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The Comox Valley Art Gallery is a public art gallery featuring contemporary, experimental and applied art by regional, national and international artists presenting contemporary art issues and practices.
To be the focal centre of visual arts exhibition within our community.
• To foster the awareness, exploration and development of contemporary visual arts through exhibitions, education activities and projects.
• To be an educating facility presenting contemporary art issues and practices in the form of artists talks, panel discussions, workshops and symposiums.
• To facilitate an experience for visitors to have a new or increased understanding of the visual arts that is accessible and inspiring yet also challenging, thought provoking, and energizing.
• To benefit the entire community by contributing to the cultural, social and economic vitality of the Comox Valley through our activities.
The Comox Valley Art Gallery acknowledges that we are on unceded territory of the K’omoks First Nation.
Comox Valley Art Gallery (CVAG) was established by a group of artists as the Central Island Arts Alliance (CIAA), under the umbrella of the Comox Valley Community Arts Council. CIAA achieved British Columbia society status and federal charitable organization status on July 12, 1974. From its inception, it has been recognized by the Cultural Services Branch of the Province of BC with grant funding to support operations
In 1997, the Board of Directors moved to change the name to Comox Valley Art Gallery to properly reflect the core business – visual art exhibition programming.
May 2005 saw the realization of a long-term plan by the Board of Directors for the Comox Valley Art Gallery relocation to a new venue in a municipally owned building – the former Courtenay Fire Hall. The Gallery occupies the main floor and lower level of the new Comox Valley Centre for the Arts. The Gallery includes 768 sq. ft. of retail space, 1828 sq. ft. of exhibition space, 629 sq. ft. for education workshop and gallery technical preparation, 286 sq. ft for storage and the permanent collection, 725 sq. ft. for administration and 176 sq. ft. for the gallery technician.
With its higher profile location and unique design, the renovated facility is temperature and humidity controlled, has accessibility features in the entry, public washrooms and elevator. CVAG attracts attention to downtown Courtenay and the Comox Valley. This has been a boon to the Gallery and the Gallery Gift Shop, attracting a broader audience with interest in visual art.
The Board of Directors has transitioned from “building mode” to continued “financial stability and creative growth mode”. Financial stability includes achieving stable core funding through local and provincial government support, a fundraising plan that includes donor and sponsor development and annual fundraising events.
Recovery with growth follows recession, and despite hurdles faced through funding cuts in 2009/10, we believe CVAG’s place within the Comox Valley is a fundamental part of the visual arts and craft community in the region. Artists have been drawn to the area for decades and their contributions are integral to the economic growth of tourism. CVAG’s location within the downtown core unites the art community; artists, art lovers and tourists alike to share in the vibrant art and culture that the Comox Valley has to offer.