Beginning in 2024, under the guidance of the Sunshine Coast Arts Council, the Sechelt Arts Festival connects art, ecology and climate change. We envision art as a means of calling attention to relationships – to our local ecologies, to our companion communities, and to the land, air and waters that make this part of the world so remarkable and unique.

Art has the ability to help us think through difficult ideas through play, joy, community and belonging. It is in dance, theatre and music that we are able to move through and with ideas; it is through the language of visual art that we are able to give form; and it is through words and texts that we shape sometimes incomprehensible ideas.  And for many, the climate and our changing natural environment is one of those ideas. The Festival seeks to weave together environmental, cultural and social ideas as a means of inspiring our communities.   

In 2024 we will celebrate the Salish Sea – its other-than-human inhabitants, its waterways and estuaries, its stories of travel and exchange, and its vitalness to Sechelt and its communities. Sechelt, as the land between two waters, has been shaped by the Salish Sea – our past, present and future bound to her, despite the increasing challenges of rising waterways and warming oceans. It is an opportunity to bring together the arts with local climate and ecology focused organisations, to consider ways that art can help support our local ecosystems into the future.  

Culminating in November, the Festival will include free monthly programs between March and October – the spring and autumnal equinoxes. Working with the seasons and its changes, we will present activities in public space that bring our audiences and communities in relation to the Salish Sea, both physically and metaphorically. Activities will take place, not just in venues and galleries, but in parks, forests, along waterways and in other local ecological spaces. From exhibitions, performances and film screenings, to lectures, discussions and hands-on activities, we will present an intergenerational Festival that draws our community into engaged and inspiring ideas around biodiversity, climate and creative making.