How better to spend a Sunday in September than wandering the Fairfield and Oak Bay neighbourhoods to peek into beautiful art-filled houses? This year’s House Tour is, as usual, an important fundraiser for the Art Gallery of Greater Victoria. Presented by the gallery and its volunteer Gallery Associates for 66 years, Bev Kallstrom, House Tour 2019 co-chair, says, “Once again, we are fortunate to have homeowners willing to open their wonderful homes to the public. The distinctive architecture and the exquisite variety of art ensure that visitors will enjoy a fabulous event.”
For the first time, the tour includes Government House, the extraordinary home of BC’s Lieutenant Governor, The Honourable Janet Austin OBC, and the ceremonial home of all British Columbians.
Four other outstanding properties—all in Fairfield and Oak Bay—are included on the self-guided tour which runs from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Besides their close proximity to one another, this year’s featured homes share “impeccably curated art collections,” often involving local artists. The diverse collections include work by Pat Martin Bates, Luke Marston, Nita Forest, Karl Spreitz and Louise Bourgeois.
Visitors will have the opportunity to chat with local artists working at each location, including six artists who will be working at Government House: Arthur Vickers, Deon Venter, Kathy Venter, Robert Amos, Lou-ann Neel and Judy McLean. Artists also featured at tour homes include: Kylee Turunen, Nancy Ruhl, Taryn Brown and Maryan Meek. Each stop on the tour also features imaginative floral creations from members of the Victoria Floral Artists’ Guild.
Co-chair Bill Huzar says, “This year the funds raised from the tour will support Gallery exhibitions and educational programming for families and children.”
Tickets for the self-directed tour cost $35 and are available at the AGGV, 1040 Moss Street and online at aggv.ca/house-tour or at GardenWorks (Oak Bay, Saanich, and Colwood), DigThis (Broadmead Plaza, Sidney), Munro’s Books and Ivy’s Bookshop. aggv.ca, 250-384-4171.