Events & Exhibitions

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Marvelous Memoirs

Two Island authors have productively used Covid to bring their memoirs to press. Adele Irving and Sheila Norgate have both taken years (and years!) to bring their efforts to completion, and luckily for us, neither of them gave up. 

Irving’s Splat! starts in 1995 when her ‘perfect’ life went splat! in her face. As she points out sometimes you are the bug, sometimes you are the windshield. 30 years later, writing her story has allowed Irving to examine how she was able to pick herself up and keep going. It’s an engaging read, like getting a deliciously long letter from an old friend that you’ve lost contact with and catching up in one fell swoop. It’s the perfect read for a beachy afternoon or weekend when binging is possible. Reading Splat! I laughed out loud, I cried, I chastised, and I celebrated with Adele from start to finish. 

This book is a powerful reminder that most of us have struggles (especially under the covers of ‘perfect’ lives!) in our lives, and that secrecy is the enemy of healing and growth. This story of family inspires and entertains with the truth of one woman’s life, and the magic of patterns and synchronicities to guide and affirm. 

In 2021 Splat! received honourable mentions in the New York Book Festival, Paris Book Festival, New England Book Festival and Southern California Book Festival in the personal memoir category. 

Norgate’s memoir has been writing itself for at least 25 years. After many abandoned attempts to commit the thing to paper, a spate of confessional one-woman performances, and a half a dozen writers’ retreats, one of which involved an overnight greyhound bus ride to Saskatoon, Norgate has finally wrestled her self-reflective ducks into a row long enough to produce If You Are Reading This. 

The book is a collection of short essays, some as short as one page, covering a wide swath of territory. Making appearances are childhood trauma, World War II, the lesbian night owl (world famous oxymoron), God, false teeth, feminism, lady painters, Santa Claus, and a funny bone that has stood the test of both time and trouble. 

Norgate’s early accolades are saying: “stupendous, a beautifully crafted life story…”, devastating and witty…smooth like Noel Coward” and “a breathtaking accomplishment”.

Two different stories, two different worldviews, two talented women courageously and vulnerably sharing their life stories for our entertainment, for our edification, and to inspire our own self-examination. 

American icon Anne Lamott has plenty to say about encouraging women to write their stories and has famously prodded with her pithy wisdom, “You own everything that happened to you. Tell your stories. If people wanted you to write warmly about them, they should have behaved better.”

Monday, August 22, 7:00 pm at Artful : The Gallery, Irving and Norgate will each read selected segments of their books and be available for what promises to be a delightfully engaging and inspiring Q&A. 

By donation at the door ($10 suggested) with cash sales of both memoirs available that evening, personally signed by the authors.

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May 2022

What's Happening at Artful?

Scroll down for more info about our upcoming events

  • May 6th Words From The Dead Book Launch 2-4 pm

  • May 7th Transitions Exhibition Celebration 7-9 pm

  • May 25th Balloons, Cartoons and Lampoons opens

  • May 27th Opening Celebration with Daniel Needham 7-9 pm

Sean Arthur Joyce

Ekstasis Editions Book Launch

The 40th Anniversary Island Tour “The Death and Resurrection of Critical Thinking” celebrates the founding of Ekstasis Editions at Artful : The Gallery on May 6th, 2-4 pm, with music and poetry by Richard Olafson and Carol Sokoloff, and the launch of Sean Arthur Joyce's Words From The Dead: Readings in the Covid Age. Joyce will be reading selected essays.


Richard Olafson founded Ekstasis Editions in 1982 and has published over 350 titles. Olafson began with small-edition, privately printed, exquisite hand bound books, to now publishing (often emerging) writers and poets abandoned by larger commercial publishing houses. Ekstasis Editions is the publisher of the highly regarded Pacific Rim Review of Books, the only remaining paper publication of literary discourse remaining in BC. 


Sean Arthur Joyce will be launching Words From The Dead: Readings in the Covid Age, a collection of essays critically addressing cultural stories, using literature, history and poetry as a lens to focus critical thinking. Joyce has dug deep with his inspired reading list which spans 5th century BC to current day; Lao Tzu, Karl Popper, Arnold Toynbee and John Ralston Saul. With over 10 published books to his name, Joyce has a long career as a Canadian historian, journalist, author, poet, and now essayist. 


Carol Sokoloff is a Victoria musician and soloist, whose warm voice and improvisation characterize her approach to the jazz standards of the American Songbook. In Victoria Solokoff performs jazz, swing and blues with Trio Espresso (along with musicians Kenny Seidman, Mike Cox, Alex Olsen and Kelby McNayre) and has been a regular at Victoria Jazz Fest and Herman’s Jazz Club. Solokoff is a Peabody Award winning broadcaster and journalist, who brought her background in publishing and broadcasting to Ekstasis Editions as co-manager in 1986. 


Join us for an Artful Afternoon. May 6th, 2-4 pm. 526C Cumberland Rd, Courtenay.

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Virginia Whitehead

Transitions: More Than Paint

Join artist Virginia Whitehead as she celebrates 

her exhibition, Transitions: More Than Paint 

at the gallery with a wonderful evening of

art, music and refreshments.

May 7th, 7-9 pm 

Balloons, Cartoons
and Other Lampoons

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Balloons, Cartoons and Other Lampoons opens at Artful : The Gallery

on May 25th with a solo exhibition of the work of Daniel Needham.


Daniel Needham has a wide range of artistic production which extends from sculpting in marble to painting on black velvet, including stops and investigations at most every point between. His exquisite craftsmanship elevates Needham’s disdain for the sacred… the level of sacred. Needham’s keen intelligence, sardonic humour, and acerbic perspective serve him well as he levels his gaze squarely at the sacred icons of culture. 

Balloons, Cartoons and Other Lampoons runs May 25th - June 25th.

Join us for an evening celebration of the exhibition on May 27th, 7:00 to 9:00pm. 

To learn more about Daniel Needham

visit his website at: