13th Jan, 2010

Cultural Vacation?

If you’re interested in culture – arts, music and history sports, Victoria is the place to be. We aren’t crowded the way Whistler and Vancouver are, and will be through February, and we have lots of wonderful things going on around town.

coast salish art

The Royal BC Museum is proud to host S’abadeb, the first major exhibition to explore the unique artistry and culture of the Coast Salish First Peoples of British Columbia and Washington State. Organized by the Seattle Art Museum, the exhibition features more than 175 works of art from national and international collections. Visitors will be offered a glimpse into the daily and ceremonial lives of the 40 groups that make up the Coast Salish. That’s in addition to their regular, wonderful exhibits. Their hours are 10 am to 5 pm daily. BC Archives are now open 10 am to 8 pm, Monday to Friday and Saturday 1 to 5 pm. 

the arts

The Art Gallery of Greater Victoria is just exploding with some wonderful artwork. Be sure to catch Vision into Reality: The Birth of the Collection. Colin Graham, the Art Gallery of Greater Victoria’s Founding Director, had remarkable insight in starting the Asian art collection, now one of the most important in Canada. Among the very first works of art accepted into the Gallery’s collection in 1950 were two Japanese woodblock prints by the well-known artist, Utamaro (1753-1806). These were given by important early benefactor, Miss Katherine McEwen. Following her lead, Miss Kathleen Agnew and Mrs. Massy Goolden generously supplied funds to purchase early Chinese ceramics and bronzes as well as Japanese lacquerware. In 1960 the collection got its first major boost. Colin Graham met Mrs. Isabel Pollard of San Francisco and was able to persuade her to begin collecting Asian art for the Gallery. With astute Japanese antique dealer, Bunzo Nakanishi, and well-known Japanese scholar, Dr. Toru Mori, she built an extraordinary collection of nearly 1,000 works, mostly Japanese. In the 1970s, a retired Graham encouraged donation of works from esteemed collectors Mr. and Mrs. R.W. Finalyson and family of Toronto and Brian S. McElney of Hong Kong. Their support of the Gallery continues. Colin Graham also remains an enthusiast, having created a home at the AGGV for what is now a world renowned Asian art collection.  The Birth of the Collection explores the various strengths of the collection including examples from local, Canadian, and international artists working in fine and decorative art media. Highlights include a significant collection of old master prints by Rembrandt, Durer, and Goya as well as works by other international artists such as Turner, Daumier, Rodin, and Whistler. Graham also developed a fine survey of important historical Canadian art including paintings by Emily Carr, David Milne, Fred Varley, and Arthur Lismer. Alongside these traditional works he introduced international modernism through prints by Wassily Kandinsky, Henry Moore, Odilon Redon, and Georges Rouault. Perhaps most significantly he represented the art of his time though modernist paintings by Mark Tobey, Jack Shadbolt, Roy Kiyooka, Jock Macdonald, and Jack Bush, among many others. The exhibit shows until March 28.

Be sure not to miss Glimpses of Japan, also at the Gallery, running until April 11. Over the past five years, the AGGV has acquired well over two hundred old and new Japanese prints. More than half the prints were recently purchased by the curator or donors over the internet and a wide selection of these will be on display. The prints were acquired to augment the Gallery’s fine collection of Japanese prints, one of the most comprehensive collections outside of Japan. Glimpses of Japan will display prints by famous 18th and 19th century ukiyo-e artists like Hokusai, Kunisada, Hiroshige and his students Hiroshige II and III, and Yoshitoshi. There will be examples of works by print makers of the shin hanga (new print) movement of the 1920s and 30s like Yoshida and his sons, Toshi and Hodaka, Hasui, Kanpo, and Shotei as well as prints by major sosaku hanga (creative prints) movement of the 20th century like Watanabe Sadao, Munakata Shiko, and Yoshitoshi Mori. The exhibition will offer interesting glimpses of Japan and its people from the 18th century through to the end of the 20th century. Subjects include landscape, historical scenes, individual portraits, genre scenes and impressionistic images.

If you’re in the mood to acquire art, be sure to stop by the Maritime Museum in Bastion Square. In 2009, the Maritime Museum of British Columbia was the recipient of a generous donation of original artworks from the collection of Ralph and Angie Roberts. The collection includes original paintings by internationally known artists such as Len Gibbs and Peter Ewart, three-dimensional works by renowned sculptor Maarten Schaddelee, among many other artists represented.  The Roberts made the donation for the express purpose of helping the MMBC raise much-needed funds through a sale of the collection. Starting in January, all items in the collection will be offered for sale to the public and our supporters. For a preview of the items in the Roberts Collection that will be available, visit the Art Sale Preview page on our website, at www.mmbc.bc.ca Selected paintings are on display at the Maritime Museum of BC. Please contact Kamala Paton at 250-385-4222 Ext 111 or email kpaton@mmbc.bc.ca for further information.


If music is your passion, then be sure to note these wonderful shows: A Closer Walk with Pasty Cline, at the Chemanius Theater. A Closer Walk With Patsy Cline by Dean Regan and starring Sara-Jeanne Hosie, features 20 hits, including Crazy, Walkin’ After Midnight, Sweet Dreams and I Fall to Pieces. Follow Patsy’s climb to stardom from her hometown in Virginia to the Grand Ole’ Opry, Las Vegas and Carnegie Hall! With a five-piece band, rave reviews across the continent and the first time the show has run on Vancouver Island in over a decade – this is a show you don’t want to miss! It is a musical tribute to a legend.  Please call the theatre box office for information and tickets at 250-246-9800 or email info@chemainustheatre.ca

Or catch The Da Vinci Codex, mounted by the Early Music Society of the Islands, presenting a concert with the Toronto Consort. Leonardo da Vinci: artist, architect, engineer and visionary. Less well known is Leonardo the accomplished musician. Nine members of Canada’s leading renaissance ensemble reveal the secret glories of Leonardo’s musical world.  Tickets and information from the McPherson Box Office in person, by phone at 250-386-6121, online at www.rmts.bc.ca or at the door.

And of course, our own Victoria Symphony always has something interesting going on. Join them on January 24 and 25 for Turkish Delight. Bernard Gueller conducts and Susanne Hou on violin perform Bell Spirit Trail featuring Mozart Concerto no.5 Turkish and Beethoven Symphony no. 2.  For tickets and information please contact the McPherson Box Office, in person, by phone at 250-386-6121 or online at www.rmts.bc.ca.

And if you just can’t get enough of the Butchart Gardens, or want to know more about the family which first built the remarkable gardens, during the winter months Benvenuto, the Ross family residence, is open for visitors to view a display of memorabilia chronicling the development of Jennie Butchart’s garden. Furnishings, correspondence, and photographs follow the development of the Gardens and allow the visitor to step back into the graciousness of the period. Staff members are on hand to assist visitors with their questions. Afternoon Tea, served in the Dining Room Restaurant, is available daily.

Whether its music, history or art, we at the Admiral Inn are happy to arrange your tours and reservations – and we can sometimes get discounts on tickets for our guests. Here at the Admiral, we like all kinds of things, from music to theatre, art and literature, hockey, basketball and bike riding. Be sure to reserve a room or a suite with us, and we’ll enjoy welcoming you and hearing all about your fascinating trips around our city. Check our specials page for seasonal and one time specials, and call today (or visit our website at www.admiral.bc.ca) for your reservation.

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