Public-use pianos dot the landscape in Oak Bay.

Oak Bay celebrates arts and culture’

Oak Bay council proclaimed Aug. 8 though 16 Arts and Culture Week in Oak Bay

Bookended by community cultural picnic and a brush with art in the park, Oak Bay’s inaugural Arts and Culture Festival promises an opportunity each day of the week.

Oak Bay council proclaimed Aug. 8 though 16 Arts and Culture Week in Oak Bay, an opportunity to bring the copious arts activities together.

Arts and culture is the big focus this year for Tourism Oak Bay, says consultant Karma Brophy. Part of that is arts laureate Barbara Adams’ dramatic build on last year’s public art.

“It allowed us to have enough to put out an arts trail map, for the second year,” Brophy said. “We realized we had enough events in early August … it was really easy to build a week of arts and culture around them.

Public art ambles

This year’s arts trail continues the them from last year, a series of artist-loaned works but expanded from Oak Bay Village to include Estevan Village.

Three large sculptures grace Oak Bay at Entrance Park, on the lawn of municipal hall and on the municipally-owned portion of 2275 Beach Dr. Smaller works from multiple artists dot The Avenue, all on loan for the summer by the artists.

In Estevan Village, 10 stores showcase the work of area artists throughout the summer. Artists will be  in the village Aug. 15 from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m.

Week full of culture

The Arts and Culture Festival kicks off at Willows Beach Park, with the Tweed Ride Aug. 8.

“We’re also going to be holding a heritage picnic and encouraging people to come out and join the Tweed riders,” Brophy said.

Songhees dancers and a paddle ceremony will welcome guests during the community picnic from 12:30 to 3:30 p.m. Even the refreshments mark a balance of cultures with tea by the Kiwanis Club of Oak Bay and traditional fry bread and jam from the Songhees Nation, with proceeds supporting youth paddling programs.

The Collector Car Festival, the next day on Oak Bay Avenue, will feature an expected 300 cars for the annual event that attracts an estimated 15,000 people. It will also feature artists on-site.

The second summer gallery walk, organized by the Oak Bay Business Improvement Association, is Aug. 14. Galleries will welcome guests and feature artists from 6 to 8 p.m.

The Oak Bay Arts and Culture Festival wraps up with the 11th annual Bowker Creek Art Show and Sale.

“It’s so shady along the banks of Bowker Creek Park, we get tons of people out to the event. We get lots of people because it’s so pleasant,” said organizer Claire Christinel.

A pair of chefs will host a barbecue to benefit Woodwynn Farms. Environmental groups that support the Bowker Creek Initiative will also be there with a three-dimensional model.

“They give people an opportunity to see how the environment is affected and what we can do to make the health of the creek better,” Christinel said. “It just rounds it out and makes it a nice community event, not completely about art, but art is the emphasis.”

Visit oakbaytourism.com/experience/arts to see a calendar of events.

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