There are plenty of sights to see on the Sunshine Coast—stunning scenery, charming coastal communities, and of course, local art. This is, after all, home to one of Canada's largest populations of artists per capita who—through various forms and mediums—take inspiration from the area's natural beauty.

Art enthusiasts and curious road trippers can check out local art year-round along the Purple Banner Tour, a self-guided art crawl that meanders from Langdale to Lund. Dozens of artists participate, welcoming visitors into their workspaces and studios to witness their creative process firsthand.

Read on to learn how the Purple Banner Tour works, start planning your visit, and get the answers to some FAQs.

Purple Banner
Purple banners signify stops on the Purple Banner Tour.

What is the Purple Banner Tour?

The Purple Banner Tour is a self-guided art crawl that stretches from Langdale to Lund. Artists display tall, purple banners that flutter invitingly outside of their respective studios, galleries, and workspaces. In many cases, the banners indicate that artists are at home and at work. While some artists welcome drop-in visits, it's recommended to call ahead of your visit or to schedule an appointment.

"The Purple Banner Tour provides art enthusiasts with an opportunity to experience the uniqueness of an active artists workspace," says artist Roger Handling. "Seeing elements of an artist's workflow, sketches, and process can be extremely insightful and generally leads to fascinating discussions between artist and tour participant. Nowhere else is it possible to engage an artist as fully as is during a studio visit. Get the inside story on creativity, inspiration, technique, and process through the Purple Banner Tour."

Not only does the Purple Banner Tour help you discover the incredible talent of Sunshine Coast artists, but it also helps you explore the Sunshine Coast, too. Along the way, you're guaranteed to take in scenic views, meet friendly locals, and have good food and drinks. Since the route is self-paced, it's easy to pair the Purple Banner Tour with any number of activities. Take breaks by kayaking calm waterways, hiking local trails, checking out local events, or visiting farmers' markets, eateries, and breweries, cideries or distilleries. Discovering the beauty of the Sunshine Coast for yourself will only enhance your appreciation of the incredible art that's found here. 

Krystyna Glass Studio & Gallery
Artwork on display at Krystyna Glass Studio & Gallery. Photo: Sunshine Coast Tourism/Shayd Johnson

Who's behind the Purple Banner Tour?

The Coast Cultural Alliance (CCA)—a network of arts, cultural, and heritage groups and individuals—is the organization behind the Purple Banner Tour. Along with organizing this year-round route, one of their other endeavours is putting on the annual Sunshine Coast Art Crawl event, which takes place in October.

Route Info

The Purple Banner Tour stretches from Langdale at the Sunshine Coast's most southern end, all the way up to Lund at its most northern tip. The route weaves in and out of coastal communities, including Gibsons, Roberts Creek, Sechelt, Halfmoon Bay, Pender Harbour, Egmont, Powell River, and Lund.

You can check out a digital map of all current Purple Banner Tour stops here, or stop by one of the Visitor Centres in Gibsons, Sechelt, Pender Harbour and Powell River to pick up the latest brochure and map.

Turadh Fine Art
Turadh Fine Art features artwork in a variety of mediums. Photo: Sunshine Coast Tourism/Lewis Parsons

What Type of Art Can I See?

Each banner represents one of the dozens of participating artists, from fibre workers and potters to carvers and painters. It's possible to hop from studio to studio, checking out everything from stunning large canvas oil paintings to mixed media pieces to carefully crafted ceramics. If you are in the shopping mood, most artists have pieces available for purchase.

You can filter the Purple Banner Tour stops by discipline here.

Cedar hats made by artist Shy Watters
Cedar hats made by artist Shy Watters. Photo: Sunshine Coast Tourism/Shayd Johnson

When to Visit

Artists participate in the Purple Banner Tour year-round. It's recommended to call ahead or to schedule an appointment; this ensures that artists are available when you plan to visit and that you're not pulling them away from their latest creation.

Spring is a great time of year to visit, when the Coast comes to life after the quiet of winter and artists are busy experimenting with new work. Summer brings sunshine and more crowds, so expect to find busier galleries and studios. In fall, you can visit during the Sunshine Coast Art Crawl weekend—many artists prepare for months to welcome the thousands of visitors who take in this annual event, and you'll benefit from added events like opening night reception parties. And as the Coast heads into winter, you can complement a Purple Banner Route tour with visits to holiday markets in the search for unique gifts.

Need help planning your trip to the Sunshine Coast? Check out our visitor guide and find important travel news and transportation info here.

Kandice Keith Art
A glimpse inside Kandice Keith's studio space. Photo: Sunshine Coast Tourism/Shayd Johnson

Other FAQs

Can I tackle the Purple Banner Tour via public transportation? 

  • It's possible to visit galleries and studios near bus stops, although many galleries and studios are found down rural roads and residential neighbourhoods away from the Coast's main thoroughfares.
  • On the southern section of the Sunshine Coast, BC Transit bus service extends from Langdale to Halfmoon Bay, with daily service. On the northern section of the Sunshine Coast, BC Transit bus service extends throughout Powell River, with limited service to Lund, Stillwater, and occasionally Saltery Bay. Check out the Purple Banner map here, and information on public transportation here.

How many stops are there on the Purple Banner Tour?

  • There are dozens of stops showcasing a wide array of artistic disciplines. The 2024/2025 Purple Banner Tour includes 69 studios and galleries, along with a handful of "Art on the Side" stops. Please call ahead to ensure the artists you plan to visit are available.

I have accessibility requirements. Can I still do the Purple Banner Tour?

  • Sunshine Coast artists welcome visitors of all abilities. Many studios and galleries are accessible-friendly, but we recommend calling ahead to ensure your particular needs can be met.

Where is the best place to stay?

  • Accommodations are available across the Sunshine Coast. We recommend staying in a central place that allows you to travel both south and north. You may also wish to tackle the route over a weekend or a full week. In that case, we recommend planning your accommodation around your final destination for the day. 


Learn more about arts, culture, and music on the Sunshine Coast.