Tour of the Arts passports on sale June 25

The fourth annual Tour of the Arts, happening July 31 from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., is coming up soon.

The fourth annual Tour of the Arts, happening July 31 from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., is coming up soon.

This self-guided art tour event showcases some of the best art the Columbia Valley has to offer in unique, private locations.

Proceeds raised by the Tour are used to support the programs of the Columbia Valley Arts Council.

This year’s tour features 45 artists, selected through a jury process.

These artists and their work and displays are spread between the Swansea ranch, McBlain property, Gratton property, Stewart property and Nichol property.

“We try to find properties that people normally wouldn’t get to,” said Lynda Tutty of CV Arts. “This year they’re all private properties.”

Each private location will also feature musical entertainment, as one of the five Artsy Deck Chairs up for silent auction.

The Muskoka chairs have been hand-painted by Tour of the Arts artists and are a near attraction to the Tour this year.

The Tour of the Arts passports, which will be available for sale starting Saturday, June 25, are $25 ($30 on Tour day), $10 for students aged 13-18, and free for children.

The passports will be available at Village Arts, Essentials, Pynelogs Cultural Centre, the Visitor Information centre, N’Deco in Radium, and Smoking Waters Café in Fairmont.

“People buy a passport. It’s got the map, it’s got the artists and the details.

“When you buy the passport, that gets you into the tour and also the reception at the end of the day,” said Tutty.

The passports allow entry to the tour sites and the evening reception, held at the Fairmont Hot Springs  Resort ski chalet.

Tutty said that the chalet, “is pretty unique in itself because people can’t get up there in the summertime, it’s closed, and it has the most spectacular view of the Valley.”

The reception, which goes from 4 p.m. to 6 p.m., features free finger foods and refreshments and more live entertainment to finish off the day.

As guests visit each of the five Tour locations, they can stamp their passports.

Once the passport has been fully-stamped, Tour-goers can enter to win a draw prize for two for a day of heli-hiking in the Bugaboos, hosted by Canadian Mountain Holidays.

Art on display at the sites will be for sale, according to Tutty.

“It’s a combination of painters, sculptors, potters, wood-workers, glass artists and more.

“We try to mix up the media of each site, and the art is for sale,” said Tutty.

“Artists like the Tour because they get their work out there. It’s an exhaustive day but it’s a great day.”

Tutty went on to say that a lot of artists also get repeat visitors and customers, or may earn themselves interested commissioners.

“We try to get these artists as much media exposure as we can too,” Tutty said.

For further information about the upcoming Tour of the Arts 2011 event, please feel free to call 250-342-4423 or email info@columbiavalleyarts.com for updates  or required information.