The numbers are in on the 2018 Art Crawl and they show the three-day event attracted more visitors and generated more revenue than ever.
More than 46,000 venue visits were registered – an increase of 21 per cent from 2017 – during which more than $440,000 in arts and crafts were sold, about 18 per cent more than last year, according to Coast Cultural Alliance (CCA) director Linda Williams.
Williams and other CCA board members delivered the good news to more than 50 venue operators who attended an Oct. 28 debriefing at Beth Hawthorn’s and Robert Studer’s cavernous This Is It studio in Roberts Creek.
“We’re getting close to half a million dollars, going directly to artists on the Sunshine Coast, and we all know about the spinoffs for accommodations and restaurants,” Williams said. “We call it economic development, and that’s just what [the Art Crawl] is doing.”
The event, held this year Oct. 19 to 21 and now in its eighth year, featured 165 venues, stretching from Earls Cove to Langdale, and up from 144 venues in 2017.
Williams noted that the commissions ordered by venue visitors also were up, to $92,000 from $86,000 in 2017.
Both veteran venue owners and newcomers to the Art Crawl this year seemed happy with the outcome.
“We had more people this year and we had about 50 per cent more sales,” said Elaine Futterman of Creek Clayworks. “People seemed to be coming in, ready to buy higher priced items.”
First-timer Logan Hawryluk said the Art Crawl was “an absolutely awesome experience.”
Hawryluk, of Rustic Creations by Logan, is a retired plumber who now makes zany birdhouses out of plumbing parts at his Gower Point Road studio in Elphinstone. “I had no idea what was going to happen,” he said. “I had a couple of hundred visitors and what I enjoyed the most was the interaction with the crowd.”
Williams also noted that next year, Thanksgiving falls on Oct. 14, which will be the Monday of the same week the Art Crawl would normally start, on Friday, Oct. 18. She asked if operators instead preferred a move to Oct. 4 for 2019. The consensus in the room was not to change, as the event has become identified with the later October date.