Comox Valley Art Gallery newsletter, April 23, 2021


Artist Anne Steves will lead drop-in virtual Make Art Projects every Saturday in May.

Hello friends,

The Comox Valley Art Gallery is bustling with activity as we:

  • prepare for a month of virtual Make Art Saturdays in May,
  • present the thematic program VISIBLE LABOUR until May 29,
  • get set to hire summer students (application deadline extended to April 27),
  • run the OFFSITE_ONSITE research and production residencies,
  • provide the Youth Media Project in a COVID-friendly fashion,
  • exhibit artwork 24-7 outdoors and virtually,
  • finalize recovery from the fire we had outside our garage door last month,
  • celebrate the completion of work to replace our old elevator (!!!), and
  • gear up for our Annual General Meeting on May 8, which will include a review of art and resiliency in one the most unique years we have ever experienced.
SHOP:MADE is in full swing after a re-set required by the fire, and our selection of well-made things created by local makers now includes the work of the late artist George Sawchuk.

We were pleased to present a successful Virtual Net Making workshop last weekend, in connection with the VISIBLE LABOUR exhibition. You can see the video by clicking here.

Read on for more details and we hope to see you soon. In these COVID times we have reduced our operating hours to Thursday to Saturday, 10am to 5pm. We have protocols in place to ensure your safety, including mask-wearing, hand-sanitizing, and limiting numbers so you can maintain 2 meters distance from those outside your bubble.

Art keeps us together even when we have to be apart.

- The CVAG team


Virtual drop-in workshops are connected to Anne Steve's project A SENSE OF ABANDON BUT NOT A LACK OF DISCIPLINE.

Every Saturday in May, 11am to 4pm
Zoom drop-in anytime – link will be announced April 31
Free and available to all ages

CVAG’s artist-led Make Art Workshops have gone virtual.

During the month of May the gallery is offering the opportunity to drop-in by zoom to make alongside Anne Steves, a Welsh/Canadian interdisciplinary artist working with themes of place, distance and connection. We will announce the zoom links on April 31 -- stay tuned to our website for details.


The VISIBLE LABOUR exhibition includes SECONDARY COLOURS : BAD GIRLS CIRCLE by Deborah Dumka. 

March 25 - May 29, 2021

VISIBLE LABOUR  is a convergent program that reveals the ever present constancy of the work that is going on all around us – through exhibition, outreach projects, offsite and onsite creative residencies and community engagement activities. The program includes:

Visible Labour – exhibition with Deb Dumka + Claire Sanford, Connie Michele Morey, Kristin Nelson.

A Sense of Abandon But Not of Discipline – project by Anne J Steves.

Offsite_Onsite – collaborative research + production residency with Abir Bouhkari, Nisrine Bouhkari, Shelley Vanderbyl and CVAG’s curators.


You can see Deb Dumka's work (left) and Anne Steves' work (right) 24-7 from the CVAG plaza. And from 6th street you can also see and hear work from OFFSITE_ONSITE residency in the lower level windows.

During these COVID times we are offering new ways to encounter art. Check out the increased illumination in the CVAG Window Gallery, projections from screens in windows facing the CVAG plaza and 6th street, soundscapes and more. 

Please keep a safe social distance from others while viewing this work.


CVAG president Jasmin Badrin is inviting all CVAG members to attend our Annual General Meeting and join us in reviewing a most extraordinary year.

Saturday, May 8, 10am

The Comox Valley Art Gallery is run by a non-profit society with a volunteer Board of Directors. Every spring we hold an Annual General Meeting where CVAG members choose the Board of Directors, review the previous year's programming, and approve the financial statements for the previous year.

Like last year, this year's AGM will be virtual. To vote at the meeting, you must be a current member of the Comox Valley Art Gallery. Memberships can be obtained by visiting the gallery, calling 250.338.6211, or sending an e-mail to

To attend the AGM, please send an e-mail to and we will provide you with Zoom details.


Join our dynamic CVAG team

Application deadline April 27

We have just received confirmation that we will receive federal government support to hire summer students. Click here to see the job posting.

For more details, or to apply with your resume and application letter, please send an e-mail to


Shelley Vanderbyl had several paintings -- some complete and some in progress -- inside our Project Room Studio when a fire was set outside the garage door. Click the photo to see a video produced by Tom Elliott.

Shelley Vanderbyl was conducting a production residency in CVAG's Project Room Studio when a fire was started just outside the doors to Shelley’s working space. The fire was started in the early hours of the morning and luckily no one was hurt. Damage to the gallery was "minor" thanks to the quick actions of Courtenay City staff and the Courtenay Fire Department. 

Shelley's work was the most impacted, and the fire imposed an unexpected staccato in the flow of her onsite residency practice, demanding new responses and articulations in the process of making. See a potent video here, produced by Tom Elliott.

It seems significant that her work was about fires -- specifically signal fires as way-finding / making visible / a calling out into the distance. Currently, Shelley continues her research + production residency offsite.

We want to thank Comox Valley Arts - the Community Arts Council - for providing space for us to store Shelley's artwork while we were cleaning up. We also thank Belfor Property Restoration and Oliver's Power Vacuum and Chimney Sweep for provide prompt service. The clean is almost fully complete and we will be able to use the Project Room studio shortly.

We are also grateful for the outpouring of support we have received from the community. We love operating in such a special place.

Acknowledgements and gratitude

We acknowledge with gratitude that we are located on the unceded traditional territory of the K’omoks First Nation. We recognize the enduring presence of First Nations people on this land.

We are grateful for the financial support we receive from Canada Council for the Arts, BC Arts Council, BC Gaming, Government of Canada, Province of BC, City of Courtenay, Town of Comox, and Comox Valley Regional District.

We offer thanks to the Sherwin-Williams Paint Store and other key partners including SD71 Print Shop, ABC Printing and Signs, and Hitec Screen Printing for their support.

We especially thank all of our volunteers, donors, and members.


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Comox Valley Art Gallery
580 Duncan Ave, Courtenay BC
V9N 2M7

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Comox Valley Art Gallery · 580 Duncan Avenue · Courtenay, BC V9N 2M7 · Canada

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