- Offers multi-faceted annual programming to showcase local artists, engage the community and foster appreciation of arts and culture.
- Home of the 46 year old, Cowichan Arts Council (CVAC).
- PORTALS is a door to the arts.
- PORTALS is a major go-to place for arts and culture in this region
- PORTALS is a member-user art space, not a gallery
- To date, PORTALS staff has trained well over 100 volunteers.
- Hosts approximately 16 different shows or events each year
- Welcomes 10,000 guests through its doors every year.
- Is in its 5th year of operation inside Island Savings Centre
The CVAC Youth Outreach Program (YOP) is a two-year, multi-disciplinary program designed to mentor, support and enrich the creative development and portfolio production opportunities of selected high school students in the final two years of secondary education in Cowichan Valley schools. This will provide them with needed assistance as they contemplate future careers in arts-related fields.
This popular project is a collaboration between poets/prose writers and artists in other mediums. 2D, 3D and performance artists read the written works in the ‘Word First’ show in PORTALS called choose the piece they wish to interpret in their own medium. A second show (‘A Vision of Words’) of the complementary pieces (written and other mediums) occurs in several locations around the Cowichan Valley, including in PORTALS. Performances are scheduled at different events during the run of the show. Finally, a perfect-bound anthology captures the entire project in a full-colour volume.
CVAC is offering a new service for members which combines our mandate to increase community outreach with exciting opportunities for CVAC artists. We have purchased a portable, easily assembled tent for member use at cultural events around the Cowichan Valley. Called Pop-up Portals, this program is about taking our multi-purpose exhibition space, PORTALS, out to the community, helping our members to practice their art in different venues while enriching community events with their unique voices. You can think of it as an opportunity to increase exposure to your work, improve sales, and do some community networking that could pay dividends in future opportunities.
- One of CVAC's few fundraising shows
- All small works, no bigger than 50 square inches
- Fun festive holiday time show, runs in conjunction with Christmas Chaos Craft show in the Island Savings Centre
- Designed for gift-giving
- Transforms PORTALS into a space full of tiny works of art
- All works submitted must be originals
- Annual Spring show, in its 46th year
- Cowichan Valley's largest open art exhibition and sale
- In it's 4th year of showing inside the Cowichan Suites and PORTALS inside the Island Savings Centre
- Open to all CVAC members in good standing to display their work (so readers don’t think they can’t come in)
- Showcases student, emerging and professional art work
- Members are encouraged to submit original work never before exhibited.
- Jurors select 1 Best in Show, 5 Awards of Excellence, 10 Honourable Mentions
- Peoples' Choice award voted on by the public. Their choice is announced at the close of the show.
July Kids Camps
- Month-long kids drop-in art sessions
- Accessible to all children in the Cowichan Valley
- Fun, interactive, creative, friendly environment
Rent A Wall
- Artist's opportunity to rent 4' wide section of wall space or floor space in PORTALS
- Group show environment
- Allows emerging artist to get a taste of showing without having to produce a large body of work.
- One rotational period mid-show to change out displayed work with new works.
- Opportunity for self-promotion
- Newly revived by volunteer Gail Robb
- Satellite gallery space for 2D artist to show their work
- Month to two month long rotations
- Benefit of being CVAC member
Some facts about us
Number of members
Number of visitors per year
Number of volunteers
Number of years in the Cowichan Valley