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Behind the Lines: Contemporary Art from Syria

This February, SSAC is stepping well beyond the borders of our Island to bring a powerful exhibit of contemporary Syrian artists. Behind the Lines is a partnership between: the Penticton Art Gallery & the Cyrrus Gallery Damascus.

Curated by: Paul Crawford, Penticton, British Colombia, Canada, www.pentictonartgallery.com and Humam Alsalim, Damascus, Syria, www.Cyrrusgallery.wordpress.com ; Founding Member SYRIA.ART – Association pour la Promotion de l’Art Contemporain Syrien, syriaartasso.com

The exhibit runs Friday, February 16 – 25, 10am – 5pm. Mahon Hall


Volunteers: Interested in taking part: we are looking for volunteers willing to sit as Volunteer Attendants during the exhibit. Sign Up to Volunteer Here.


Special Events during the Exhibition:

Friday, Feb 16 – Opening Reception, 6-9

Thursday, Feb 22 – AiR Visiting Artist Talk with Greg Constantine, 7-9

Sunday, Feb 25 – Curator Talk & Panel, 2-4pm


Curatorial Statement: Paul Crawford:

In the midst of a conflict that has gripped the entire world, Behind the Lines | Contemporary Art from Syria is a traveling exhibition featuring close to 100 paintings, photos, video and sculptures created by 19 contemporary Syrian artists. This exhibition found its genesis online when Paul Crawford the Director/Curator of the Penticton Art Gallery reached out to Humam Alsalim, a young Syrian architect, founding member of SYRIA-ART and co-founder of the Cyrrus Gallery based in Damascus, Syria.

This powerful exhibition provides a unique window into the lives and minds of those affected by the devastating war through their art. At the time of original planning of this exhibition most of the 19 artists featured were still living in Syria. They come from places made familiar through news reports like Aleppo and Homs. […]

2018-02-13T16:43:24+00:00 Categories: Community Initiatives|0 Comments

Family Day 2018 with e.s.l

Join us on BC Family Day – Monday February 12, 2018 – at Mahon Hall for a family show with e.s.l.

1pm – Fun start with crafts, snacks and facepainting

2pm – Showtime with e.s.l

Suggested Donation: $5/person

Music, crafts, facepainting, snacks hot chocolate!

Family Day is brought to you by the Salt Spring Arts Council, with support from wonderful community sponsors.

2018-02-06T16:48:10+00:00 Categories: Community Initiatives, Family Day|0 Comments

Home Words: ‘Building Community’

Home Words is a project of Connecting Generations and the Salt Spring Arts Council, and supported by the BC Arts Council and the Salt Spring Foundation. Since the fall of 2017, a group of local islanders has been meeting regularly and learning to facilitate community writing groups. Participants will doing practicums and hosting a number of community writing groups on SSI in early 2018 (Jan through March).

If you are interested in finding out more or participating in one of the writing groups, please contact Sarah Hook-Nilsson e: shooknilsson@sd64.bc.ca

Written by a Home Words Participant

November 21, 2017

Prompt: What are you witnessing in yourself and others through the practice of Writing Alone Together?

Building Community

A large circle at the Gulf Islands Secondary School with bowls of fruit and snacks. Ahava at the head, welcoming, warm. We go around the table introducing ourselves, where we’re from. A writing prompt, followed by the scribbling of pens on paper. Around the circle, sharing our writing, bit of ourselves. Opening up, listening, hearts.

In this practice I’ve noticed a softening, where before there may have been an edge. Seven weeks have flown by. Through these weeks, I have gotten to know faces, even remembered names. It is a place where I come to, where I belong. It is a space where I feel safe. It is the building of community.

Sharing has become easier, although still at times frightening, heart beating in throat. I’ve learned about listening, really listening, letting go of my own answer, my own thoughts, so I can truly pay attention, and catch myself when I’m not.

Part of me doesn’t feel ready to leave, out the doors, on our own. Part of […]

2018-01-18T12:02:25+00:00 Categories: Community Initiatives|0 Comments

Salt Spring Arts Council Endowment Fund

The SSAC Board is thrilled to announce the establishment of the Salt Spring Arts Council Endowment Fund managed by the Salt Spring Foundation.

The Fund has been initiated with the generous donation of $10,000 from Janet Halliwell, a former board member, Arts Council alumna, and long-term supporter.  In launching this Fund, Janet commented “I am continually impressed by the dynamism and impact of the SSAC programs.  From Art Jam, through youth oriented programming like Artists in the Class to SSNAP, the SSAC programs provide rich cultural benefit to all parts of our community. At the same time, I am enormously sensitive to the challenge of ensuring the sustainability of these programs through external grants. I encourage others to contribute to this Fund and through it the cultural health of Salt Spring.” Dividends from the Fund will support the programs and operations of the SSAC.

Managed locally by the Salt Spring Foundation, the SSAC Endowment Fund is suitable for donors that would like to make a larger donation, or who would like to leave a legacy.

For more information contact:

Salt Spring Arts Council: 250.537.0899, info@ssartscouncil.com

Salt Spring Island Foundation: 250.537.8305, ssifoundation.ca

2017-12-06T11:04:47+00:00 Categories: Endowment Fund, Uncategorized|0 Comments

The Great Salt Spring Gingerbread Hall Challenge

Have you got what it takes?

On December 10th, SSAC celebrates the holidays with cheer and a small challenge for the creative and brave among us. As part of our annual Member Holiday Party, we are hosting the Great Salt Spring Gingerbread Hall Challenge.

What is it?  6 teams – with one or two members each – will construct a Gingerbread-style building, inspired by Mahon Hall out of graham crackers and icing. The teams will build and decorate their Halls in front of our live audience in Mahon Hall. The audience will then select its favourite Halls and one team will go home with glory and bragging rights.

Who? You!

Intersted? Contact the office at 250.537.0899 or email info@ssartscouncil.com to reserve your spot.




2017-11-17T13:42:12+00:00 Categories: Uncategorized|0 Comments

Special Members Meeting

Please join us on December 10th, 4pm for a very brief meeting.

Members will be asked to vote on the appointment of a new financial reviewer for the 2017 year.

Background: The financial reviewer is responsible for completing our year-end Review Engagement Report which is presented at the Annual General Meeting in March. The accountant that was approved by the membership during the 2016 AGM has retired and as a result we need to appoint a new firm to prepare the Society’s Financial Statements for the 2017 year.

2017-11-16T12:14:09+00:00 Categories: Uncategorized|0 Comments

Alla Prima Portrait Painting

Alla Prima Portrait Painting with Kristy Gordon

SSNAP 2017 Finalist, Kristy Gordon is offering a workshop on SSI on Sunday, October 22, 2017, 10am -4pm. Limited to 12 participants. Location TBA on SSI. $100 plus model fees + GST. www.kristygordon.com


This portrait painting workshop is designed for artists who want to learn the alla prima painting technique through observation of the live model. Alla prima means “at once” in Italian and is an approach to painting that is done in a quickly executed wet-into-wet fashion.

Artists of all skill levels will have an opportunity to develop one painting, utilizing a full palette. The course will center on the experience of painting from a live model and there will be a single, sustained pose throughout the workshop. Students will learn how to achieve a better likeness as well as how to paint convincing flesh tones.

The course will include painting demonstrations, discussions and individual instruction at the easel. Discussions and handouts will cover the stages to developing a painting, anatomical proportion, structure of the face and features, as well as value, edges and modeling with color temperature. The beginner will learn fundamental principles such as how to mix colors and render form modeling. The more advanced student will discover how to take their work to the next level and achieve the finish that they desire.

To register for the workshop, or for further information, please contact Kristy Gordon by email at kristy@kistygordon.com

2017-10-20T11:50:46+00:00 Categories: Uncategorized|0 Comments

Professional Development Awards 2017

Submitted by Wendy Judith Cutler
SSAC Professional Development Grants + Awards Recipient, 2017A Professional Development Grant from the Salt Spring Island Arts Council helped to support my participation in the 2017 Lambda Literary Writers’ Retreat for Emerging LGBTQ Voices in Los Angeles, California. It is among North America’s most competitive writers’ residencies and the only one specifically for LGBTQ writers. The retreat was a week-long intensive that took place in August on the campus of the Otis College of Art and Design in Los Angeles, California. There were about sixty-some participants who came mostly from the U.S. but also a handful from Canada, participating in one of five workshops (with a few working independently)—mine was non-fiction.

Each morning we met in our workshop, writing together, discussing writing and publishing and engaged in some of the most incisive and relevant critique sessions I have ever experienced. Each evening there were readings (videotaped and open to the public) from each participant—mine was scheduled on the last evening. I read an excerpt from “Radical Lesbian Feminism in Practice” about the magic and impact of feminist bookstores in the seventies and brought my entire workshop on stage with me during the reading. I also developed a chapter “I Want a Women’s Revolution” which is part of my memoir-in-progress about the lesbian feminist nineteen seventies, weaving my own personal narrative within an herstorical tapestry.

An anthology comprised of submissions from the 2017 Lambda Fellows will be published. An excerpt of my essay includes the following: “We queer writers, critical thinkers, dreamers, cultural boundary interrupters, in our particular diversities and textures, we are the voices that need to be heard to contribute to the dialogue, the discussion, the insights that are so desperately needed. We may be the very […]

2017-10-18T16:55:49+00:00 Categories: Grants & Awards|0 Comments

Grants & Awards Fall 2017: Professional Development

Professional Development

Next Deadline: October 31, 2017


  • Practicing artists and or art teachers (visual, performing and creative arts)
  • Residents of Salt Spring for 3 years or more
  • Members of SSAC
  • must submit an application form, available online or from the SSAC office
  • Activity eligibility: Professional development activities must provide an opportunity for artistic enrichment and growth.

Average Grant Levels: $100 – $500

Objectives: To assist artists and craftspeople to further their professional development – either through short term courses or workshops offered off island or on-island by instructors from off-island.

Description: This program assists local artists, artisans and art teachers to further their artistic development either through short term courses or workshops offered off island or on island by instructors from off-island.

Application Procedures: Applications are to be submitted to the SSAC by April 30 and/or October 31. A submission must contain a completed application form, including a budget for the project or activity and a CV or bio. Note – the form provides the opportunity for the applicant to address the various criteria outlined below.


Application Form:

Grants & Awards Fall 2017: Individual or Group Projects

Individual or Group Projects

Next Deadline: October 31, 2017


  • Based on Salt Spring Island and of cultural benefit to the island
  • An artistic or cultural endeavour within the mandate of the SSAC – e.g. the visual, performing and literary arts.
  • Applicant(s) members of the SSAC
  • must submit an application form, available online or from the SSAC office

Average Grant Levels: $300 – $800

Objectives: To assist individuals and groups to undertake projects of cultural benefit to the community

Description:  This program fosters innovation, creativity and experimentation in the arts and sharing those experiences with members of the larger Salt Spring Island community. With limited funding, the funding program is not able to support annually recurring events. Rather it seeks to catalyze new artistic approaches and collaborations and facilitate the public performance and exhibits of those initiatives. While not a condition of eligibility, applicants are encouraged to use Mahon Hall as the venue for public exhibits and performances.

Application Process: You may use the form below to submit your application. Please ensure you have collected all the relevant project information, attachments, and completed budget form before you begin the application.

Please note this form is currently being updated: