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Art Beat: Market opens with Easter egg-stravaganza

The event will include a demonstration of traditional Easter egg ornamentation, or pysanky, by Gibsons-based artist Janet Ritchey. 
Young artists were in attendance at the opening of the Sechelt Arts Festival earlier this month to interpret works inspired by the Salish Sea.

The Sechelt Farmers’ and Artisans’ Market plans to launch this weekend on Saturday, March 30 with an Easter street party. 

The event will include a demonstration of traditional Easter egg ornamentation, or pysanky, by Gibsons-based artist Janet Ritchey. 

Ritchey is fundraising for a friend in Ukraine who teaches pysanky as a form of art therapy for children affected by Russia’s invasion of the country. Ritchey uses the funds to buy and ship art supplies that will be used in classrooms in Ukraine. 

“Traditionally, specific prayers were recited prior to beginning the work [of pysanky],” said Ritchey in an interview with Coast Reporter. “These prayers guarantee that the recipient would be endowed with a message of happiness, well-being, joy, good fortune and protection from harm. For the Ukrainian people, people around the world like me are making pysanky that symbolically is sending power and energy to their cause.” 

The Sechelt Farmers’ and Artisans’ Market runs from 9 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. on March 30. 

 Young artists dive into Salish Sea

Twenty-five teenaged artists have contributed to the inaugural chapter of the Sechelt Arts Festival, with 41 works on the Salish Sea on display at the Sunshine Coast Arts Centre until April 13. 

“We’re highlighting its beauty and how important it is for the environment and the people around it. It’s just such an important staple in everyone’s lives. People who come to the Coast always talk about how beautiful the oceans are. It’s so important to everybody,” said Olivia Rose. 

The contributions include painting, drawing, mixed media, sculpture and digital art. The annual Young Artist Exhibition at the gallery began in 1988. The Salish Sea theme aligns with the year-long emphasis of the newly redesigned Sechelt Arts Festival. 

“I wanted to create a lot of life [in my work] and show how diverse and deep [the Salish Sea] is, showing the depth and intertwined-ness of it,” said London Allcock. 

Five artists were onsite for the exhibition launch on March 15: Davin Green, Olivia Rose, London Allcock, Daphne Sutherland and a designated representative of contributor Layla Ateb.  

A month of verdant verse 

The month of April will be celebrated as National Poetry Month, with events planned at locales the full length of the Sunshine Coast. 

Highlights include an open mic night and writers’ gatherings at the Gibsons Public Library (browse to the Sunshine Coast Writers and Editors Society at for complete listings).  

On Wednesday, April 10, local actor and poet Richard Austin will perform selections of his favourite poems, from the ridiculous to the sublime. The event is free but in-person space is limited; register online or contact the library via 

Shakespeare on the Coast 

Under the auspices of the Driftwood Players theatre company, a local rendition of William Shakespeare’s play A Midsummer Night’s Dream is due to be staged at the Rockwood Pavilion on July 5, 6, 12 and 13. 

Auditions for the Coast Shakespeare Project’s community production will take place on April 7 and 9. Volunteer performers of all ages and experience levels are encouraged to try out and participate in one of Shakespeare’s silliest (and funniest) comedies. 

Complete information and audition information is available online at 

Small town grows a little bigger 

According to Variety magazine, the made-for-TV series Murder in a Small Town, currently being shot in Gibsons, plans to welcome another six headliners to its cast. 

The latest additions are James Cromwell (seen in “Babe” and “Succession”), Stana Katic (“Castle,” “Absentia”), Mya Lowe (“My Life with the Walter Boys,” “Yellowjackets”), Savonna Spracklin (“Two-Spirit Odyssey,” “Wildhood”), Aaron Douglas (“Battlestar Galactica,” “The Watchful Eye”), and Fritzy-Klevans Destine (“The Boys,” “Superman & Lois”).  

Cromwell and Katic will occupy guest star roles, while the other four will make intermittent appearances in the series. 

The Fox Network programs are based on the Karl Alberg novels penned by Saskatchewan-born author L.R. Wright. 

Actors Rossif Sutherland and Kristin Kreuk fill lead roles in the series. The first season of Murder in a Small Town is set to air during the 2024-2025 broadcast season.