While it’s too soon to know exactly how last weekend’s activities went, organisers for the Thanksgiving Studio Tour say they’ve “been hearing mostly positive reviews”.
Gabriola Arts Council (GAC) Administrator Michelle Benjamin said Thursday by email that some artists said they had “fewer visitors but more spending – which is okay but our goal is more of both!” Noting that “one multi-artist studio had more than 700 visitors”, which she said was “awesome”, she said: “We’ve heard that the vibe out there was very good – a combination of the great weather and the general buzz generated by the tour”.
Benjamin added that ferry fares may have cut into the off-island visitor traffic “so we’re dreaming up some plans to try to mitigate that for the future”.
Early favourites mentioned by Benjamin were the D’dance Glass glass-blowing demonstrations (see story page 4), and “the live music at the ferry terminals and studios”.
“We also heard great feedback about the artists’ profile videos that we’ve been part of creating”, Benjamin wrote. “They were running on a loop at Artwork all weekend, and can be seen on the creative directories of 18 different artists on the GAC website”. She said GAC wants to have profile videos made for all the interested artists on the island, including musicians and writers.
As for the final numbers: “We’re still collecting the evaluations from the artists and visitors so we don’t have anything concrete yet”, Benjamin said, adding that they’ll have more details next week.
As previously reported the GAC-sponsored studio tour occurs annually on the Thanksgiving weekend. It highlights Gabriolan artists and artisans, and GAC President Kathy Ramsey has said it “conservatively adds about $200,000 into the local economy”.