The Sunshine Coast is home to one of the highest per capita populations of artists and crafters in Canada. This community of people breathes new life and creativity into the Coast, and over three days in late October, you can experience it all during Sunshine Coast Art Crawl.

The Sunshine Coast Art Crawl is a weekend-long event that sees hundreds of artists, along with studios, galleries, and other venues open their doors to the public. The self-guided nature of the Art Crawl means you can pick and choose the places you want to visit, explore at your own pace, and stop for a bite to eat or happy hour at a brewery or cidery along the way. It’s also a scenic road trip in disguise—the stops are scattered along the Sunshine Coast Highway from Langdale to Earls Cove. 

We’ve put together this guide to help you experience the Sunshine Coast Art Crawl to the fullest.

The Details

The Sunshine Coast Art Crawl runs from October 20 - 22, 2023.

Visit the Coast Cultural Alliance website for a list of participating studios, galleries, and venues that are located between Langdale and Earls Cove. Listings for each participant are available online in September; you’ll find bios, links, images of their work, and even videos. You can also download a PDF copy of the Sunshine Coast Art Crawl brochure or pick up a hard copy of the brochure at the Gibsons and Sechelt Visitor Centres starting in late September.

Leading up to the event, keep an eye on the Coast Cultural Alliance’s Instagram account for insight into what you can expect from this year’s Art Crawl. And during the event, each venue will be marked with a sign, so keep an eye out for those!

Motoko’s Fine Art Gallery in Pender Harbour
Motoko’s Fine Art Gallery in Pender Harbour. Photo: Sunshine Coast Tourism/Shayd Johnson

How to Plan Your Art Crawl

This year, there are 188 venues featuring hundreds of artists participating in the Art Crawl. Unless you’re highly committed, it’s unlikely you’ll get to see them all. Our best advice? Pick a theme, community, or event and plan your Art Crawl around that. This will help you narrow down your list of “must-see” stops. 

If you’re planning your route by community, consider where you are coming from and how familiar you are with the Coast. If you’re travelling from central Vancouver Island by way of Powell River, it will make sense to plan your Art Crawl from Earls Cove heading south. If you’re coming by way of Vancouver, via the ferry from Horseshoe Bay, start your Art Crawl itinerary in Langdale. Each community offers a dizzying number of studios and venues to visit—consider covering a section of the Coast over each day of the event.

If you’re planning your route by theme, identify the types of art you’re interested in to help narrow down which studios and venues to visit. Participating artists include painters, sculptors, photographers, potters, weavers, and more. You can filter the listings on the Coast Cultural Alliance website by discipline, making it easy to narrow down the studios that pique your interest.

Beth Hawthorn Ceramics
Beth Hawthorn Ceramics, Photo: Sunshine Coast Tourism/Shayd Johnson

Friday Night Reception Parties

The Sunshine Coast Art Crawl kicks off on Friday, October 20, 2023. Several venues will be hosting drop-in reception parties to celebrate the kick-off to the Art Crawl. Details for the parties are coming soon, and updates can be found here.  

Where to Stay, Art-edition

There are a ton of places to stay on the Sunshine Coast, from cozy cabins in the woods and waterfront resorts to quaint vacation rentals. But if you’re here for an art-filled weekend, why not stay at a place that keeps the art going? 

Consider booking a stay at artist-designer Sabina Hill’s Sea Forest Suite. She has created an immersive experience where art, design, nature (and rest!) come together in a peaceful and elegant space. If you’re a fan of architecture, Pointhouse Suites at Sargeant Bay’s Studio ISO is a cedar-clad, light-filled glass box surrounded by moss and filtered ocean views, all constructed from two shipping containers and situated in the forest of Halfmoon Bay. And if inspiring views are what you’re after, the Backeddy Resort & Marina offers a range of waterfront accommodations, including vintage cabins.

Click here to discover more places to stay.

Where to Eat & Drink, Art-edition

At some point during your Art Crawl, you’ll need to refuel with good food and drinks. Here are a few local favourites to get you started, all of which offer their own artistic spin.

Looking for a great cafe? The Gumboot Cafe in Roberts Creek is a local favourite, and not just for its freshly baked treats, sweets, and homemade soups. This cafe also functions as an art gallery, featuring a rotating selection of local and British Columbian artists, who hang their art on the cafe’s walls. The Gumboot’s bright, airy, and cozy space features a wood stove, vintage tables, and an outdoor patio space for those sunny fall days. Whether you pop in for a morning treat, or refuel for lunch, rest assured the Gumboot is a great stop to include in your Art Crawl adventure.

Click here to discover more cafes and bakeries on the Sunshine Coast.

The Gumboot Cafe in Roberts Creek
The Gumboot Cafe in Roberts Creek. Photo: Lindyn Wiliams

If you’re looking for a restaurant that’s just as colourful as the art you’re planning to see, then look no further than El Segundo in Sechelt. This tropical-infused cocktail lounge meets restaurant is decked out in plants, bright wallpaper and carefully curated retro kitsch touches, all of which add a vibrant and fun feel to the space. The cocktails are just as inventive and creative, and the food offerings include items like tempura squash, apple crunch salad, and duck tacos.

Click here to discover more restaurant options on the Sunshine Coast.

El Segundo in Sechelt
El Segundo in Sechelt. Photo: Sunshine Coast Tourism/Shayd Johnson

The Sunshine Coast is also home to some amazing distilleries, cideries, and breweries where you can indulge in some fall flavours. Try Banditry Cider’s Semi-dry Apple cider while enjoying some time in their outdoor picnic area, or enjoy a burger and a flight of beers from Tapworks Brewing Company. You can also stop by Bruinwood Estate Distillery to pick up a bottle of their Earl Grey Gin or Maple Cream Liqueur.

Click here to discover more breweries, cideries, and distilleries on the Sunshine Coast.

Non-Art Crawl Activities

Need a break from studio visits? Find trails to stretch your legs on, museums and attractions to explore, or shops to peruse. 

Art Tours

Can’t make it for the Sunshine Coast Art Crawl weekend? Sunshine Coast Art Tours offers customizable art tours from the comfort of a 15-person Sprinter van, with a knowledgeable, local guide and driver. These tours are offered year-round, and even include the option of getting picked up at the Langdale Ferry Terminal.

A man holds a van door open while people climb in.
Sunshine Coast Art Tours. Photo: Sunshine Coast Tourism/Shayd Johnson

Photos from the 2022 Sunshine Coast Art Crawl

Take look at some of the art on display during last year's event. Don't forget to tag your photos and videos with #SunshineCoastBC to share your Art Crawl adventures with us!