June in Greater Victoria is a beautiful time of year. Summer is in the air, spring showers are few and far between and the rush of summer visitors hasn’t yet hit and the city is thrumming away at its regular, easy rhythm. However, this month of all the others can be temperamental. One day you have gorgeous glistening skies and soaring temperatures, the next, it’s overcast and windy. For those sunny days, the city is your oyster! Hike, cycle, shop, explore to your heart’s content but for those intermittent cooler days, we’ve got a list of amazing galleries, museums and cultural centres that are just the thing to make your day sunnier!
Art Gallery of Greater Victoria
1040 Moss St, Victoria, BC V8V 4P1
If you’re in Victoria, one of the best places to soak up some art is at the Art Gallery of Greater Victoria or AGGV. This gallery was founded in 1951 and exhibited its first collections in the mansion that is now directly adjacent to the seven modern galleries. Here, visitors can see the largest public collection in BC and support an organization that has a vital role in Victoria’s art community.
The Avenue Gallery
2184 Oak Bay Ave, Victoria, BC V8R 1G3
Located in picturesque Oak Bay, The Avenue Gallery is one of the premiere boutique galleries on Vancouver Island and home to an impressive array of modern art, paintings, sculpture, glass and wearable art. This gallery is a wonderful place to view the ever-changing exhibits of fine art for people new to the contemporary art scene as well as knowledgeable collectors.
621 Fort St, Victoria, BC V8W 3V2
Right in the heart of downtown Victoria, you’ll find the Alcheringa Gallery, one of the leading Indigenous galleries in the world that specializes in contemporary art from the Northwest Coast. For over 35 years, the Alcheringa Gallery has been proud to represent leading First Nations artists. Visitors to this amazing gallery will be both exposed and have access to some of the most forward thinking contemporary First Nations art in the world!
Museums and Cultural Centres
Royal BC Museum
675 Belleville St., Victoria, BC V8W 9W2
While you’re in Victoria, your first stop should be the Royal BC Museum. The beloved RBCM has something for everyone with dozens of rooms and floors to explore, perfect for guests staying right downtown Victoria!
1050 Joan Crescent, Victoria, BC V8S 3L5
This stunning castle, built by coal baron Robert Dunsmuir at the turn of the century is where you can learn about what life was like for the upper class in Victoria at that time.
207 Government St, Victoria, BC V8V 2K8
If you’re a fan of Emily Carr’s work then a visit to Carr House is definitely in order! The birthplace of the fiercely independent artist has been perfectly preserved and converted into a cultural centre with a program series that is inspired by the themes in Carr’s life.
South Shore Gallery
2046 Otter Point Rd, Sooke, BC V9Z 0P7
If you’re staying in Sooke or picturesque Metchosin, the South Shore Gallery in the heart of Sooke is your place to go for an eclectic collection of original artwork that include paintings, ceramics, glass, metal works, jewellery, wearables and fibre art all done by the talented British Columbians. In addition to art, this gallery also has top-of-the-line art supplies for professionals and amateurs alike. This amazingly robust gallery also offers outdoor workshops that are perfect for those without any experience, you couldn’t ask for a better location to be inspired!
Sooke Region Museum
2070 Phillips Rd, Sooke, BC V9Z 0Y3
The Sooke Region Museum is a small but informative museum that focuses on highlighting the region’s history and culture. Both momentous events as well as the day-to-day life in one of the Province’s oldest, independent settlements are celebrated and explored through the exhibits of First Nations artefacts, historic photographs and more. Come and see the Triangle Island Lighthouse interpretive centre and Moss Cottage for more immersive experiences and get a deeper appreciation of this area’s historical importance!
Red Art Gallery
10204 Surfside Pl, Sidney, BC V8L 3R5
Just north of Sidney centre, you’ll find the Red Art Gallery. A lively, quirky gallery that showcases work by the local owner/artist Marion Evamy. Get a fun, personalized experience while you wander through the colourful exhibit at this oceanfront spot!
2506 Beacon Ave, Sidney, BC V8L 1Y2
Right in the heart of Sidney you’ll find the elegant Peninsula Gallery. Established in 1986, this gallery is home to a large collection of Canadian artists and has become one of Canada’s most well renowned galleries. The Peninsula Gallery is the place where emerging artists are given showing opportunities, nationally acclaimed Canadian artists exhibit and sell original paintings and local artists can take beginner, intermediate and advanced art classes.
Museums and Cultural Centres
2423 Beacon Ave L-3, Sidney, BC V8L 1X5
Opened in the early 1970s with the purpose to collect, preserve and show the historical and archival material of the area, today, this successful local museum houses nearly 10,000 artefacts! With permanent exhibits of these local treasures always available to the public and monthly featured exhibits that reflect the diversity of the area, this is a museum is a must for guests in Sidney!
Shaw Center for the Salish Sea
9811 Seaport Pl, Sidney, BC V8L 4X3
The Shaw Center for the Salish Sea is an important not for profit community organization that showcases the importance and diversity of the Salish Sea. Here, visitors can see 35 separate aquarium habitats, a fully intact Orca skeleton, Coast Salish art, plus public programming and self guided tours . This incredible centre connects visitors to the bio-region of the Salish Sea through the interactive and informative exhibits.
No matter where you are staying on southern Vancouver Island, there are plenty of incredible cultural experiences to indulge in on cloudier days!