The Artisans’ Festival at Kitty Coleman Woodland Gardens was created to provide artisans with an opportunity to showcase their work in a setting that will enhance even the smallest creation.
Held over the Labour Day holiday weekend, Sept. 1 to 3 this year, this annual event also provides an opportunity for you to shop for that unique handcrafted piece that fits your lifestyle or will become a treasured gift.
Located just a 15-minute drive north of Courtenay off the Old Island Highway, these gardens are one of the jewels of Vancouver Island’s many attractions. Many local residents are quite familiar with the gardens as they offer a respite from the hustle and bustle of daily life.
Taking advantage of the many bark mulch-covered paths that wind their way throughout the nearly 25 acres, a stroll through the gardens provides a welcome relief for those who have discovered the magical quality shrubs and flowers provide in a natural setting provide.
Now when it comes to shopping for interesting and different art objects, it can be a great way to spend the day.
However when you set up exhibitors along woodland paths or in quiet glades and add in the soothing sounds of falling water coupled with the sounds of live music from such musicians as Bruce and Judy Wing, Jorge Alfaro, Brad Prevedoros and Tracy Canill, shopping becomes an absolute delight.
All of the artisans and artists who are participating in this year’s festival have been selected for the high quality of work that they produce.
Visitors will find a terrific mix of styles, mediums and materials. From wooden bowls turned out of exotic burls, to handcrafted glass vessels, unique garden sculptures to pottery that is both beautiful and functional, along with hand crafted jewelry, clothing and art, there is something for just about everyone.
Visitors to the show in the past have found that it is a great way to pick up a few items for those hard to buy for friends and relatives.
Others use it to get a head start on Christmas shopping and even more see it as an opportunity to just simply treat themselves to a work of art that will provide hours of viewing pleasure.
Speaking of viewing pleasure, the gardens themselves are an absolute feast for the eyes.
At just about every turn along the path, visitors will find something unique. It could be a bench set at just the right angle so you can contemplate the joyful sounds of a fountain splashing in a pond.
Or you might come across a huge gnarled and twisted piece of driftwood that highlights a bed of wildflowers. All in all, the gardens are a true delight.
The Artisans’ Festival at Kitty Coleman Woodland Gardens is open to the public on Saturday and Sunday, Sept. 1 and 2 from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. and on Monday, Sept. 3 from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Regular garden admission applies.
For further information about the gardens, visit the website at www.woodlandgardens.ca.
— Kitty Coleman Woodland Gardens