“Althea” by Bob McLeod. Blown glass, 2019, was part of the 37th Annual Members’ Show at the Campbell River Art Gallery, which opened on Jan. 18, 2019. Photo by David Gordon Koch/Campbell River Mirror

Campbell River Art Gallery receives major funding from the Canada Council for the Arts

The Campbell River Art Gallery (CRAG) received a funding increase of $124,000 from the Canada Council for the Arts to increase public outreach for communities within the city and beyond on North Vancouver Island and surrounding islands.

The highly competitive funding, which is evaluated by a national committee of peers, is awarded through the Arts Across Canada program and is meant to: “Foster meaningful relationships and exchanges between artists and the Canadian public and increase appreciation for the arts.”

Beginning in January 2020, the CRAG’s staff of curators will design community outreach activities which will compliment and enhance the annual exhibition program with added artist-led workshops, artist talks and exchanges, interpretive tours, and events that will create exciting ways to understand and embed the arts deeper into the lives of all.

“Since 2018, the CRAG’s Board of Directors and brand new team have updated their vision to become a catalyst for communities to get closer to contemporary art,” newly appointed Board Chair Denise Mitchell-Hills says in a press release. “We are now perfectly positioned to deliver our mission in an even more impactful way.”

Campbell River Mayor Andy Adams says, “We are grateful for this investment by the Canada Council for the Arts that will reinforce the arts in our unique community,” says Mayor Andy Adams. “The CRAG is an invaluable cultural resource for our City that offers high-quality visual arts programs to children, youth and adults of all ages – which connects our diverse art histories and brings people together to exchange important ideas.”

Mayor Adams says, “The City of Campbell River values the contribution to our arts and cultural fabric and is pleased to continue to provide financial support to the Campbell River Art Gallery through the Community Partnership Program, Grants in Aid and city finances.”

The CRAG is located on the unceded traditional territory of the Ligwiłda’xw people, the We Wai Kai, Wei Wai Kum, and Kwiakah First Nations, whose historical relationships with the land continue to this day. Founded in 1994, it is a non-profit public art gallery and registered charity in downtown Campbell River in the Centennial Building, adjacent to Spirit Square and inside neighbour to the Visitor Centre. It is funded through its membership and donors, the City of Campbell River, the Province of British Columbia, the B.C. Arts Council and the Canada Council for the Arts.

With two exhibition spaces – a 1,500 sq. foot Main Gallery and a Satellite Gallery composed of four large display cases – the CRAG presents the work of professionals who are paid artists and copyright fees (CARFAC rates) to exhibit and create new work in response to the region’s specific cultures/histories/resources and geography. The CRAG also maintains a small permanent collection of visual art, including linocuts by famed local artist Sybil Andrews, housed at the Museum at Campbell River in their climate-controlled space.

The CRAG presents five exhibitions per year by local, B.C.-based and Canadian artists in solo or group shows which focus on work that is from under-represented voices or communities. It also co-produces an inclusive and community-building members’ show with the Campbell River Arts Council each year. By engaging the public it serves, the CRAG is able to facilitate genuine connections with with artists and their work, as well as offer opportunities for the ongoing telling of complex stories by diverse voices.

The CRAG is wheelchair accessible and welcomes service animals. It is open Monday through Saturday, 10 a.m to 5 p.m. from June through to September; and from Tuesday through Saturday, 12 noon to 5 p.m. after Labour Day weekend to April. Admission is by donation. Outreach activities are free or offered at an accessible cost. All are welcome.

For more information, contact the Campbell River Art Gallery at 250-287-2261, email admin@crartgallery.ca or visit www.crartgallery.ca