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Audiences welcome return of Vancouver Island’s biggest juried art show

Annual Sooke Fine Arts Show exhibition draws more than 7,000 people
A Serious Conversation by Monica Reekie was the Children’s Choice Winner at the Sooke Fine Arts Show. Photo - Sooke Fine Arts Society)

More than 7,000 people took the time to fully peruse or at least take a peek at the works on display at the Sooke Fine Arts Show.

The 36th annual version of the show was back to live audiences for the first time since the pandemic forced the popular event to go virtual for the past two years.

“It was a wonderful event, and I really appreciate the work done by the staff and volunteers,” John Grey Noble, a frequent exhibitor, said in a media release. “It’s one of the best shows I have been to over the past 16 years of attending. “Bravo!”

Comments from the show’s survey ranged from “Top class art and show,” to “Such creativity and inventiveness,” and included “It was like being in a candy store,” as well as “Will be back next year.”

Visitors got to vote for three of the awards at the largest juried arts show on Vancouver Island, which ran from July 22 to Aug. 1 at SEAPARC Leisure Centre.

View upon Neah Bay by Dallas Duobaitis earned the People’s Choice Award, while Ode to Pointillism by Janelle Brodrick earned the nod for Youth Art Favourite Award, and A Serious Conversation garnered the Children’s Choice Award.

“This year’s show was a success on so many levels,” said Terrie Moore, executive director of the Sooke Fine Arts Society. “We were able to showcase more B.C. Island artists and their work than ever before.”

The smiles on the faces of returning patrons and newcomers spoke to the enthusiastic support for the arts, and was evident as well in the record art sales for the artists, Moore noted. “It was especially delightful to see more children and families here than in past years.”

Sooke Fine Arts Society president Elaine Thrale was in full agreement.

“We were so pleased to welcome back visitors to the live show this year,” she said. “We are proud to have played a part in bringing arts back to the community.”

ALSO READ: Sooke Arts Council’s new art gallery opens in August

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Ode to Pointillism by Janelle Brodrick won the Youth Art Favourite Award at the Sooke Fine Arts Show. (Photo - Sooke Fine Arts Society)