Holidays in full swing at TOSH

Wreaths and tea on the menu at The Old School House gallery

Verona Sharman

Verona Sharman

Winter in Art at The Old School Housearts centre (TOSH) is in full swing and the festive display will continue until December 21.

Winter-themed paintings and photographs adorn the galleries and the gift shop features unique, handmade crafts and art pieces by over 100 Vancouver Island artists.

The gallery level is also twinkling with holiday cheer and good wishes for the local charities of the Oceanside area.

Unique holiday wreaths created by the Mid Island Floral Arts Group (MIFAC) and local businesses such as Hidden Waters, Arbutus Emporium, Brent Johnson Accounting and Fresh n’ Fabulous Flowers are on display and will be auctioned to help fill the stockings for local charities.

Some of the benefitting charities include the Food Bank, SOS, the S.P.C.A., Qualicum Cat Rescue, Small Dog Rescue and other, local, worthy causes.

Floral Arts co-ordinator with the club, Jennifer Kayll said there are 20 wreaths on display from their group and each of them is truly stunning.

“I think we have done very well. Some of them take my breath away,” she said.

Kayll said for the past six years she has been making holiday wreaths for TOSH but this year she was asked to expand on the display. To do this, she called on the members of the club to come out and support the project.

She said TOSH executive director Corrine James thought it would be great to present the wreaths as an exhibition and the floral club was happy to oblige.

“We have extraordinary flower arrangers who have done professional work,” she said.

She added that members of the group paid for their own materials to make the wreaths and expressed the hope that the silent auction will generate a great deal  of revenue for the charities.

In particular, she said MIFAC member Helen Mussio’s contribution to the show is amazing.

The floral artist not only created five stunning wreaths, she also decorated two Christmas trees.

The renowned floral artist has owned and operated her own successful flower shop, worked providing floral designs for large hotels, restaurants, weddings and events in Whistler for a number of years, and she has done custom designing and teaching.

Mussio holds a number of certificates in floral design and many of her designs have been published in leading floral design magazines.

Kayll said the group is already planning for next year’s Art in Bloom at TOSH.  The exhibition in which members from the MIFAC interpret paintings and come up with their own floral displays to represent them will be titled “The Then and The Now.”

The Christmas spirit at TOSH will continue into December with a Christmas a cappella concert featuring Amy Newman and the Christmas Revellers on Sunday, December 11 at 2:30 pm. Admission is $16.