Visit this gallery to find work by well-known Canadian artists and a large collection of Asian art, and to see street exhibitions by emerging local artists.
The modern buildings of the Art Gallery of Greater Victoria are situated around a late 19th-century mansion, which is where the gallery’s collection originated. The wooden mansion now serves as the Gallery Shop and office. The adjacent modern galleries display more than 18,000 paintings, sculptures, multimedia art and other creations. Highlights include one of Canada’s most significant collections of Asian art and landscapes by a talented local artist.
The Art Gallery of Greater Victoria runs a range of free tours, so follow the guide or explore the seven exhibition rooms at your own pace. A good place to start is the permanent exhibition dedicated to the artist and author Emily Carr, who was born in Victoria in 1871 and studied art in the U.S., England and France. The exhibit On the Edge of Nowhere shows how Carr’s paintings were heavily inspired by the landscapes and people of the Pacific Northwest coast.
Head to the Asian Collection and Garden for remarkable Oriental works such as amber and ivory carvings. Admire the Chinese Bell built in the 17th-century, during the Ming Dynasty. Another special object is the Japanese Shinto Shrine, which is said to be the only authentic one in North America.
Check out The LAB to see which rotating exhibitions of contemporary and multimedia art are on during your visit.
In July it is worth visiting for the Art Gallery Paint-In, when more than 100 invited artists display their work outside the gallery’s main entrance. The interactive Family Sunday events are great for children.
Located in the Rockland neighborhood, the Art Gallery of Greater Victoria is a 25-minute walk from downtown Victoria. Public buses stop close to the gallery’s main entrance and there are parking spots available at and near the museum. Many free street parking spaces have a time limit of an hour.
The gallery is open every day from mid May through September, except selected public holidays. The remainder of the year it is closed on Mondays. Check the gallery’s website for detailed opening hours, event information and the schedule of tours.