Gibsons School of the Arts

Gibsons School of the Arts

The Gibsons School of the Arts

~How we came to be.

Gifts to workshop attendees

During the summer 2023 classes, the Gibsons School of the Arts commemorated its 25th anniversary of hosting quality Art Workshops on the Sunshine Coast. (The history of the School is appended below.)

As a not-for-profit society, we reached out to the local business and art communities and are so grateful to have received very generous donations to help celebrate this milestone.  We treated all of our students to a gift bag full of art supplies and we took great delight in handing out donated prizes and goodies throughout the workshops. 

We acknowledge and thank the companies and individuals who graciously and generously donated to help make our 25th anniversary celebration such a wonderful event.

Local Donors

The Painted Lady, Gibsons

… donated (112) $10 gift cards – one for each student – as well as numerous art material brochures and hand-outs

Joan of Art, Gibsons

… donated (112) sketch pencils and (112) watercolour dot cards – one for each student

IGA Gibsons

… donated some of the anniversary cakes

Sunshine Coast Olive Oil Company

… donated olive oil/balsamic vinegar sample packs for all 15 students in one of the workshops

Bruinwood Estate Distillery, Roberts Creek

… donated (2) bottles of their award winning spirits as well as a cocktail guide for every student

Starbucks Gibsons

… donated morning coffee for two of the workshops

London Drugs, Gibsons

… donated (3) $25 gift cards for draw prizes

Sa Boothroyd Gallery, Gibsons

… donated merchandise for draw prizes

The Blackfish Liquor Store

… donated (2) bottles of BC wine for draw prizes

The winner of the draw is shown.

FYI Doctors, Wilson Creek

… donated a pair of ladies sunglasses from their “funky new line” as a draw prize

The winner of the draw is shown.


Persephone, Gibsons  (a.k.a The Beer farm)

… donated merchandise and a selection of beer for draw prizes

Remax City Realty, Gibsons (Jon McRae & Russ Qureshi)

 … donated (3) $25 Subway gift cards as draw prizes

Wheatberries, Gibsons

… donated a plate of cookies for one of the workshops – thanks, Gino!!

The Salty Sailor, Gibsons

… donated merchandise for draw prizes

Sandy’s Bake Shoppe, Gibsons

… donated a plate of shortbread for one of the workshops


B.C. Donors

Opus Art Supplies, North Vancouver

… donated palette knives, canvas panels and canvas boards for several workshops


International Donors

Rosemary & Co., United Kingdom

… donated (45) sets of complimentary paint brushes (valued at more than $600!) as well as a huge stack of brush catalogues


Michael Harding, United Kingdom

… donated watercolour dot cards for the watercolour workshop


25 years and still going strong…

There were no organizations dedicated to providing arts workshops in Gibsons before Peggy Small got busy and organized her vision of an art school on the Coast.

The Gibsons Art Society was formed as a not-for-profit society in December 1996 and initially had about 60 members. The idea was to bring awareness of how the arts could contribute to the Town of Gibsons and the Sunshine Coast as a whole.

In 1998, the school was formed by four members of this society – Peggy Small, Lenore Conacher, Vivian Chamberlin and Claire Caplan. Originally called the Sunshine Coast School of the Arts, the name was changed in 2001 to the current Gibsons School of the Arts.

The school was started with nothing but a $500 grant from the Town of Gibsons and the vision of these four founding women. The first year of workshops saw four instructors hired and the classes took place at Elphinstone High School. 

After a year at the high school, the workshops were moved to the old Gibsons Elementary School for the following season and in 2000, the GSA settled in the former Gibsons Library (now called The Arts Building) until 2019. After classes were cancelled in 2020 due to the pandemic, the school relocated to High Beam Dreams.

Over the years, popularity grew and four classes became six and now we are able to offer eight creative workshops every summer in various media. The GSA still hires teachers from Off Coast but in recent years, we have been engaging more local instructors to make use of the ever increasing creative and highly regarded art talent on the Sunshine Coast.

As a not-for profit organization, The Gibsons School of the Arts owes much of its success to the hard work and dedication of all the volunteers over the years. It also owes a great deal of its longevity to all the students who sign up for the immersive summer workshops each year and keep returning, often with friends and relatives taking courses alongside them.

We celebrate our 25th anniversary season this year in recognition of both the students and volunteers who have made the Gibsons School of the Arts such a success and we look forward to many more years of hosting quality art workshops on the scenic BC Sunshine Coast.

The founders may no longer be with us but their spirit lives on in the creativity and art fellowship that takes place every summer at the school.


Happy 25th Anniversary to the

Gibsons School of the Arts!