Arts & Culture Program at YQQ Comox Valley Airport

Each fall, Comox Valley Arts partners with Comox Valley Airport (YQQ) to share the talents and vision of local artists on a theme related to living in Northern Vancouver Island. This is an exceptional opportunity for the artists, whose work can be seen by more than 500,000 airport visitors each season. 

If you wish to be notified of the open call for entry, please join our mailing list.

Call for entry is now open for 2017/18.


Open to all visual artists residing in the Comox Valley Airport’s catchment area of Northern Vancouver Island. Boundaries include Parksville, Port Alberni and Ucluelet in the south; Powell River to the east (including Texada, Denman, Hornby, Quadra, Cortes, Alert Bay and Sointula); the Pacific Ocean to the west; and the Pacific Ocean to the north.

The most recent exhibition was titled: "The Elements". It was installed between November 2016 to May 2017.

Below are the 2016/17 selected artists & their works:

The Artists' explanations of how their piece(s) reflect the theme, "Elements":

David Ballantyne
The lines of the tree branches reflect the powerful coastal winds often felt on Vancouver Island. The branch's flexibility and ability to adapt and flow with the winds contrasts with the solid and relatively immovable rocks to which the Arbutus tree has managed to penetrate with its roots to anchor itself to the island. The tree can be seen as a metaphor for the people of Vancouver Island who have rooted themselves here through family, friends and community.

Ingrid Bollegraaf
"Norther Reflection": A surreal vision of a textured moonlit lake shoreline. Where one can hear the call of the Loon.

"Thermocline": Thermoclines are distinct layers of water here in our waters which temperature changes more rapidly with depth. I incorporated surrealistic drifting plant life amongst these thermoclines to create movement and texture.

June Boyle
Seeding kelp beds is an underwater technique to create marine ecosystems so that plant and animal organisms can thrive together. Many communities on VI are engaging in this activity.
My art medium, fabric, provides intense colour, value and texture to visualize an underwater dance.  The objective was to pull the surface light down onto the seal and below.  By scooping the quilting lines,  depths are enhanced. The flowing lines of the bull kelp add motion.
Are the fish hiding in the kelp, symbiotic with the seal?  Are we humans in symbiosis with our most dynamic element, the ocean waters?

Emily Cadieux
"From The Ground": The elements on earth make up the planet and our bodies.

"Earth": Layers of colours make up this piece. The ground we walk on is full of colour. Touch a handful of soil and see life.

Ronald Coutts
The lines and shapes of the kelp are constantly changing direction with the ebbs and flows of the tides similar to how our lives constantly change on a day to day basis. We travel in different directions and branch out but in relation to the size of our planet , we do not stray too far . We are anchored to the Island much like the kelp.  Like the forests that surround us, kelp beds provide shelter to the creatures that inhabit the space below and nourish our lives as food and fertilizer.

April Dyck
This painting has the spirit of the theme of Elements.  Since moving to the Comox Valley I have been learning to grow food and I was inspired by the beautiful humble pea flower who ends its life as a pea pod to norish me.  I played with space and represented the surroundings of my garden with mountains, trees and fields.  Pea flowers are hidden amongst leaves making it easy to overlook its beauty. The flowers are white at first glance until you study them.  Sections are thick with paint.  Lines are drawn to isolate colour and emphasis contours and space.

Susanne Hare
These weather worn pieces of driftwood have been collected in remote areas of Vancouver Island found washed up from old growth forests on lakes and ocean shores.  They are some of the most astounding pieces I have ever found and are symbolic of the thousands of years these ancient forests have formed from the elements that have shaped them.  It is the largest piece I have ever done out of driftwood and represents the love I have of the old growth forests and beauty of what the forces of life do over time here on the coast.

David Hayward
Color, depth, lines, space, shapes all working together, I would say. 

Carolyn Howard
The aspect of art emphasized in "Resilience" is that of texture.  The variations evident match the ever-changing moods that we find at any piece of our coastline.  The gritty sand and rock that is continually buffeted by wind and waves, as well as the powerful and forever moving water.  The ocean laps at the land, rearranging the edge...shifting and changing the interactions between the complex range of textures.  "Resilience" is about the complexity of texture and strength found on Vancouver Island's shoreline.

Heather Hughson
I went to Myra Falls to paint the falls - but when I got there all I could look at was the rocks that surrounded the falls. The stone was deeply fractured, lines started on one side and flared out to the other. The crevasses drew me in. So I ended up not painting the falls themselves, but the elemental part of them that make them the beauty that they are.

Betty Hung
The Comox Valley is so picturesque, nature surrounds us and so easy to enjoy. Birds playing in a pine tree really appealed to me and seemed to fit in what I love about the valley.

Robert James:
"Sunset over comox valley"  reflects my first impressions of b.c. and the comox valley.  I remember vividly my first visit to b.c.  first the impressive mountains, and then the huge magnificent trees and beautiful nature, and finally the wonderous ocean.  We have it all right here in the comox valley.  A beautiful sunset over these natural elements makes it that much more impressive.

Lisa Joan
"Run Salmon, Run" represents the connection between the ocean and the land here on Vancouver Island. Not only do the Pacific Salmon bring life in to the world once they arrive in our rivers, but they act as a vital food source for people, animals and eventually our forests. Pacific Salmon are an important element in Vancouver Island life, and in my opinion, are a work of art within themselves. My combination of quick strokes, paint splashes and detailed textures aim to mimic the bright colours, changing shape and fluid movements of a spawning salmon.

Mikyoung Jung
In this work, I have tried to represent the lives of travelers, including myself. The recent phenomenon of globalisation is a theme in my work which continues to fascinate me as it has negated the physical distance between humans and cultures thus increasing the potential for multi-lingual communication and intercultural exchange. My aim is to capture the moments that reflect a variety of people going about their own journey in the airport as well as outside airport and people that they meet during their travels and the infinite possibilities that that brings.

Sharon Lalonde
In the painting, Day Dawning, value, line, colour and shape are the predominant values used to create the rythmn of the piece. The rain forests of Vancouver Island are a place of wonder. Visitors to the island cannot help but be in awe when they realize that these forests have withstood centuries of exploitation, regeneration and human evolution. They shelter us, sustain our environment and provide a place to contemplate the extraordinary gift we have on Vancouver Island.

Fiona McQuillan
As a mosaic artist I am fascinated by the element of texture. Textures for the eyes, textures for the hands. The rocky beaches of the Comox Valley are very special to me for so many reasons, but one aspect is the constant invitation to touch and the richness of the textures in the trees, the upper shoreline right down to the intertidal pools. Its a feast for the senses. I call this mosaic panel Intertidal Solace as I see the beach as a healing and calming place

Marlene Oolo
Beautiful floating  poppies..floating in and out  with the tides in our Pacific Oceans.  As youngsters we have fun  skipping pebbles then later float swirling  flowers....  for sadness but mostly for happiness.Wonderful we are now more cognizant of our Oceans  to leave this fun habit to our grandchildren.

Marilyn Peeters
My visual story of this painting started with a hike at Elk Falls Park this summer with a friend from Boston. It was early afternoon and the energy of the warm sun created amazing colour and line on the trees. I thought how nice to see this scene everyday as a reminder in the comfort of our own home. The arch trees and arched window symbolizes our spiritual identity and together as a community and also I added the window as a reminder to live a healthier lifestyle by spending more time in nature to heal our tired souls.

Kathi Rudko
"Rock Pool": bold lines and colours embody the earth elements of rock and water. Here smooth rocks and pebbles are resting at the shore, partially submerged in a tide pool.  The painting reflect the themes of west coast living, beach walking and taking a close-up observation of what is underfoot!

"Reflective Fall": This piece uses colour and movement to embody the essence of a coastal rainforest in the fall. The trees- mostly alders and maples- in their fall colours are dropping their leaves into a water puddle in Miracle Beach Park. The lack of a clear horizon line makes the division between sky and water unclear; are the leaves on top of the water or reflected in water? To render such beauty is a west coast painter's pleasure!

Hendrika Stigter-de Boer
Shapes and color are always the main ingredients for my work.This piece has a fire inspired background, where I added a carrot eating girl and fern printing.Because of the colors of the woman in the wind it looks like she's hovering above the painting.There is variety of the vague shapes in the background and the strong ones in the front.The contrast between the two makes it easy to look at but also gives an option to explore.

Wild Textiles
Vancouver Island is my main inspiration,shapes mix in with color and texture. Salmon I'd call the chameleon of our rivers. How they change in color and shape is amazing.For this triptych the grey represents the mountains and has a soft wool application on a textured cotton.While the blue stands for Ocean and air with a shape of wind to encourage motion.The velvet green are the trees, it all connects and comes together with the migrating salmon printing.To complete the unity in this piece each salmon has a brown/blue smooth ceramic head.