TOSH’s 100th birthday Saturday in Qualiucum Beach

The Old School House celebrates its first century

Celebrate the birthday of a venerable Qualicum Beach institution this weekend, as The Old School House arts centre (TOSH) building celebrates 100 years of active service.

Activities are planned throughout the day involving an incredible amount of art, music and entertainment.

“Although this building started off as a wonderful school it has evolved into a vibrant art centre and so we felt this was the best way to honour it’s 100th birthday,” said TOSH director Corinne James.

The day’s events kick off at 11 a.m. with the popular Grand Prix d’Art, a painting race where artists paint en plain air (in the open air) around Qualicum Beach. An Art in Action arts festival will happen throughout the day with artisans of many levels and mediums displaying and selling their wares. This includes a kids arts tent where kids can create their own acrylic masterpiece and take it home.

Canada’s oldest continuous concert band will perform on stage in the parking lot next to TOSH at noon. The Nanaimo Concert Band has over 55 members and have won many awards over the years.

A magic show will take place around 1 p.m. with an internationally recognized magician.

“He has come out of retirement, because he’s in his 90s, and he’s going to do a little show… and he’s fantastic,” said James.

A Taiko Drumming concert at  2 p.m. will feature two celebrated Japanese drummers as well as their students. Other Taiko ensembles from Vancouver and Victoria will also delight audiences with their music.

A cake cutting will take place at 3:30 p.m. with an address from the mayor and a former student of the building, and give onlookers a sweet treat.

There will also be a theremin band playing at 4 p.m. and Dinner Under the Stars starts at 6 p.m. Although the dinner has been sold out visitors are welcome to sit and have a drink while listening to a seven-piece jazz band.

Party-goers may also want to put on a happy face for local photographers who will be shooting  A Day in the Life of Qualicum Beach: Qualicum at Play. Street shots of people and activities in town during this bustling day will be submitted and the photos will be juried and displayed in an exhibition at TOSH in February, as well in The News.

“When better to do this than on 28th when there’s the St. Mark’s Fair and the Grand Prix and all these people in town,”  said James.

For more information on TOSH’s 100th birthday celebration check out The News’ Tuesday, July 24 edition or view it online at


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