The initial Friends of CRAG members pause their 2008 Victoria trip for a moment to commemorate their visit.

What does it mean to be a friend of the art gallery?

Friends of the Campbell River Art Gallery are learning about art, one excursion at a time

In 2008, Susie Moscovich received a phone call from then-executive-director of the Campbell River Art Gallery, Jeanette Taylor.

Moscovich and her husband had started a music scholarship, and Taylor knew she was a dedicated supporter of the arts, “so she called and asked me if I knew where she could get funding for a student to take an art class that summer,” Moscovich says.

The ask was for $67.

“And I said, ‘you don’t have $67 in your budget for a kid to take an art class?’”

So Moscovich just covered that cost, but it got her thinking.

“My mother was an artist, she worked at the Minneapolis Institute of Art, she taught art, I’ve been surrounded by art my whole life. And I thought, all these museums and galleries and everything have a ‘friends of,’ that help them out. Why don’t we have one?”

So she started one.

They called it, predictably enough, Friends of the Campbell River Art Gallery (CRAG).

They set a $150 fee to join – 100 per cent of which would go towards supporting the art galleries initiatives and programs – but knew that in order to gain membership, there would have to be some kind of benefit to membership over and above community philanthropy.

Moscovich remembered a lady from back in her time in Minnesota, when her mother was working for the Minneapolis Institute of Art, who would take members of their “friends of” group on trips as a benefit of membership.

“I mean, her trips were to places like Egypt and Rome, so I knew that wouldn’t quite be ‘Campbell River,’ but I knew we could take some great little trips.

Why don’t we do that?

We could provide some really, really neat art-related events for people as benefits for joining.”

So every year, members of the group, besides helping the art gallery, get to go on at least one art-related trip, “that features something that you can’t do on your own.”

They started by heading to Victoria after setting up a private tour of the Asian Collection at the Victoria Art Gallery with the curator, a few studio tours and artist visits that aren’t accessible to the general public, stayed in a nice hotel overnight and had a nice dinner.

They’ve since gone over to Vancouver, Saltspring Island, down to Seattle, did a quick hop over to Quadra to tour some studios, and even set up tours of art studios right here in Campbell River and the Comox Valley that people wouldn’t normally have access to.

“It’s all organized for people, so all they have to worry about is getting in the car to go where we’re going and get out of the car when they get back.”

Mainly, Moscovich says, she just wants to encourage a love of art, in general.

“Another thing I’m trying to promote is, for God’s sake, don’t put a poster on your wall. Support a local artist. Spend whatever you can afford, but if that’s only $25, go buy a sketch from a local artist or something and put that up. Buy real art. The whole thing with this group is to foster a love for art, introduce them to artists, and just help people understand and appreciate art a little more, in a way that they wouldn’t be able to do otherwise.”

She gets a lot of comments from people who express interest in joining the group along the lines of “but I’m not an artist, so I probably wouldn’t get much out of it,” which she says couldn’t be further from the truth.

“This isn’t for artists,” Moscovich continues.

“I mean, it’s great if you are, I guess, but it’s not about that. It’s about, ‘do you like art?’ I don’t think we have any artists in the group.

“I can’t even draw a stick figure, I just love being surrounded by art as often as I can and want other people to have that feeling, too.”

Anyone interested in finding out more about the Friends of CRAG can contact Moscovich by email at

Just Posted

Report: City of Campbell River needs a maintenance plan for Nunns Creek Nature Trust

Extensive ecological inventory shows both the good and the bad of city-leased lands downtown

Campbell River Fire Department douses truck fire on Inland Island Highway

A driver pulled over when the engine in his truck started smoking… Continue reading

High-speed internet connectivity for coastal communities one step closer to reality

Sub-sea fibre-optic cable will circle Vancouver Island and connect the North Coast to Vancouver

The Campbell River Festival of Films announces winter season line up

The Campbell River Festival of Films (CRFF) has unveiled its 2018 Winter… Continue reading

VIDEO: Orcas put on a show near Hornby Island

Louis Jobodin shares photos and video of his experience

WATCH: Giant waves smash Ucluelet’s Amphitrite Point

Folks made their way to Ucluelet’s Amphitrite Point Lighthouse on Thursday, Jan.… Continue reading

WestJet appeals lost bid to scrap harassment lawsuit

Airline argues judge was wrong to have dismissed the company’s application to strike the legal action

Can U.S. border guards search your phone? Yes, and here’s how

Secretary of homeland security explains a new policy that let’s border guards check phones

‘Beautiful writer’ Nancy Richler dies of cancer in Vancouver hospital

Montreal-born author spent most of her adult life in B.C. as a fiction writer and novelist

Jury convicts spear-wielding Duncan man in 2015 Ladysmith RV park murder

Trever George Meers used a handmade spear to stab Rayna Johnson at the Campers Corners RV Park

Students frustrated by UBCO response to harassment allegations

Students on the Kelowna campus were unaware of resources and worried about lack of communication

Opinion: Dare to be smarter

Just say no works for more than just substance abuse

‘Sing Me a Song’ about B.C. for a chance at $1,000 contest prize

Entries due by March 30 for lieutenant-governor’s British Columbia-themed competition

Facing reality of death, B.C. man learns real meaning of life

Even while preparing for the end, something inside Keven Drews won’t let him stop living

Most Read