The Kitty Coleman Woodland Gardens Art and Bloom Festival is one of the highlights of the spring season in the Comox Valley.
The annual event, now in its 17th season, takes place May 18-20.
With over 3,500 rhododendrons and hundreds of other woodland flowers in bloom, the 24-acre facility makes a spectacular setting for the artists, artisans and musicians who set up their displays along the winding pathways.
The show features painters, potters, photographers, sculptors, unique garden art and a host of high-end artisans who work in wood, glass, textiles and stone.
“The quality of work gets better every year, “said Bryan Zimmerman, owner of Kitty Coleman Woodland Gardens. “Some of the exhibitors have been with us since the first year and you can see their work getting better and better. We also attract new artists every year, which is terrific because it gives each show a different look and feel.”
The other thing that is constantly changing is the gardens themselves. The man-made lake, complete with its own island and small decorative beach is now surrounded by an amazing array of rhodos. Areas that were once the remnants of a Christmas tree farm have been turned into inviting glades. Popping up here and there are rustic shelters, pavilions and unique pieces of driftwood that all add to the ambience.
With over 70 exhibitors on hand, visitors will have plenty of opportunity to see, do and shop. Along with the eclectic mix of artists and artisans, visitors will also be treated to entertainment by a number of well-known musicians.
During the course of the three-day event, the Gardens has lined up a terrific playlist of musicians who will be performing at various locations and times throughout the weekend. Perennial favorites such as Bruce and Judy Wing, Luke Blue Guthrie, and Anela Kahiamoe are back again as are Brad Prevadoras and Fred Siliani who both play classical guitar. Rounding out the list will be David Somers playing Celtic favorites, De La Luna will get you dancing with their Latin dance rhythms, Country Canucks Jack & Don will get your toes tapping and another favorite, Tracy Canil who will be wandering the gardens playing her flute.
It is perhaps this unique combination of art, music, Mother Nature’s colourful palette and the dedication of one man, his family and friends that make the Art and Bloom Festival one the Comox Valley’s truly unique events.
The festival has something for everyone. From those who are seeking peace and relaxation to others who are looking for that special work of art, handmade item or unique creation that will enhance their home or add value to their collection, they are sure to find it at this year’s festival. Not to be forgotten of course are the food concessions that are sure to help keep the energy up from all that walking around.
Art and Bloom Festival show times are 10 a.m to 5 p.m. Saturday and Sunday and 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Monday. Admission is $10 for adults, seniors over 65 $8, children 5 to 12 $3 and for those under 5, admission is free.
The gardens are just a 15-minute drive north of Courtenay off the Old Island Highway, 19A. For further information contact Woodland Gardens at 250-338-6901 or visit the website at www.woodlandgardens.ca