With the 2011 opening of PORTALS – The CVAC Centre of Arts, Culture and Heritage, CVAC re-invented itself. Located in the lobby of the Island Savings Recreational Centre, PORTALS is our flagship program, offering an inspiring venue to experience multi-genre art shows and cultural events, free of charge.

PORTALS has hosted more than a hundred shows and events since its opening in February 2011 and is fully booked with 31 shows until the end of 2017. PORTALS is open Monday to Friday, between 10:00 AM and 5:00 PM and Saturday between 10:00 AM and 1:00 AM with extended hours for October through to Christmas. School children, library patrons, families, senior citizens, working professionals and tourists come into the Island Savings Recreation Centre and make a visit to PORTALS a part of their day.

More than 30,000 people have visited PORTALS, representing tens of thousands of hours of exposure to many different art genres.


  • Offers multi-faceted annual programming to showcase local artists, engage the community and foster appreciation of arts and culture.
  • Home of the 47 year old, Cowichan Valley Arts Council (CVAC)
  • PORTALS is a door to the arts.
  • PORTALS is a major go-to place for arts and culture in this region (a, not ‘the’, so we don’t offend other ACs)
  • 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