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Mystery envelopes this year's Mini Gala evening and more Hearth highlights

The mystery is in the art is this year’s theme for the 16th annual mini gala exhibition and live auction.
Anne Boa holding up a painting and three folks stand in the background at last year's mini gala
Last year's Mini Gala theme was black and white, this year's theme is the mystery is in the art.

Walk through our gallery doors for our Feb. 29 gala and you’ll be greeted by characters right out of a painting.

The mystery is in the art is this year’s theme for the 16th annual mini gala exhibition and live auction.

At the gala, volunteers dressed in costumes will help you find your way through suspended frames, old colourful paintbrushes or artistic paint palettes, sending you on an adventure into a gallery filled with the mini masterpieces by local artists.

We encourage guests to join the fun and dress in theme as their favourite artist (perhaps Van Gogh minus his ear) or a character from a fantastic painting (maybe the Last Supper or Warhol’s Marilyn).  We will award a prize for best costume.

The gala evening is the conclusion of our annual exhibit of local artists’ mini masterpieces.

Each year, local artists and a few from away donate their masterpieces on 8” x 8” canvases or mounted in frames generously donated by Opus Framing and Art. Our Visual Arts Committee and volunteers organize the exhibition and transform the Gallery @ Cove Commons with festive decorations. We appreciate the incredible support we receive from everyone involved.

The Gallery @ Cove Commons, fresh from its annual spruce-up, then reopens to the public on Feb. 12. We will resume our opening hours of Wednesday through Monday, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. on that date.

Drop by to see and be the first to bid on these original artworks. The anonymous mini masterpieces are sold by silent and live auction. The mystery of who the artist is is the game. All bidding starts at $125, an incredible deal for an original artwork from one of our much-celebrated artists or up-and-coming new talent. Paintings with two or more bids will go to live auction.

All shall be revealed at the gala as the auctioneer takes live bids on the various artworks and the audience finally learns the identity of the artist.

Each year, art lovers and partygoers come out in droves to attend the gala and live auction in anticipation of taking home a mini masterpiece. And in the process, by supporting this fundraiser, they help the Bowen Island Arts Council keep the doors open at the Gallery.

This year, more than 60 artists have created the spectacular pieces. Our amazing auctioneer Tim Hausch, of Shaw Cable fame returns this year, with the talented and irrepressible Marc Gawthrop providing musical entertainment. As always, there will be delicious treats and a cash wine bar.

Tickets are $20 for the Live Auction event on Feb. 29 and are now available online at: It’s the often sold-out event of the season. Paper tickets will be available to purchase at the Gallery @ Cove Commons on Feb. 12. Doors open at 6:30 p.m. and the auction starts at 7:30 p.m.

Can’t attend? We accept absentee bids. Please contact either Emilie Kaplun at [email protected] or Jacqueline Massey at [email protected], or identify the Lot # of the artwork you are interested it, indicate a maximum bid, write down your name and phone number and leave this at the Gallery in a sealed envelope, no later than 4 p.m. Feb. 29. We will bid on your behalf up to the maximum bid offer. If you have any questions regarding the Mini Gala, please contact Emilie Kaplun, Gallery Curator at [email protected].

What else is new at the Hearth?

Are you interested in checking out the arts and cultural scene around Bowen to find out what events are planned and upcoming? Or, perhaps you want to schedule an event or performance and you want to avoid conflicts with other activities that are already planned? Then we have a solution for you.

The Hearth is reviving the Community Arts Calendar on the website event page. Check it often, as well as our weekly newsletter, so you don’t miss any of the incredible offerings throughout the year. It’s available at

If you are organizing an event, we welcome you to add it to the calendar. Email us at [email protected] and we will set you up as an administrator on the Google Calendar. You can then add your events and activities. It’s as simple as that. We hope that this calendar will help with the promotion of your event, as well as assist those scheduling events on island.

Now that the winter darkness is receding, the Hearth is revving up with some enticing cultural offerings to get us through until spring arrives. Workshops are a great way to connect to your creative self and to other like-minded community members.

Postcards and Prompts, led by the dynamic duo, Meribeth Deen and Tina Overbury, of the Writer’s Adventure returns by popular request, on Thursday, Feb. 27. Join them for an inspiring evening of writing in a relaxed and fun atmosphere in the lower level “writing den” at Doc Morgan’s. Learn some great tools to take you on a writing journey.

Dive into the wonders of Monoprinting on a Gel Plate and Collage: Creating One-of-a-KindCards and Journals with Jennifer Love on March 7 and 8, with this two-part workshop. The first day, you will create original printed papers to use in your own creations and the second day will unfold with the how-tos of journal and card-making from your own printed creations. Take one or both sessions. 

Register for these workshops at or call 604-947-2216.

The Hearth sponsors groups and organizations so that they may offer the quality performances we are blessed with on Bowen.

Members of the Hearth can also take advantage of the benefit of sponsorship of their events, which includes liability insurance ($25 fee required), enhanced publicity and ticket sales, both online and at the Gallery @ Cove Commons. For more information about sponsorship and becoming a member of the Hearth, please contact [email protected].

Arts and culture help create a healthier, more resilient community. They are the threads that weave together our social fabric, enhancing a sense of identity and belonging. They increase our quality of life, contribute to the local economy and inspire us to dream.

We are honored to play a lead role in forwarding arts and culture on Bowen Island. Visit for more information.