Artist Carole Scagel works on a piece in the Hotel Grand Pacific as part of Artishow, which installs artists in residence at several area hotels for the summer. Photo by Genevieve Nickel

Victoria-area tourists and locals alike can enjoy art in the making

Artishow has built a tradition of supporting artists and enhancing visitor experiences

Genevieve Nickel/Victoria News contributor

In front of the elevator at the Grand Pacific Hotel in Victoria, Carole Scagel paints a portrait of a cow on a stretched canvas. The colourful paintings of farm animals and wildlife already hanging in the lobby are hers.

Scagel is one of the artists in residence taking part in the annual Artishow initiative, which places local artists at a handful of hotels for the summer and early fall months to introduce tourists to Victoria’s art scene.

Kerry Liggins and then-Oak Bay Artist Laureate, Barbara Adams, started Artishow in 2010 because they wanted Victoria to be known as a city of artists. After many years of dedicated volunteer service, the two decided it was time to hand over their brainchild to the Victoria Arts Council.

Brin O’Hare, arts co-ordinator for the Arts Council, says the goal is to build on the success Artishow has previously known.

“Its mandate to enhance tourist experiences and support the local artistic community is something we wish to continue,” she says.

The results of that approach have been positive so far.

Scagel, a Vancouver native who lives on Mayne Island, says tourists are very curious about the silk dying she does on her days of residency (Wednesdays through Fridays from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.).

“In the morning, hotel guests see me start my painting and at the end of the day, after they come back from their touristy activities, they want to see the final product,” Scagel says.

In upcoming years, the council hopes to expand Artishow, as the group has more services and reach than former co-ordinators Liggins and Adams on their own. “We want to get more hotels and artists involved,” says O’Hare, noting that new venues are still being worked out.

“The goal of Artishow isn’t to promote sales of local artists,” she adds, but this seems to be one of the positive outcomes for the artists in residence.

“I sold two of my paintings to an interior designer in Toronto and I sell prints and cards every day,” says Scagel. Although it is nice to increase sales, the biggest takeaway for her is the opportunity to interact with an audience, as painting can sometimes be an isolated experience.

Scagel’s paintings are drawings of photographs she has taken at her favourite spot, the Georgina Point lighthouse on Mayne Island. “When I sit there, I see amazing wildlife like orcas, seals, eagles and lots of lots of deer.”

This year 20 local artists and four hotels are involved in the project. You can see artists at work until October at the Delta Ocean Pointe, Parkside Hotel & Spa and Oak Bay Beach Hotel. The Hotel Grand Pacific is participating for the summer months. Residencies run at different times and days of the week, depending on the artist.

For more information you can check the schedule online at


Artist Carole Scagel works on a piece in the Hotel Grand Pacific as part of Artishow, which installs artists in residence at several area hotels for the summer. Photo by Genevieve Nickel

Just Posted

Federal government actions hurt Sooke hatchery fundraising efforts

Funding denial comes on the heels of fishing closures

SD62 student places third in province-wide French competition

12-year-old Sasha Zandieh won third with a speech on poet Pablo Neruda

Island athlete goes from hoop dreams to icy track

Cyrus Gray hopes to punch his ticket to Olympics in bobsleigh

Jesse Roper learns to create fire in the wild, in Sacred Knowledge web series

Ragnarock Studios production shares primitive skills with Islanders

Oak Bay researcher’s Canadian English dictionary goes to print

How an unknown American hobbyist sparked a Canadian dictionary

Police release photos of suspect in daytime sex assault at Vancouver woman’s home

A young woman, in hers 20s, was followed home by the man, before he violently attacked her inside

Raptors beat Bucks 100-94 to advance to franchise’s first-ever NBA Finals

Leonard has 27 points, 17 boards to lead Toronto past Milwaukee

Third person charged in death of B.C. teen Bhavkiran Dhesi

Inderdeep Kaur Deo facing charge of accessory after the fact to murder

Kamloops girl, 9, recovering from carbon monoxide poisoning now out of ICU

Her mother who was sleeping in the same tent with her did not survive

‘I think he’s still alive’: B.C. mom pleads for help finding son last seen a month ago

Family offering $5,000 reward for information leading to the safe return of Tim Delahaye

New poll suggests one-third don’t want politicians to wear religious symbols

Local politicians shouldn’t be allowed to wear hijabs, crucifixes or turbans on the job, survey suggests

Raptors fans far from home adjust plans to watch pivotal playoff game

Raptors currently lead the playoff series 3-2, and a win Saturday would vault them into NBA finals

PHOTOS: First responders in Fernie rescue baby owl who fell from nest

The baby owl’s inability to fly back to its nest prompted a rescue by first responders

Five takeaways from the Court of Appeal ruling on B.C.’s pipeline law

It’s unclear how many tools are left in B.C.’s toolbox to fight the project

Most Read