits

Kits are $40 for 6 to 7 projects. Make whenever you want and drop it off when you have finished. We will glaze it for you.

Drop In

 We are now open for Drop-In By appointment. Maximum 4 people per 3 hour slot. Glaze Drop in is a separate book Here 


Registration Open Now!

“How to Feel Full: An exploration of drawing and journaling on clay”

a solo exhibition by Kaisa Lindfors
The exhibition runs from Dec 3 -17 online and in the gallery at Nanaimo Ceramic Arts Studio and Gallery. Gallery is open Mon – Sat 11-5pm. One person at a time in the gallery and curbside pickup is available. 

“How to Feel Full: An exploration of drawing and journaling on clay” is an artist in residence exhibition by Kaisa Lindfors. This body of work is a series of pinched ceramic vessels and sculptural armatures that solidify my private journaling practice on to three dimensional forms. Presented alongside my functional work, this show presents a hopeful, playful search for meaning through colourful interpretations of drawings and thoughts.


Ladysmith Fine Arts Show 2021

The Arts Council of Ladysmith and District welcomes all artists living and working on Vancouver Island and the Gulf Islands to participate in our 9th biennial and first virtual Juried Fine Art Show. Artwork accepted into the show will be on display on our website, from Friday February 5th, 2021 to Sunday February 28th, 2021. 
Cash prizes -- including $1000 Best In Show
Submissions open January 4- 24, 2021.
For important dates, categories, submission deadlines, judges and more, please visit www.ladysmitharts.ca/fineartshow2021
Want To Advertise in our online show catalogue? Please contact media@ladysmitharts.ca for a copy of the Media Drop Sheet. We have your target audience! Deadline for advertising is January 15, 2021.  The catalogue will be online from Feb - April 30, 2021
Get your name on Santa's nice list this year!

Visit our online gift shop to support local artists and score one-of-a-kind presents that will delight even the most tough-to-buy-for people on your list.
Announcing The Salt Spring National Art Prize's 2021/22 prize awards of $41,000!



$20,000 ($15,000 and a $5,000 Salt Spring Island artist residency)

Four awards of $3,000 selected by each juror

four awards determined by a vote of viewers of the exhibition
1st prize – $3,000
2nd prize – $2,000
3rd prize – $1,000
Youth Vote – $1,000

for outstanding work by a Salt Spring artist – $2,000

The Salt Spring National Art Prize (SSNAP) was established in 2015 to recognize, showcase, and publicize the accomplishments of Canadian visual artists and to advance public appreciation of visual arts.

More information

Call for submissions

The Federation of BC Artist’s is looking for submissions for the 2021 artist’s choice exhibition.

Art Submissions - Art Submissions - Artists' Choice - Federation of Canadian Artists, Canada's largest national arts service organization for visual artists

Their current exhibition information can be found here:
Exhibitions - Exhibitions - View Gallery - Federation Gallery


Here is a list of local
Grants and Funding for the Arts:



"The Writers' Union of Canada invites submissions to its 28th annual Short Prose Competition for Emerging Writers. Unpublished works of fiction and nonfiction up to 2,500 words in English are eligible, and writers may submit multiple entries. A $2,500 prize will be awarded to the winner, and the entries of the winner and finalists will be submitted to three Canadian magazines for consideration. The deadline for entries is February 12, 2021.

"The Competition aims to discover, encourage, and promote new writers of short prose. 'Over its twenty-eight-year history, the Short Prose Competition has always delivered an eclectic array of entries,' says Executive Director John Degen. 'It is quite exciting to discover promising new writers each year.'”
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