Garden venue attracts dozens of Island artists

NANAIMO – Art in the Garden takes place in Nanoose Saturday and Sunday (July 20-21).

Only in its fourth year, Art in the Garden already attracts dozens of artists from across the Island to its lush grounds.

Situated on four hectares of property owned by Lesley and Mike Seselja in Nanoose, 52 artists working in a range of mediums from jewelry to fabric, blacksmithing and forging converge on the grounds Saturday and Sunday (July 20-21).

“We’re full to capacity this year,” said Kris Walker, a sculptor and one of the organizers of the event.

Some of the 52 artists include Ron Zaborniak from Lee River Woodturning, who turns discarded blocks of wood into one-of-a-kind art pieces like bowls, pots and candlesticks.

Or Leanne Helin, who incorporates her Tsimshian First Nation heritage into her silver jewelry pieces.

Even food gets the artistic treatment, with Sugar Shack Cupcakes offering sweet treats and hot coffee on site.

The event, although much smaller, carries the same spirit as the Filberg Festival in the Comox Valley. Art in the Garden isn’t as strictly juried as the Filberg, but members of the organizing committee make sure that all goods are made by those displaying them, and ensure that the event features a variety of artists.

Like the Filberg, musicians are a big part of the artistic celebration.

“We also showcase local musical talent,” Walker said.

Playing music from a small floating stage on the property’s pond are Terry Mack, Bobbi Chill, Marty Steele, Theo Massop and Bood a Boom, and the Coombs Old Time Fiddlers.

The event runs from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. both days at 2525 Northwest Bay Rd. Admission is by donation and proceeds will be donated to Nanoose Counselling Service, which operates the food bank in the community.

The previous three events raised $7,200 for the food bank, which serves about 100 people per month. For more information, please visit