By Harriet Goodwin
Living on the always-inspiring West Coast of Canada is a muse for many local artists – and with good reason. The scenery, the culture, the history, our creative community has no shortage of things to pull from when creating work. It might seem like a cycle of inspiration that would sustain itself, but pitching in and buying local art always helps to keep our culture growing- not to mention keeping your home inspired as well!
So with that in mind, the next time you’re redecorating, consider hitting up these Metro Vancouver and Whistler art spots!
By Transit: There are several shuttles you can take to Whistler from Vancouver! You can visit the Tourism Whistler page here to find a reliable option from where you’re located.
The SLCC is always a fantastic cultural stop when you’re in Whistler, and the Gift Shop is no different. Inside you’ll find a myriad of Northwest Coastal Indigenous art, jewellery and pottery, as well as home decor, books, clothing and accessories. The shop staff act as cultural ambassadors, ready to share the stories of pieces, and info on the featured artists.
4584 Blackcomb Way, Whistler
By Transit: From Surrey Central Station, take the #501 Langley Centre bus to Carvolth Exchange, transfer to the #562 Langley Centre via TWU bus, then exit at 96th Ave and Glover Road in Fort Langley
Housed in a 1911 heritage building, this Fort Langley gem is a creative hub of makers, designers and artists. With a focus on community and sustainability, The Arts Block combines three independent businesses- Always Sunny Shop (curated consignment and vintage goods), Dove Coterie ( home decor, jewelry and clothing) and Morph:ology (an upcycling shop where textile artists give used clothing a new life). Connecting the three shops is a lovely sculpture garden, envisioned by artist David Kimura to keep the artists inspired.
9048 Glover Road, Township of Langley
By Transit: From Commercial-Broadway Station, take the #20 Downtown bus to Charles St.
Take a peek inside Vancouver’s longest-established artist-run collective, in one of the Lonely Planet’s world’s coolest neighbourhoods. Commercial Drive is known for being a melting pot of creativity, and Arts off Main has been supporting and empowering local artists for 20+ years now. This studio/retail space features an array of local artists across various media to discover, and they offer framing services too!
1704 Charles Street, Vancouver
By Transit: From Surrey Central Station, take the #501 Langley Centre bus to Guildford Exchange, it’s right there!
This gallery is a big advocate for the power of art to improve your well-being, calm your mind, and help heal. Their passion for showcasing marginalized artists comes from one of their core values – to ‘promote diversity and acceptance through art.’ Stopping by, you’ll find local fine art, Indigenous carvings, posters and photography all under one roof, and at an affordable price point. Actually, make that three roofs, as this gallery is one of three Blue Lotus locations across the Lower Mainland!
Unit 2608 A, 10355 152 Street, Surrey
Vancouver’s North Shore
By Transit: From Lonsdale Quay, take the R2 Park Royal bus to Park Royal, then transfer to the #257 Horseshoe Bay Express bus, once you get to the bay it’s only about a 3-minute walk!
Located in Horseshoe Bay, the Spirit Gallery offers a vast collection of contemporary and traditional West Coast Indigenous art. Silver, gold and copper pieces, masks, stone carving, sculpture, prints and clothing, the gallery represents both established and emerging artists from different local Indigenous communities. Interesting tidbit: owner Erin Sam, worked at the gallery part-time while in high school before becoming manager in 1997, and then purchasing the gallery in 2003!
6408 Bay St, West Vancouver
By Transit: From Braid Station on the Expo Line Skytrain, take the #128 bus to 8th Ave and Richmond St.
This ‘home-gallery’ is a converted heritage house where owner Trudy Van Dop once lived with her husband and four children. It makes for a personable environment that allows visitors to experience artwork as they would in their own homes, and the gallery has received awards for the unique concept. Across their seasonal exhibitions, Van Dop displays and sells a wonderfully curated collection of contemporary works by Canadian artists. You can read all about our visit to the gallery in our article here.
421 Richmond Street, New Westminster
By Transit: It’s only a 4-minute walk from Metrotown Station!
Formally known as ‘Nooks,’ Makers has since popped up in Metrotown and a handful of other locations across the province. The concept is a celebration of local artistry and entrepreneurship- all the local makers who exhibit take home 100% of the sale. Markers’ goal is to empower artisans and help them take their creative businesses to the next level, which, gives customers that feel-good factor when making a purchase. It’s a great spot to grab a gift, or piece of home decor by a local maker and add that West Coast of Canada je ne sais quoi to your everyday.
To easily plan the route for your next artistic outing, you can use the TransLink Trip Planner.