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Art Beat: Organ music, art, Samhain parade as Sechelt Arts Festival concludes

The Sechelt Arts Festival events take a turn toward Halloween in the festival's final days and Gibsons gets set for its Halloween block party
The Seaside Centre is the hub of Sechelt Arts Festival activities and features installations by eight local artists for the remainder of October.

The Sechelt Arts Festival continues until the end of October, with exuberant expressions of its theme Upcycle Art. 

With the conclusion of last weekend’s performances of The Buffalo Dreaming — a collaboration between Indigenous performers from Williams Lake and their shíshálh Nation hosts, plus performers specializing in dance traditions from Southeast Asia — the festival’s events take a turn toward Halloween. 

On Saturday, Oct. 29 at 7 p.m., musicians Katherine Hume, David Poon and special guest Isaac Howie present a spooky evening of live pipe organ music at St Hilda’s Chapel. Tickets for Music Macabre ($20) are available online. 

Also on Oct. 29, artist Tam Harringon offers a free Assemblage Art workshop at 10 a.m. at Sechelt’s Sunshine Coast Arts Centre. Participants can create their own iconic art box using discarded objects and materials upcycled into art. All materials are provided. Registration online is required. 

On Halloween itself, the festival reaches its grand finale with a Samhain Parade and Carnival. A parade from the Seaside Centre will start at 6 p.m. on Oct. 31 and proceed to Hackett Park, which will be the site of Zombie dancers, the Junkyard Band, and Cool Heat fire dancers. Free “Catrina” face painting is offered at the Seaside Centre from 4 to 6 p.m. All ages are welcome. 

Meanwhile, the Upcycled art and heritage exhibition continues at the Seaside Centre from Oct. 27 to 30 from noon to 5 p.m. daily. It’s your final chance to see a remarkable showcase of eight Sunshine Coast artists who have created artworks from recycled or repurposed trash, found objects, and nature.  

Also onsite at the Seaside Centre is Every Old House Tells a Story, a cross section of Sechelt homes built in 1930 or earlier. Illustrated panels explore the debate between preservation and demolition. 

Browse to for the full festival schedule and event registration.

Happy haunts in Gibsons 

On Saturday, from 5 to 9 p.m., Lower Gibsons resurrects its Halloween tradition of a spooky block party on Winn Road. 

The family-friendly event will include three performances of A Beetlejuicy Halloween by the Driftwood Players, and Game of Chance by Deer Crossing the Art Farm. 

Come in costume and take advantage of the photo booth, or enjoy the reading of spooky stories at the Gibsons and District Public Library. Talaysay Tours offers storytelling and drumming, while the Sunshine Coast Museum and Archives invites brave voyagers on an expedition to find The Phantom Landing. 

Accompanied by performances by Wild Voices and the Sunshine Coast Children’s Choir, refreshments from Gibsons Tapworks and the Salt & Swine Food Truck will be available for purchase. 

A program listing all activities is available by donation at the Museum, Arts Building, and at other Winn Road street party locations.

Cornering the market on free speech 

The tradition of Speakers’ Corner that began in the mid-1800s at Hyde Park in London comes to Sunnycrest Mall in Gibsons on Nov. 5 at 11 a.m. The Sunshine Coast Toastmasters clubs first hosted such an event in 2018, and it returns now after a three-year hiatus. 

Speakers’ Corner at Sunnycrest Mall welcomes participants who wish to speak or hear topics from different perspectives and with unique styles. The event will be facilitated by Toastmasters club members who encourage respectful speech as listeners enjoy convivial coffee house-style ambience.