Creating arts and crafts in all imaginable disciplines is one productive way that North Islanders make use of their long winter nights. As a result, there is a remarkable range of work on display in galleries and home studios throughout the region. Masks, totems, rattles and exquisite carvings of animals and spirit creatures is a centuries-old tradition for the Kwakwaka’wakw First Nations, whose leading artisans are valued highly by collectors worldwide.
Visit with some of these remarkable artists in the flesh in Fort Rupert and see their work in galleries and museums in Telegraph Cove, Port McNeill, Port Hardy, Sointula and Alert Bay. Community galleries, meanwhile, showcase the best of the rest of the North Island’s artistic population – painters, potters, sculptors, glassmakers and more.
Interested in seeing it all? We’ve developed a map featuring 15 studios and galleries on a route that is intended to be done as a self-guided tour.
Art tour videos
know before you go
Here are some tips to be prepared on your travels:
- Always check the opening hours of a location as they can change with the seasons
- Be respectful of local culture, and be sure to ask before taking a photo
- Look, but don’t touch
Experience Vancouver Island North at your own pace and through the eyes of local artists. This self-guided art tour includes over 15 unique stops at art studios and galleries, each featuring a variety of work from sculptures to paintings and carvings to stained glass. Take advantage of the quieter months of the late fall, winter, and early spring to enjoy a more private experience at the more popular galleries and studios.
As business hours can change between seasons, it’s recommended to call each property in advance of your visit to ensure that they’re open. Need a place to stay while you’re here? Visit the accommodations page to find bed and breakfasts, hotels, cabins, and more.