The Central Island Arts Guide is an in-depth directory open to anyone actively engaged in creative pursuits that they share with the public.

The Arts Guide is the year-round companion directory that supports the Central Island Studio Tour. The Studio Tour is on the last weekend of May each year. 

Who can participate:

Painters, potters, sculptors, musicians, writers, videographers, photographers, dancers, playwrights, museums, poets, pyrographers, designers, composers, choirs, dance schools, theatre companies, game designers, graphic artists, fashion designers, singers, collagers, screenprinters, lithographers, recording engineers...anyone who makes, creates, curates, administrates or teaches an artform.

It is open to both emerging & established artists, hobbyists and professionals. 

And any and all businesses and service providers who support the arts.

We offer Artist Listings (text with photo), and Display Advertising opportunities.

What will it look like?

The Guide is a 4x9 full colour, professionally designed booklet. It is organized alphabetically by region, and contains simple maps for reference.

Where will it be distributed?

A minimum 25,000 copies of the Arts Guide will be printed and distributed (by a service provider) throughout Vancouver Island, BC Ferries, Washington State Ferries and beyond. They will remain in circulation until the next guide is published.

In addition, copies will be hand-delivered (and topped up quarterly) to arts-related & arts-friendly businesses throughout the Central Island and to select major arts locations around Vancouver Island and further afield.

When is the deadline to book?

Bookings for listings & display ads must be SUBMITTED by October 25. Payment must be received by November 15.

Why Participate?

This guide clearly outlines the depth and breadth of creative and cultural life available in the Central Island.

As such, it serves as a reference for tourists seeking Arts & Culture experiences, potential residents looking to make the Central Island their home, and locals who are passionate about buying local and supporting their community's artists.

It's a perfect vehicle for businesses and service providers who know that an arts appreciative audience is one of eclectic tastes, has moderate to more disposable income and is often open to new experiences, has some post-secondary education and done some travelling.

It is the ONLY such reference for our region, which has a very strong core of cultural workers - in fact, the Central Island is home to nearly 10% of the entire arts sector in BC!

People are finally discovering this, and this guide will bring them to your door.

Why do the tour?

Are you a creator?

The studio tour is a terrific opportunity to showcase - and sell - your work in your natural habitat.

Whether you are a painter, sculptor, musician, dancer, writer, illustrator, graphic designer... bringing audience into your creative space can have fantastic results!

The tour is open to all professional and emerging artists - in ANY genre or discipline - from Parksville to Campbell River.

It is an exciting adventure for visitors, and when you open your studio and provide an inside glimpse you have a chance to create friends (and supporters) for life.

We encourage you to make an "event" of it right in your own studio - offer treats, demonstrate your process, provide plenty of choices for purchase (smaller items are a great introduction to new art), bring in a performer... do something special and have some fun!

What are the hours of the Tour?

The Tour is on the last weekend of May, and runs Friday - Sunday, 10am-4pm, with an option to hold a reception or party on Friday evening.

What about maps?

The Guide contains basic maps of each for reference. They are not driving maps.

The Studio Tour will have a separate fold-out map printed (and available for download) with basic address listings and numbered markers. We will promote the two together, and the Tour Map will recommend picking up a copy of the Guide for reference, as well as visiting the website.

What about signage?

Studio Tour Participants are welcome to use their own signage. We abandoned annual signage due to costs and the unjustifiable workload.

Directional arrows, flags and flag posts are available to make your studio stand out more if you wish.

We do not provide numbers, as they change each year. You are encouraged to create your own if you feel they are of value to you.

What's included in the Tour?

Specifically for the tour, CVA will provide:

  • Extensive coverage and promotion of the event through established traditional and online media
  • Social media promotion and sharing tools on all artist bios & event postings
  • Professionally designed tour map, distributed throughout Vancouver Island!
  • Professionally designed website with extended artist information and individual galleries, interactive map and downloadable maps & listings
  • One hosted meet & greet among participating artists
  • A passport for the public to collect stamps and win prizes by visiting the requisite # of studios
  • General Public Liability insurance coverage (eg. if someone were to be injured on the tour. DOES NOT cover loss or damage to your work or premises)

Artist will:

  • Commit to opening their studio for the posted hours of the tour.
  • Promote the tour to their social media & personal networking channels
  • Post signage and carry maps/brochures for 1 month prior to tour (provided by CVA)
  • Assist with distribution of materials within their local neighbourhood
  • Stamping passports and encouraging more visits!
  • Provide demo/refreshments/entertainment - whatever you wish - to engage your visitors
  • Be responsible for making their studio as visible as possible on the weekend of the tour. This may include embellishments or additional signage as artist feels necessary.
  • Commit to communicate with tour organizers by email, and endeavour to respond to tour organizer in a timely manner
  • If necessary, ensure CVA is listed as named insured if Artist carries business/commercial insurance for studio

Awesome reasons to do it:

  • Generation of revenue
  • Exposure to a new audience
  • Keep-established clients abreast of current work
  • Educate a broad audience about your media, showing techniques to interested people
  • Break down barriers by allowing the artist and the public direct and immediate interaction and communication
  • As an information gathering/list-building tool
  • Networking: Connecting with other artists and professionals, in and outside of your Medium
  • Introduce your work to possible collectors, galleries or curators

Some considerations:

  • Artists who are uncomfortable in public situations may find such an event unappealing. Giving the public access to an artist’s workspace can, for some, be an unsettling experience.
  • Some studios may be dangerous or unhealthy places for the public. If you use chemicals or delicate equipment, this may apply to you.
  • Artist or maker has no need/desire to expand clientele or investigate new demographics.
  • You will need to tidy up your studio (well, not much really… people like to see how you REALLY work)