2019 will be the 26th year that The Old School House Arts Centre has hosted the Grand Prix d’Art. - Emily Vance Photo

Parksville Qualicum Beach events feature hundreds of artisan vendors

On tap: TOSH’s Grand Prix d’Art, Beach Festival’s Art in the Park, Qualicum Beach’s Art in the Garden

Lovers of art, take note – the weekend of July 27-28 is jam-packed with family-friendly artisan-focused events in the Parksville Qualicum Beach communities.

In addition to St Mark’s Fair (see story, Page 18) here’s a run-up of the major events taking place this Saturday and Sunday.

Grand Prix at TOSH – Saturday, July 27

The Old School House hosts their annual painting race and artisan vendor market. Executive director of TOSH, Illana Hester, says the event draws a crowd every year.

“It’s going to be a busy day,” said Hester.

The event has two components. The TOSH building will host an Art in Action Fair featuring more than 30 artisan vendors. There will be wood carving, textiles, paintings, Inuit stone sculptures, First Nations mask artists, and on-site glass blowing demonstrations. The Tina Jones Band is also playing from 12:30 p.m. until 3 p.m.

Then there’s the Grand Prix d’Art. It’s essentially a painting race — although there will be a handful of other mediums represented such as pen and ink sketching and pastels.

Currently 30 artists are signed up. Each artist draws a Qualicum Beach location out of a hat. The artists head to the location and paint there from 11 a.m. until 2 p.m. The works they create will be representations of the areas they’re in.

After that, the judges review the paintings. First-prize winner will receive $500, and the second prize will be $300, with honourable mentions included as well. The works will be available for sale as well, and anyone interested can purchase the painting directly from the artist on location on the day of the event.

All works created during the Grand Prix d’ will be displayed at TOSH for two weeks following the event.

Anyone interested can pick up a map of the different artist locations, which also includes a list of the Art in Action vendors. Maps will be available at TOSH starting on Thursday, and at participating local businesses on the day of.

Art in the Park – Saturday and Sunday July 27-28

Music – Friday and Saturday at 6:30 p.m.

Art in the Park returns to the Parksville Beach Festival, this time bringing 70 vendors to the Parksville Community Park.

Artisans are gathering from across Vancouver Island and the Gulf Islands to participate. The event takes place in the shade near the tennis courts, and Beach Festival President Cheryl Dill thinks it’s the biggest one yet.

“It’s a beautiful place to enjoy artisans from all over Vancouver Island,” Dill.

Patrons can expect to see a variety of jewelry, wooden carvings, photographers, painters, pottery, art cards, children’s clothing, art glass and more.

There will also be buskers playing music throughout the market, and food trucks on-site both days if browsing stall after stall of talented locals makes you hungry.

3rd Annual Art in the Garden – Saturday, July 27

Qualicum Beach’s very own Art in the Garden returns for its third year.

Nestled in a Hermitage Park backyard is an outdoor art show and sale by nine local artists.

On display will be the works of a crew that’s dubbed themselves the “Group of Nine” – Carol Chilton, Deb Christie, Kimberly Miller, Deb Peters, Mary Skellett, Chris Southwick, Janice Victory, Cathy Watts and Judy White.

The works feature original paintings in watercolour, acrylic and oils, art cards, jewellery, handknits, textile art, and more.

There will be refreshments, door prizes and live harp music by Mary Skellet.

The event will also be collecting donations for the food bank.

Art in the Garden takes place at 159 Valdez Avenue in Qualicum Beach, from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m.

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