The Sunshine Coast Arts Centre is a unique log building conceived and designed by volunteer Clarke Stebner. The fundraising and construction of the building, with its subsequent additions, was completed by volunteers who were committed to a goal of creating a focal point for the Sunshine Coast arts community.

Volunteer curator Keith Wallace designed the gardens, which were initially planted and maintained by volunteers and the Sechelt Garden Club. Currently, maintenance of the garden is overseen by a garden committee with help from volunteers and with the guiding hand of volunteer gardener Bill Campbell.

The storage and office space addition, which was built in 1994, was financed through a variety of outlets including: community fundraising; a grant from the Vancouver Foundation; and a grant from the Leon and Thea Koerner Foundation. The current Arts Centre building now stands on land formerly occupied by the Sechelt Public Works Department. The whole property is leased to the Arts Council for the token sum of $1 per year.

The cedar statue to the right of the Sunshine Coast Arts Centre entrance was carved by Dudley Carter, and three of the benches in the garden were carved by his grandson, Michael Vaughn.

In 2008 the main gallery section of the building was dedicated to and named after Doris Crowston, a long-time moving force behind the establishment of the gallery. Her family has created an endowment fund for the Sunshine Coast Arts Centre in her name.

The Sunshine Coast Arts Centre is currently staffed by the Sunshine Coast Arts Council, with strong support from a team of dedicated volunteers. It hosts a variety of cultural events on a regular basis. The art studio, music studio and gallery space, are rented on a regular basis, as a public or private venue.

Garden Rejuvenation

Efforts of volunteers to rejuvenate the Arts Centre garden are currently ongoing. The Arts Council thanks all volunteers who are helping bring even more colour and life to the garden!

Photos by Paul Clancy