In pursuit of our goal

of bringing a Class-A Public Art Gallery to the Cowichan Valley, CPAG is committed to having Art Exhibitions in rented spaces until our vision is realized.

2021 – Forest: Breath of Life

2021 – Forest: Breath of Life / Youth in the Arts online exhibition

2019 – Upon Reflection

2019 – The Suitcase Project

2018 – Estuary: Cradle of Life

2018 – Expressions of Interest

2021   Forest: Breath of Life / CVAC Gallery, July 28 – August 24

Cowichan Valley Arts Council Gallery

Cowichan Community Centre, 2687 James Street, Duncan, B.C.

“Forest: Breath of Life” explores the multi-faceted nature of forests: as home to a vast number of flora and fauna; as a source of beauty, healing and solace to humans; as a source to be harvested; as an ecosystem under threat; and as a source of every breath we take.

Show set up 

( photos by Dorian Melton )

Opening night

( photos by Dorian Melton and Ron Nunweiler )

Closing performance

(by Yuko Yamamoto, Cari Burdett and audience members)

( photos by Dorian Melton )

Panel discussion

hosted by Cowichan Public Art Gallery and Sierra Club BC
“Forest: Breath of Life” An inspiring conversation about the intersections of art, climate justice, and forests.

Panel discussion was hosted by Elisabeth Noble, Manager of Donor Engagement at Sierra Club BC and will feature guest panelists Kiran Niet, Regional Coordinator with the Sustainabiliteens; Rande Cook ~ Makwala, hereditary chief of the Ma’amtagila; and Kyle Scheurmann, painter and recent participant in the Eden Grove Artist in Residence program near Fairy Creek.

Watch a recording of the discussion: recorded panel discussion on YouTube

Exhibiting artists

Charlie Barrett
Ilka Bauer
Judy Brayden
Jared B.
Angelo Cavagnaro
Lil Chrzan
Emilie Crewe
Gloria Daly
Janine Duns
Diana Durrand
Martina Edmondson

Lori Goldberg
Charlotte Haggart
Cathi Jefferson
Rosalynn K.
Lyssa Kayra
Rosa Lynn Korteland
Rory MacDonald
Sara Marreiros
Eileen McGann
Bea Miller
Jessie Na

Shelley Ross
Goetz Schuerholz
Marion Syme
Bev Thompson
Helena Wadsley
Yuko Yamamoto
Christi York
Yifei Zhang

2021   Forest: Breath of Life / Youth in the Arts – Online Exhibition, May 1 – May 31

In co-operation with Sierra Club BC

Students, ages 10 to 19 were asked to create an original work of art expressing the theme of “Forest: Breath of Life.” These are their stories.

As the first wave of the Covid-19 pandemic was at this time; this Youth in the Arts exhibition was produced as an online-only event.

2019   Upon Reflection / Blue Grouse Estate Winery, October 11 – 13

Saturday, Oct. 12, 3:00 pm – 5:00 pm   CVPAG Media Launch.
Friday, Oct. 11 – Sunday Oct. 13, 11:00 am – 5:00 pm   “Upon Reflection” an indoor/outdoor exhibition of sculpture by prominent B.C. artists.

The final attendance for this exhibition was 300.

Cowichan Valley Regional District directors voted Wednesday, July 24 to provide a letter of support for the Cowichan Valley Public Art Gallery project ​after hearing a presentation by CVPAG President Jock Hildebrand and Public Relations Chairperson, Dorian Melton. CVRD support follows a similar letter from City of Duncan councilors. Project board members will next present their plans to the North Cowichan Council.

This far-sighted endeavor already has support from publicly funded arts councils, our Member of Parliament Alistair McGregor, our MLA Sonia Furstenau and others. Jean Crowder, our former MLA, is Honorary Chairperson of CVPAG. CVPAG members number about 150 and rising.

The Cowichan Valley Public Art Gallery (formal name is pending) will measure between 25,000 and 35,000 square feet and will host national and international art (85% of programming) as well as the work of local artists (15% of programming): from painting to sculpture ​to other visual mediums. The gallery will ​also offer arts education and awareness programs, promoting the Valley as home to one of Canada’s highest concentrations of artists per capita.

Mr. Hildebrand points out that arts based ​tourism based on a world-class art gallery in Cowichan Valley will also benefit ​other galleries on the island as well as local businesses such as hotels, stores, restaurants and bars, generating local jobs.


“This project will become a cornerstone for the Vancouver Island cultural community. As well providing visual arts that otherwise may not be accessible to Island residents, the thirty-five million dollar building will become a major economic driver in these days of diminishing resource-based economies. With seven dollars return for every dollar spent, the community will benefit in all ways.”


​CVPAG board members are researching funding as well as looking at potential sites and gallery design. They are examining ​how similar galleries in other cities ​are operating based on community support, grants from government and private donors, and fundraising.

We want to thank our sponsors, Blue Grouse Estate Winery, and Island Savings Credit Union for their generous support in making this event happen. Our thanks also go to the fine B.C. scupltors who contributed their work to this sculpture exhibition. We also very much appreciate the many dignitaries and special guests who, despite their busy schedules took time to come and share some very supportive thoughts regarding our vision to build a Class “A” Public Art Gallery here in the Cowichan Valley.

Last, but not least, our deepest gratitude goes to our many dedicated volunteers and Board members whose efforts helped to bring this exhibition and Media Lauch to fruition.

Media Launch / reception

Daniel Cline

Chemainus, B.C.  www.danielclinesculpture.com

Deborah Wilson

Vernon, B.C.  www.deborahwilson.bc.ca

Denis Kleine

Nelson, B.C.   www.deniskleine.ca

Fred Dobbs

Victoria, B.C. www.sculptorfred.com

Congratulations to Fred Dobbs on his piece: “The Exchange” being chosen for a Juror’s Award at the 2019 Sidney Fine Arts Show!

Richard Palmer

Palmer Iron Works, Cowichan Station, B.C.

2019   The Suitcase Project / Arbutus Gallery, July 5 – 26

Tuesday July 9, 5:00 pm – 8:00 pm   Opening Reception with various performances, Arbutus Gallery.
Thursday, July 18, 7:00 pm – 9:00 pm   “Global Displacement” public panel and conversation, Mesachie Room, Arbutus Gallery.
Friday, July 26, 10:00 am – 12:00 noon  “Landscapes of Injustice” presentation by members of the research collective, UVic., Mesachie Room, Arbutus Gallery.

The final attendance for the Suitcase Project exhibition was 1,029.

Opening night reception

Global Displacement

a panel discussion.

Landscapes of Injustice

a presentation by members of the UVic Research Collective

2019   Estuary: Cradle of Life / Arbutus Gallery, March 4 – 23

The final attendance for this, our second Art Exhibition was 980!
Thanks to all those who made this event a success.

The purpose of this art show was to promote the need to protect our estuary and to learn how we can safeguard this irreplaceable ecosystem.

Why do we need to protect estuaries?
The economy of many coastal areas is based primarily on the natural beauty and bounty of estuaries. When those natural resources are imperiled, so too are the livelihoods of the many people who live and work there. As shown by this art exhibition estuaries provide us with a whole suite of resources, benefits, and services. Some of these can be measured in dollars and cents, others cannot. Estuaries are an irreplaceable natural resource that must be managed carefully for the mutual benefit of all who enjoy and depend on them.

More images coming soon.

Opening night reception

Show take-down

2018   Expressions of Interest / Arbutus Gallery, July 26 – August 14

The final attendance for our first Art Exhibition was 1,101, not bad for our first show!
Thanks to all those who made this inaugural event a success.
More photos to come.