Arts·Hi, Art

What are the best places to see art where you live?

We'll be sharing readers' insider recos in the newsletter this summer. First stop: Gabriola Island, B.C.

We'll be sharing readers' insider recos in the newsletter this summer. First stop: Gabriola Island, B.C.

What's the most magical place in your hometown? Mary Sullivan Holdgrafer of Gabriola Island, B.C., sent us this photo of Orlebar Point. (Photo: Chris Straw/Courtesy of Mary Sullivan Holdgrafer)

Hello! You're reading the CBC Arts newsletter, and if you like what you see, stick around! Sign up here, and every Sunday we'll send you a fresh email packed with art, culture and a metric truckload of eye candy, hand-picked by our small and mighty team. Here's what we've been talking about this week.

Hi, art lovers!

We're feeling the love this week. Your responses to last week's call out were so enthusiastic, packed with more art — and he(art) — than we could have predicted.

If you're new here — hello! There's a back-story to all that gushing.

CBC Arts is running a series of city guides all summer. (Next stop: Scarborough!) So in last week's email, just to pick up on that theme, we invited everyone to share their own hometown recos, and we had a few questions to get things started: What's the most magical spot in your hometown? Who's your favourite local artist? What's the best place to see art?

Shoutout to Piper Hoekstra in Vancouver, Miriam Gersho in St. Catharines, Ont. and the many, many more who were sliding into our inbox with their insider suggestions. We were so thrilled with the emails you wrote that we're going to start running some of your "I He(art) My City" picks here in the newsletter. Think of it as a special bonus to the city guides that are running on the site. (How would you answer those questions? Send us a note and tell us if you haven't already!) 

Orlebar Point, Gabriola Island. (Photo: Chris Straw/Courtesy of Mary Sullivan Holdgrafer)

This week, we received more emails from Gabriola Island, B.C., than anywhere else. Maybe it's because the Gulf Island officially bills itself as the "Isle of the Arts." Maybe it's because most of the local Arts Council board members are new subscribers. The answer remains a mystery as dark and deep as the Salish Sea, but we're loving it all the same.

So to get this virtual summer vacation started, here are a few recos courtesy of textile artist (and Gabriola Arts Council board member) Mary Sullivan Holdgrafer, a former Edmontonian who now calls the island home.

What's the most magical spot in your hometown?

"For me, the most magical spot on Gabriola is Orlebar Point. I go there often to see the lighthouse and watch the ocean. It is an active place where you can have a picnic, walk along the rocky shore, meet friends to watch the sun set or sit quietly on a bench."

Who's your favourite local artist?

"There are many talented artists, actors, musicians, filmmakers and writers here. It is hard for me to choose my favourite so I will cheat a little. Sheila Norgate is a feminist painter, performer and humourist. John Capon is a musician. He has lived here for about 40 years and knows all the stories. He is also married to Tawny Maclachlan Capon who is a visual artist. Debbie Marshall is a wonderful writer of the history of Canadian women who played a role in WWI. She is preserving an important and under-reported part of our history."

What's the best place to see art?

"The best time to see art is during the annual Thanksgiving Studio Tour. On that weekend, artists open their studios for visitors. This year there will be 71 studios and approximately 85 artists."

What's going on in your hometown? We'd love to hear your answers to the questions above. Send us an email, and your tips could appear in the next Hi, Art.

But first, three eye-popping places you've got to see.

Step inside Laurence & Chico's fantasy world

4 years ago
Duration 0:45
Canadian designers Laurence Li and Chico Wang's first retail venture is in Vancouver

In Vancouver... Take a tour of a surreal new café from fashion duo Laurence & Chico. Come for the room made out of rubber duckies; stay for the coffee.


In São Paulo... Visit a really, really, really, really, really small business. This creative agency built itself a miniature satellite office.

In Tokyo... Hit the Holodeck. This brand new digital art museum is probably the closest thing in real life to that Star Trek: TNG rec room. The brainchild of the teamLab art collective, this funhouse/museum features 50 interactive worlds that are spread over a 107,000 square foot building. Feel your synapses melt while romping through rainbow waterfalls and crystal worlds and balloon forests. Plenty of photos and virtual tours to explore on the official site, or just tempt yourself into buying a plane ticket to Japan by watching this preview video.

You've got to see this

(CBC Arts)

The (dystopian) future of fashion - We love homegrown TV. (Obvs.) But we never would have guessed that this runway collection was inspired by a few Canadian-made shows. (Not The Littlest Hobo, though — but maybe for Spring/Summer 2019?) Find out how pop culture influences Montreal fashion duo UNTTLD.

You want to make what about what now? - You've heard the uproar about SLĀV, and for Montreal musician Hanorah, the debacle raised a few questions about cultural appropriation in the arts. These ones, specifically. Here are her 10 or so things to ask before making art about a group you don't belong to.

(CBC Arts)

Now entering the splash zone - Caution: extreme cuteness ahead. The kids at CBC Music Fest flipped over Callen Schaub's live spin painting. (Same goes for us grown-ups.) Watch what happened when we followed him around Toronto's Echo Beach that day.

Follow this artist

Winnie Truong. Libra Season. 2017. (Instagram/@winnietron)

Winnie Truong (@winnietron) - Meet the Toronto artist behind our logo's new summer makeover.

Got questions? Story tips? Room for one more on your summer road trip?

We're always around. Hit us up over email and we'll do our best to get back to you.

And if someone forwarded you this message, and you like what you've read, here's where to subscribe for more.

Until next time!


Sign up here and Hi, Art will arrive in your inbox every Sunday!


Leah Collins

Senior Writer

Since 2015, Leah Collins has been senior writer at CBC Arts, covering Canadian visual art and digital culture in addition to producing CBC Arts’ weekly newsletter (Hi, Art!), which was nominated for a Digital Publishing Award in 2021. A graduate of Toronto Metropolitan University's journalism school (formerly Ryerson), Leah covered music and celebrity for Postmedia before arriving at CBC.


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