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Gibsons building an art-focused walking and cycling path

Call for art submissions planned for in the new year
Gibsons Art
Existing public art, including works at the Gibsons Public Art Gallery will be featured along the Town’s soon to be constructed “Art Path."

A walking and cycling path between upper and lower Gibsons, providing views of existing and new public artwork, is slated to open in June 2022. 

A Dec. 15 press release from the Island Coastal Economic Trust (ICET) announced a grant of $50,000 to the Town to cover the full cost of building this project.

Construction of the path is slated to begin in January. The route of the new active transportation corridor and visitor attraction will start at the town’s entrance at Gibsons Creek and make its way through lower Gibsons. Path users will then be able to continue along the town’s existing Inglis Trail, to upper Gibsons and the Sunshine Coast Highway.   

The town’s Public Art Advisory Committee designed the project, which will take users through some of the town’s most scenic natural areas, the release states.  Existing public art displays at the Gibsons Public Art Gallery, the town hall, the Gibsons public market and Arts Building will be able to be seen from the trail. 

Additional commissioned art works will be added at strategic sites along the path as standalone displays as well as trailhead markers. These will be selected through a jury submission call created by the committee in the new year. Works will be selected based on artistic merit, longevity, maintenance, budget and other practical considerations.

“Once completed, the Art Path will feature the works of many local and Indigenous artists,” said Town of Gibsons’ Mayor Bill Beamish, speaking on behalf of the committee. “It will link the adjacent Squamish Nation Chekwelp lands to our town and provide the opportunity for residents and visitors to experience the richness of our arts community by expanding on the original works already featured in many areas. We are very grateful for this grant and look forward to commissioning new works which will spark creative interest and grow civic pride.”

Path maps and guides will be published online for easy digital access with scannable QR codes that will provide links to background information about points of interest. Steeper sections or areas with other potential accessibility challenges will be indicated on the trail map, along with alternative routing suggestions. Printed versions of the map and guide will be created and available for pickup at the Gibsons’ Tourist Information Centre and other relevant locations. 

The project was funded through ICET’s THRIVE Small Capital Program, which provides full funding of up to $50,000 for projects without the need for a municipal contribution.  The program was established in May 2021 as a joint collaboration with the ICET and Vancouver, Coast & Mountains tourism region of Destination BC.

“We expect that innovative art, presented in a captivating setting, will increase tourist visits to our town and encourage residents to take advantage of a convenient travel corridor to journey between our upper and lower business centres," the Town stated in its successful program application. "Overtime, we expect the benefit of increased business from pedestrian traffic will be ongoing and spread throughout our entire community.” 

“The project epitomizes the goals of the THRIVE program to increase and drive vitality back into core areas in captivating and innovative ways,” ICET Board Chair Aaron Stone said in the release.