Marketing Manager Says Goodbye

On May 30, 2016, in News, by ArtSpring

Julian 2016In the rainy winter of 2012 I was hired as ArtSpring’s Interim Operations Manager to cover Meghan Howcroft’s maternity leave. I was thrilled. Mid-way through our job training, Meghan was pulled away to begin her journey into motherhood. I rolled up my sleeves and got to work, thankful for the kindness and patience of ArtSpring’s patrons, volunteers, board members, and staff.

It has been four years now since I joined the team here, having shifted – three years ago – from my initial position as Interim Operations Manager to that of Marketing Manager. I have been greatly enriched by the wide range of arts – dance, theatre, music, visual art, and much more – that spring to life at ArtSpring.

There have been many shows that have marked me during my time at ArtSpring. Here are three that ArtSpring programmed that come to mind as favourites: i) Spin¸ the historical bicycle-inspired performance by Evalyn Parry that included a musician playing the bicycle as an instrument. ii) Les Ballets Jazz de Montreal, the larger-than-life dance show from la belle province. iii) Elizabeth Shepherd and her band who played nearly inharmonious sounds weaving them together to create a unique tapestry of jazz.

Community shows that are etched into my memory include the hilarious and campy Mamma Priscilla’s Cagey Revue (how can I ever forget the wonderful lead’s outfits?), Rent, and A Friday Affair. When I first began working at ArtSpring, I was electrified by the GISS student performers, amazed by the caliber of these high school productions and the talent of the students. There was also the Velo Village weekend, which featured many bicycle-themed events and a special art exhibit using bicycle parts!

I have worked with (and learned from) a range of artists, community members and organizations, board members and volunteers. As well, I have learned so much from my coworkers – both past and present – who are a very talented bunch of people.

Though I am moving on to another work opportunity with the Salt Spring Forum, I will not be far from ArtSpring. I sincerely thank you for giving me a home at ArtSpring during these past four years.

So long, but not farewell!


Julian Paquette


ArtSpring Salutes its Volunteers

On April 25, 2016, in News, by ArtSpring

The ArtSpring Board of Directors hosted its annual Volunteer Appreciation Reception on April 15th. The reception was packaged together with the performance An Evening of Wonders with illusionist Vitaly. ArtSpring’s loyal volunteer contingent numbers well over 150 people who devote over 6,000 hours of their time to ArtSpring every year.

The list of tasks is a long one. Volunteers staff the box office, provide technical support in the theatre, and act as ushers and duty managers. A volunteer oversaw the $120,000 project to put a new roof on the building last year. Some 100 volunteers turn out every year to have fun pulling together our Treasure Fair, and raise $50,000 doing it. Community members decorate ArtSpring for the Christmas season, and restore order one month later! Redecoration of the kitchen, the committee room and the galleries, and renovation and painting of the dressing rooms has all been tackled by volunteers – not to mention re-upholstering the lobby furniture. Every summer, generous billeters house visiting performers and Chamber Music Festival students. ArtSpring volunteers are a multi-talented group.

Three special volunteers were recognized on April 15th: Bob Fenske for his exceptional contributions working as a duty manager while training others to assume the task; and Deb and Jeff Bee for their long-time support of ArtSpring’s annual Treasure Fair. Bob, Deb and Jeff received gift boxes from Seachange and complimentary tickets to a future performance.

Volunteer of the Year recipient Bob Feske at the podium. Deb and Jeff Bee also received the Volunteer of the Year award. (Photo by David Borrowman)

Volunteer of the Year recipient Bob Feske at the podium. Deb and Jeff Bee also received the Volunteer of the Year award. (Photo by David Borrowman)

The board also decided for the first time to award Lifetime Honorary Memberships in the ArtSpring Society. In recognition of and in gratitude for their many years of service and support to ArtSpring, the Island Arts Centre Society presented Lifetime Honorary Membership certificates to Victoria Olchowecki and Joan Farlinger. At a critical juncture in the society’s history, Victoria served for three years as President, while Joan served for eight years on the board. Both were instrumental in the inception of ArtSpring as a performing arts centre.

Donald McLennan, President
Island Arts Centre Society
April 24, 2015

2016 Vol Appreciation Event-24

Lifetime Honorary Membership recipient Victoria Olchowecki. (Photo by David Borrowman)


2016 Vol Appreciation Event-26

Lifetime Honorary Membership recipient Joan Farlinger. (Photo by David Borrowman)


Come Plan and be Merry!

On March 16, 2016, in News, by ArtSpring
Treasure Fair

Some of the 2015 Treasure Fair crew posing in a row boat, one of the live auction items last year.

Come one, come all – to help create the most fabulous show on earth: the 2016 Treasure Fair! Planning for this July’s Treasure Fair – our annual three-day auction fundraiser since 2001 – is now underway and we would love to welcome you to the ATF team.

If you enjoy the arts, are good with people, have a great sense of humour, enjoy being part of a dynamic team and want to make new friends then you will fit right in. And, the coffee and nibblies are free-flowing – so you will be energized and satiated at all times!

Please call Christie Roome at 250-537-2125 to join the fun.





Planning for the 2016 Treasure Fair is officially underway! Volunteers met on March 22nd to begin organizing the July fundraiser.


ArtSpring board member Elly Silverman also lends a hand volunteering for the Treasure Fair.

ArtSpring board member Elly Silverman also lends a hand volunteering for the Treasure Fair.



Volunteers Katharine Atkins and Deb Bee stop for a quick photo as the committee breaks for lunch. Do you want to join the fun too? Call Christie at 537.2125!


Steam Punk Meets ArtSpring

On February 24, 2016, in News, by ArtSpring

You may have noticed the funky new paint on ArtSpring’s walls or the newly-reupholstered lobby furniture that is positively eye-catching. Our hard-working volunteer Judy McLennan has been moving determinedly from project to project.

Have you also noticed the new woodwork around the building? Our very own board president Donald McLennan pulled together a strong team of collaborators to work on a number of projects. Have a look:

It all begins with some wood and an idea by ArtSpring board president (and woodworker) Donald McLennan.

It all begins with some wood, many ideas and helping hands. ArtSpring Board President Donald McLennan mills the wood, which is in fact from an old deck.


ArtSpring volunteer Judy McLennan then applies her painting skills to the wood to bring out the distressed look. ArtSpring’s Executive/Artistic Director Cicela Månsson had the idea to feature the distressed look of the wood, giving it a unique look.


In the basement dressing rooms, Donald creates a rustic steam punk-inspired look for the hanging system. Now performers can enjoy using the new system for their clothes and costumes.


Designer Phillip Van Horn and engineer Glenn Trarup donated their talents to the new steam punk hanging system in the lobby cloak room. Now patrons can hang up their coats in style when they come to see performances.



John Wiskel made a huge contribution on the decorative hand-crafted bench in the lobby with its distinctive trademark corners. Have a seat on it the next time you’re here!


Umbrella Hanger

Lastly, if it is raining, patrons can place their umbrellas in the umbrella stand attached to this beautiful storage cabinet that Donald also created.


Steam Punk


Ticketing Issues

On February 23, 2016, in News, by ArtSpring

artspringout2We are currently experiencing technical difficulties and are only able to sell tickets to tonight’s Vogler Quartet & Ian Parker concert either by phone at 250.537.2102 or in person at the Box Office (100 Jackson Ave.) from 10 am to 4 pm. The Box Office is also open one hour prior to the 7:30 pm concert. We will let you know as soon as the technical issues are resolved and when tickets to all other events are available. We apologize for any inconvenience.


A Tribute to Arvid Chalmers

On February 1, 2016, in News, by ArtSpring

Arvid Chalmers (right) with Sid Filkow (left) as the Geezers.

ArtSpring has lost a friend and supporter, and the Salt Spring community has lost a treasure. Arvid Chalmers was one of the driving forces and founding members who helped turn the vision of a community arts centre into reality, and his sudden death on January 28 comes as a shock to all of us.

As we all know, Arvid brought laughter and entertainment to Salt Spring, going back to the early days in the Hysterical Society, the kilt-wearing Scottish ferry worker Maggie MacCaffrey, the sleazy realtor Milt Bottomly, and of course as one of the Geezers, beside his long-time comedy partner Sid Filkow. He also loved music and performed enthusiastically, and it is consoling that he died doing something that he so enjoyed.

Arvid was also generous with his time at ArtSpring, serving in recent years as the gifted auctioneer in our Treasure Fair. We know how passionate Arvid was about children and young adults as he continued to make suggestions about how to make ArtSpring a better place for all of us.

Our condolences go out to his family and his many friends. His loss will be felt across the island.

Donald McLennan, President
Island Arts Centre Society


A Fresh New Look in the Gallery

On January 27, 2016, in News, by ArtSpring

The ArtSpring gallery space has a fresh look thanks to our hardworking duo – ArtSpring volunteer Judy McLennan and ArtSpring Building Manager Kevin McLeod.

The pair worked tirelessly over the holidays to make sure each of the three gallery rooms looks fresh and clean. Users of the gallery will enjoy the refreshed venue for their exhibits, events, meetings and workshops.

Thanks Judy and Kevin — oh, and Mia too!

Painting the Gallery - Judy II

Judy paints a fresh coat onto the sliding walls in the Guild room.

Painting the Gallery - Judy

Time for more paint.

Painting the Gallery - Kevin VI

Kevin tackles the big wall in the Multi-Purpose room.

Painting the Gallery - Kevin II

Photo break!

Painting the Gallery - Mia

Mia offers moral support to Judy and Kevin.


Deck the ArtSpring Halls with Holly…

On November 24, 2015, in News, by ArtSpring

ArtSpring HolidayHave you noticed that the ArtSpring’s December calendar is filled with lots of holiday performances and events hosted by community groups as well as our very own ArtSpring Presents programming? Here’s a glimpse this busy month:

On December 1st, the Country Grocer, a sponsor of ArtSpring’s children’s programming, presents Canadian tenor Ken Lavigne. Country Grocer thanks the community of Salt Spring for its support. Come early to enjoy a delicious nibblies and beverages. ArtSpring is very grateful to Country Grocer for their continuing sponsorship of our children’s programming, which includes $5 youth ticket prices for all ArtSpring Presents performances as well as concerts for the schools, workshops in the schools, children’s art enrichment programmes and the Chamber Music Festival Youth Camp.

Join the Salt Spring Singers on December 5th and 6th for a magical holiday concert. Enjoy the singers happily singing traditional Christmas carols, Don Conley’s new “Mystic Suite” and the magnificent music of Mozart, Mendelssohn and Brahms.

On Dec. 8th, vocal trio Tenore presents Christmas with You based on their recent 2014 GMA “Seasonal Album of the Year” award. This show captures the spirit and magic of the holiday season with holiday classics and favourites.

Enjoy a show of traditional Blues Christmas tunes from the 20’s, 30’s, 40’s 50’s and 60’s by Uncle Wiggly’s Hot Shoes Blues Band and Guests on December 11th. Listen to the songs of Louis Jordan, Big Joe Turner, BB King, Eric Clapton, Charles Brown, Etta James and more.

Then on December 17th, come to the ArtSpring Christmas Sing-Along. Dress up in holiday garb and sing your favourite carols with friends and neighbours. Please remember to bring a non-perishable food item for the food bank.

Join the Salt Spring Arts Academy on December 18th for its Annual Holiday Show! Enjoy dance and theatre selections from Academy teachers.

Bringing forward the spirit of cabaret and combining it with music from around the world, a thread of theatre and dance, and a dash of improvisation, Cari Burdett’s and Lila Music Centre’s 5th Annual Winter Solstice Music Cabaret on December 19th is sure to please! Also a crowd-pleaser of another kind is The 2nd Annual Last Chance Community Christmas Craft Fair on the 19th. And, if you want to participate in the fair, the organizer welcomes new vendors.

Celebrate the Christmas season with a live broadcast of The Nutcracker from London’s Royal Ballet on December 20th. This is a show for all ages, full of beauty, magic and Tchaikovsky’s most well-loved and gorgeous ballet music.

For tickets or more information call the ArtSpring Box Office at 250.537.2102 or

Please note that ArtSpring is closed from December 21st and reopens on January 4th. However, during this time tickets will still be available through our online ticketing system.



Catch the next generation of musicians

On November 2, 2015, in News, by ArtSpring

Catch the next generation of musicians at ArtSpring with the University of Victoria Chamber Ensemble here on Sunday, November 8th at 2:30 pm. These young and talented artists play duos and trios of Haydn and Debussy in the theatre. It’s incredible what these young artists have accomplished. Learn more about these four dynamic performers…

Aliayta Foon-Dancoes photoAliayta Foon-Dancoes
Violinist Aliayta Foon-Dancoes is now in her third year studying at the University of Victoria. She has been awarded scholarships to attend Orford, Tafelmusik, Switzerland’s Astona Festival and Morningside Music Bridge. She has played with professional ensembles including the Victoria Symphony, the Sydney Concert Orchestra, and won first prize in UVic’s 2014 Bach Competition and 2015 Concerto Competition.

Chloe_Kim_photo (1)Chloe Kim
Violinist Chloe Kim is currently in her second year at the University of Victoria. Past honors include 1st place in the National Strings Class at Performing Arts BC, after which she represented BC at the 2014 National Music Festival. Recent highlights include performing the 1st movement of the Sibelius Violin Concerto at the Orpheum in Vancouver, after winning the inaugural Provincial Concerto Competition hosted by the Vancouver Academy of Music.

Evan Hesketh photoEvan Hesketh
Conductor and violist Evan Hesketh studies conducting at the University of Victoria and has conducted orchestras in Victoria, Powell River, Maine, and New Hampshire. An accomplished violist, he holds a Bachelor of Music degree from UVic and a master’s degree from the Cleveland Institute of Music. He was a member of the prizewinning Ariadne String Quartet and has been a regular substitute violinist and violist with the Victoria Symphony and the Galiano Ensemble.

Shiun Kim photoShiun Kim
Shiun Kim is currently studying with Pamela Highbaugh Aloni, member of the renowned Lafayette String Quartet. She has played in both the Vancouver Youth Symphony Orchestra and Vancouver Academy of Music Symphony Orchestra. This February, Shiun won 1st place in UVic’s 2015 Bach Competition.


Tickets for Sunday’s performance are available through the ArtSpring Box Office at 537.2102 or $15 Adult | $5 Youth.


Showcase your Creations in our Display Case

On October 27, 2015, in News, by ArtSpring
Display Case (2)

Operations Manager Taryn Hancock picks the lucky winner of an item made by Sandra (of Sonia’s Studio).

Calling all local artisans, craftspersons, weavers, knitters, potters, jewellery makers and more.

ArtSpring features work by a local artist on a monthly basis in our lobby display case. This is an exciting opportunity for locals to showcase their wonderful creations for FREE!

If you are interested in displaying your work in the ArtSpring lobby display case, email Taryn at or call 537-2125, and ask how you can be added to the sign-up list.