Arts & Culture
On Salt Spring Island, life is art. Amidst the natural splendour and peaceful environment of the Gulf Islands, a large community of artists, artisans and performers has developed and flourished. Art is so much a part of the Salt Spring culture, that it is impossible to think of visiting the island without including at least one artistic event.
In addition to art galleries, artists' studios, live music performances, concerts, live theatre and movies, there is a full slate of festivals, workshops and celebrations to experience. Almost every weekend, some special event occurs on Salt Spring to entertain and delight the community. Events such as Sea Capers, the Festival of the Arts, the Fibre Festival, Garlic Festival, Fulford Days, and the Fall Fair abound with parades and a wide variety of activities for young and old, locals and visitors alike. It only takes a short visit to Salt Spring to experience this for yourself. Check out the Tourist Information Centre in Ganges when you arrive for a list of events.
Amateur and professional musicians, including some well-known recording artists, make their home on Salt Spring. Many recording studios can be found throughout the island and it is easy to find excellent live performances at many venues year round including restaurants, parks and along the seawalk. You can hear samples of some of the local talent at the Salt Spring Music web site. This site was started to promote both less well-known artists and the internationally renowned.
Visual Art & Crafts
Visual art is abundant on Salt Spring. Local art work can be seen in the fabulous collection of galleries and stores in Ganges, Fulford or Vesuvius as well as at the Saturday Market in Centennial Park. Artcraft in Ganges is open all summer displaying fine quality crafts by a large variety of local artists as well as during the Christmas season. The Salt Spring Studio Tour web site will direct you on a tour of more than 30 individual artist’s studios located around the island. This is an excellent opportunity to meet the artists in person and learn about their work.
ArtSpring, located in Ganges, is the island’s premier venue for concerts, theatre and art exhibits. The year-round line-up presented by ArtSpring is impressive and ranges from performances by top-ranked orchestras and other musical groups to local theatre productions and art exhibitions. 50% of the money needed to build the Centre was raised locally indicating the strong support for the arts that you will find on Salt Spring. Check the ArtSpring web site for upcoming events.
The Salt Spring Cinema in Central Hall is a truly unique experience enjoyed by everyone. Each week popular movies are shown in this central location.
Dining ranges from casual cafes where locals and visitors mingle over freshly roasted coffee, to exquisite West Coast and European cuisine in elegant dining rooms. Some restaurants offer live entertainment while you dine. One very unusual venue is a small restaurant in the heart of Ganges called the Tree House Café. This historic location was once the home of one of the original founders of the Salt Spring Island community. The Tree House offers Music Under the Stars – live music every night from May until the Fall Fair in September. This year they feature over 50 bands during 123 consecutive nights of music.