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Show makes volunteering an art form in Sooke

Sooke Fine Arts Show could use some more helping hands
The Sooke Fine Arts Show returns to live attendance July 22 to Aug. 1 in at Seaparc Leisure Complex. Organizers say the show wouldn’t be possible without the hundreds of volunteers. (File-Sooke News Mirror)

The number of volunteers and the hours they deliver to get the show off the ground every year is staggering.

Between 300 and 350 people donate their services annually to ensure the Sooke Fine Arts Show remains the premier annual art show on Vancouver Island.

“We could not do the show without them,” said Terrie Moore, executive director of the Sooke Fine Arts Society. “They help us with everything from setup through to the show, working the gift shop, greeting guests, taking tickets, taking it all down after, they simply do it all.”

That typically involves 12,000 to 14,000 volunteer hours every year, Moore noted, with about 20 team leaders starting work behind the scenes in November, and monthly meetings beginning in January.

“Some of the volunteers have been with us for many years,” Moore noted.

The invaluable skills and expertise and enthusiasm they provide are invaluable, she added.

With live shows put on hold for the past two years due to the pandemic, Moore said it’s encouraging to see some people who just moved to Sooke and never attended a show before get involved in volunteering for the first time this year.

“It’s a real community-building event,” she said. “Many of our volunteers are active with other organizations in Sooke. We’re always looking for more volunteers, especially to help with security during the show and take down after the show.”

This year’s event features more than 370 exhibits and the works of 280 exhibitors from Vancouver Island and B.C.’s coastal islands.

The show gets underway on July 21 with Purchasers’ Preview Night, an exclusive ticketed event that allows seasoned and new art collectors first access to their favourite works, with Broke and Blue providing live music. Tickets cost $45 and include hors d’oeuvres. The show runs from July 22 to Aug. 1 at SEAPARC Leisure Complex at 2168 Phillips Rd.

Visit for more information. Anyone interested in finding out more about volunteering should call Gunny Tennese at 250-588-5852.

ALSO READ: Sooke Fine Arts Show returns to in-person exhibition after two-year hiatus


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About the Author: Rick Stiebel

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