Development Manager Says Goodbye

On November 16, 2016, in News, by ArtSpring

ArtSpring bids farewell to Christie Roome, our intrepid Development Manager who’s seen us through two successful Treasure Fairs, and a myriad of other projects. We wish Christie all the best as she forges ahead with her writing career!

Here are Christie’s pchristie-compressedarting words:

“It is with both excitement and sorrow that I bid farewell to the staff and my volunteers at ArtSpring.

“I am very grateful to have had the opportunity to be part of the ArtSpring team.  It has brought more joy and meaning to my life than I could have every wished.  I have so much respect for the staff – Cicela, Meghan, Danielle, Jane, Marv, Kevin and Morgaine – and I will miss working with them.  And, I will miss all of my volunteers tremendously.  They have brought much laughter, joy and friendship to my life.

“I originally moved to Salt Spring with my family two years ago to build my career as an artist and author.  After a very inspired meeting with my writing group last month, I feel that I must return to writing and illustrating my books.

While I am leaving, this is not goodbye.  I will surely reach out to volunteer.

Thank you to each and every one of you for making my ArtSpring experience a phenomenal one that has touched each member of my family.”

 – Christie



Opera on Salt Spring? You better believe it!

On September 23, 2016, in News, by ArtSpring

What do Salt Spring Island and New York City have in common? Arbutus beaches? Skyscrapers? No. How about … the Metropolitan Opera! That’s right. On eight lucky Saturdays between now and April, Met Operas will be live broadcast on ArtSpring’s stage. Salt Springers and New Yorkers will see the action, majesty and music unfurl at exactly the same

Tristan and Isolde depicted by Herbert Draper (1863-1920).

Tristan and Isolde depicted by Herbert Draper (1863-1920).


The first o

Tristan and Isolde depicted by Edmund Blair Leighton (1853-1922)

Tristan and Isolde depicted by Edmund Blair Leighton (1853-1922)

Isolde as seen on the Met's stage October 8th.

Isolde as seen on the Met’s stage October 8th.

pera of the season is Wagner’s Tristan und Isolde, appearing on screen on ArtSpring’s stage on Saturday, October 8th, at 9:00 AM (or noon in New York). Tristan und Isolde is based on a Celtic legend that many believe pre-dates Arthurian myth, and indeed may have inspired the legendary love triangle of Arthur, Guinevere, and Lancelot.

The legends of Tristan and Isolde vary, but agree on the basic plot: Tristan, a knight and the nephew of King  Marke of Cornwall, has an ongoing affair with Isolde, King Marke’s war bride. As with Arthurian legend, Tristan, Marke, and Isolde all love each other, with Marke regarding Tristan as his son. In most versions of the story, Tristan and Isolde’s romance is fuelled by a love potion they ingest before Isolde’s marriage to the king, a strange element by modern sensibilities, and one that was tactfully omitted from the 2006 Hollywood movie version starring James Franco and Sophia Myles.

What sets Tristan und Isolde apart? For opera singers, Tristan und Isolde is known as one of the most demanding vocal performances, with Isolde often considered the mother of all soprano roles. On October 8th, Nina Stemme plays Isolde and Stuart Skelton plays Tristan, with Sir Simon Rattle conducting.

Rather than medieval England, director Mariusz Treli?ski has set his 4-hour epic in World War II-times. In addition to the downward-spiraling love triangle, Tristan und Isolde is also overshadowed by rumors of renewed war between Cornwall and Ireland, a theme made more pronounced by the stark, military costumes, and the military war ship on which the first act of the opera takes place.

Tickets to Tristan und Isolde are available at the ArtSpring Box Office, 100 Jackson Avenue, or here online. There will be an intermission with refreshments half-way through the performance. For more information, contact ArtSpring at 250-537-2102.


Proud to be ArtSpring

On September 12, 2016, in News, by ArtSpring
Photo Credit: Michael Levy

Photo credit: Michael Levy


Photo credit: Michael Levy

Photo credit: Michael Levy

Photo credit: Michael Levy

Photo credit: Michael Levy

Congratulations to everyone who marched in this year’s Pride Parade! ArtSpring was proud to participate, under the enthusiastic leadership of Board Member Deb Toole. Thank you Deb, GLOSSI, and everyone else!


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.