History of the Sooke Fine Arts Show

The Sooke Fine Arts Show stems from humble beginnings when the Sooke Region Museum would feature artwork from local artists in small shows in their upper gallery. In 1986, spurred by the buzz of the year’s Expo, a committee of five artists conceived of a show to bring attention to art and artists of the region, and thus the inaugural FINE ARTS ’86 was born.

The show was a huge success and thanks to the admirable coordination of Elida Peers, the sponsorship of the Sooke Region Museum and the Sooke Region Historical Society, and teams of hard-working volunteers, it flourished and grew each year.

That first show displayed 200 pieces from 49 artists in SEAPARC’s ice arena and eventually grew to fill the entire 16,000 square foot space, transforming it into the world-class exhibition that you see today. In 2006, coordination of the show moved from the hands of the Sooke Region Museum and into the newly-formed Sooke Fine Arts Society.

Today the show features on average 375 pieces from approximately 260 artists from all over B.C’s coastal islands, with prizes totaling over $12,000. And it is now so much more than a gallery, as it houses a stage with live music and youth performances, artist demonstrations, a large gift shop, and a separate youth art gallery, expanding the exhibition beyond the main arena.

The Sooke Fine Arts Society is most thankful for the efforts of all the previous organizers, volunteers, sponsors, donors, and friends that have made the show the success that it is today.