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Places to Experience Indigenous Art & Culture on Vancouver Island

location_onI-Hos Gallery, Courtenay, BC
Kimberley Kufaas
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I-Hos Gallery

4.7 star(166 Google reviews)
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3310 Comox Rd
Courtenay, BC

see hourshide hours

Monday:

Closed

Tuesday:

10:00 AM – 4:30 PM

Wednesday:

10:00 AM – 4:30 PM

Thursday:

10:00 AM – 4:30 PM

Friday:

10:00 AM – 4:30 PM

Saturday:

10:00 AM – 4:30 PM

Sunday:

Closed

Immersing yourself in Indigenous Art and Culture on Vancouver Island is a rewarding experience not to be missed on any travel itinerary. On Vancouver Island, you can find countless authentic Indigenous experiences and Indigenous-led businesses to connect with, learn from, and form a deep and meaningful connection to their beautiful and diverse stories.

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ƛəmataxʷ, Campbell River, is nestled within the territory of the Liǧʷiłdax̌ʷ peoples; the WeWaiKai, WeiWaiKum, and Kwiakah Nations⁠.

location_onCampbell River, BC

Campbell River

Campbell River, British Columbia, Canada

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Museum at Campbell River Wei Wai Kum First Nation - Campbell River. Open until November 2022. Exhibit by Kwakwaka'wakw artist and Hereditary Chief G̱ixkastallasame-gi, or Cecil Dawson. His contemporary art aims for viewers to critically examine our past, and consider how we can move forward together into the future. For travelers, this is an excellent opportunity to truly consider their relationship towards Indigenous communities and reconciliation. Also not to be missed in Campbell River is the Wei Wai Kum House of Treasures.

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K’ómoks First Nation

location_onComox Valley, BC

Comox Valley

British Columbia, Canada

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With a truly spectacular collection of Pacific Northwest Coast Native Art and Culture, Spirits of the West Coast gallery provides both an educational and informative look into Indigenous art on Vancouver Island.

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lək̓ʷəŋən Traditional Territory

location_onVictoria, BC

Victoria

Victoria, British Columbia, Canada

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The Art Gallery of Greater Victoria Esquimalt and Songhees First Nations - Victoria “Adorned” June 11, 2022 - November 20, 2022 Full of Indigenous textiles, art, and a celebration of Indigenous fashion - this group exhibition presents different ways to be adorned and embellished with cultural traditions.

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Tla-o-qui-aht First Nation

location_onTofino, BC

Tofino

Tofino, British Columbia, Canada

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A First Nations owned and operated gallery, the name “Himwitsa” is derived from the Nuu-Chah-Nulth language, translating as “Storytelling, and the passing of knowledge from elder to youth.” This meaning is truly representative of the gallery and its art, where they specialize in fair trade First Nations artwork, featuring some of the regions’ most cherished artists.

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Hupacasath and Tseshaht First Nations

location_onPort Alberni, BC

Port Alberni

Port Alberni, British Columbia, Canada

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Ahtsik Gallery & Gordon Dick Studio Tseshaht First Nation - Port Alberni Founded over a decade ago by Tseshaht Master Carver Gordon Dick, the gallery represents the work of West Coast artists from across Vancouver Island. The space features both the Ahtsik Gallery and Gordon Dick’s Artist Studio, where an outdoor carving shelter custom built from locally-sourced western red cedar is not to be missed. Tours and carving demos are available to be arranged by contacting the gallery in advance of your visit, where you’ll be able to gain unmatched knowledge of the traditional Indigenous art of the area, and potentially, even see different stages of art in progress.

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Yuułuʔiłʔatḥ First Nation

location_onUcluelet, BC

Ucluelet

Ucluelet, British Columbia, Canada

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The only First Nations owned art gallery in Ucluelet, Cedar House Gallery features an immense collection of art from Pacific Northwest Indigenous artists. The gallery is owned and operated by Nuu-chah-nulth artist Tlehpika Hjalmer Wenstob and his family, where you’ll often Tlehpika carving and creating new art in between visiting guests.

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Kwakwa̱ka̱ʼwakw Territory

location_onPort Hardy, BC

Port Hardy

Port Hardy, British Columbia, Canada

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Masks, totems, rattles and exquisite carvings of animals and spirit creatures is a centuries-old tradition for the Kwakwaka’wakw First Nations, whose leading artisans are valued highly by collectors worldwide. Visit with some of these remarkable artists in the flesh in Fort Rupert and see their work in galleries and museums in Telegraph Cove, Port McNeill, Port Hardy, Sointula and Alert Bay. Community galleries, meanwhile, showcase the best of the rest of the North Island’s artistic population – painters, potters, sculptors, glassmakers and more.

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