In a city known for its vibrant arts and culture scene, this month holds one of the brightest events of the year for New Westminster, with the return of the annual Cultural Crawl.
The B.C. Cultural Crawl began 11 years ago as part of the B.C. Day celebrations but has become "a cornerstone provincial event" lasting throughout the month of August.
Thousands of people are expected to visit art studios, galleries, museums, music festivals and other destinations across the province to experience unique art and artists.
In the Royal City, New Westies and their visitors can enjoy a wide variety of things to see and do on Aug. 11 and 12, from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m., both days.
The second Art In Bloom and English Tea Party outdoor event is scheduled for noon to 3 p.m. on Aug. 12 at the Port Royal Community Garden in Queensborough. More than a dozen artists will display work in various media (including painting, photography and jewelry), and, weather permitting, several artists will be working on their crafts in the garden during the show.
The Artists in The Boro will also have work on display and will host a children's activities table during the event.
"Last year's event was an enormous success, and we hope to make it a fun and fabulous annual tradition," said Karen Justice, treasurer of the Port Royal Community Garden Society, in an email.
As well as the garden party, the New Westminster Cultural Crawl will feature an open house and artist exhibition at the Van Dop art gallery, at 421 Richmond St. in the Sapperton area. Van Dop Presents the New West 7 at the gallery will showcase paintings and sculpture by Angie Au Hemphill, Jim Walsh, Leslie Poole, Teressa Bernard, Nicholas Bott, Barry Canuel and Jill Doyle.
Internationally recognized artist Leslie Poole draws on years of experience to create works of deeply felt emotion. Poole's paintings, drawings, and prints question life and art through subjects as diverse as male and female figures, still life, landscape, and self-portraits from realist to expressionist style.
Painter Jim Walsh is drawn to the random patterns and colours he sees and feels in nature. He is interested in capturing a specific moment and then re-imagining it through the colours he sees, as well as the colours that he wants to see.
Barry Canuel's representations of the natural world enter into fantasy reminiscent of Emily Carr's dreamlike representations of British Columbia's forests. Carefully crafted from naturally sourced stone, Canuel's works bring to life the images he sees in the untouched material.
The Van Dop gallery is in a renovated heritage home, and visitors can view the art on display in each room, as well as stroll about the garden.
"We have two floors inside the home that are dedicated to art pieces, so literally everything from the bathroom to the kitchen has art in it," said Sona Payvandi, marketing and administration coordinator for the Van Dop Gallery. "Everything is exhibited for people to see the work and envision it in their own home."
The gallery specializes in contemporary Canadian fine art, from glass, wood, metals and ceramics, to different kinds of paintings and other media. The gallery open house is from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. on both Aug. 11 and 12.
For more info visit www.newwestculturalcrawl.com, or www.bcculturalcrawl.com.
MARK THE CALENDAR
When: Aug. 11 and 12
What: To find out more about this and other Crawl events around B.C., see www.bcculturalcrawl.com