Gibsons School of the Arts

Gibsons School of the Arts

The Gibsons School of the Arts

~How we came to be.

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!