Fred Alcock

Fred Alcock

Oak Bay Art club turns 70

Month-long All You Need is heART exhibition at Goward House in February

The Oak Bay Art Club is celebrating its 70th year with a month-long All You Need is heART exhibition at Goward House in February.

Art club president Fred Alcock said the theme is coined to acknowledge Valentine’s Day. The exhibition allows the club’s 49 members, ranging from hobbyists to professionals, to display and sell their art.

“We have beginners right through to very accomplished artists in the club,” Alcock said. “Having the input of various people allows us all to sort of grow.”

Members meet twice a month at Windsor Park Pavilion and guest artists are often invited to give demonstrations, giving an educational component to the club.

Dale Sutherland joined the art club when it first started in 1944. Originally from Saanich, she first attended with a cousin who lived in Oak Bay. She said the District of Oak Bay started the club as something for people to do during war time. The group originally met weekly above the old Oak Bay municipal hall.

Sutherland stopped attending the art club meetings last year due to her advancing age and is now an honorary member.

“I joined it because it was something to do during the war,” Sutherland said. “Once the war was over, Oak Bay dropped it and we didn’t want it to go.”

Members took over the club, creating an annually elected executive to oversee the group. Sutherland continued as a member and created about 200 paintings. She painted mostly with water colour and on average, sold two to three pieces at the annual club-sponsored art shows.

“When you join an organization and everybody is doing things you like as a hobby, you don’t mind carrying on,” said Sutherland, an active member for almost 70 years. “All the meetings were very interesting.”

The opening reception for All You Need is heART is on Sunday, Feb. 2 from 1:30 to 3:30 p.m. at Goward House, 2495 Arbutus Rd. The exhibit runs to Feb. 26.


More information about the club, which is always accepting new members, can be found at