Arts + Culture

Explore the Vibrant Arts + Culture Scene in the Alberni Valley

Welcome to the Alberni Valley, where enchanting landscapes meet a thriving arts community, adding a unique charm to our valley. Uncover the vibrant world of artistic expression in Port Alberni, where local talents, private galleries, and Indigenous art seamlessly blend to create a rich cultural tapestry. As you explore the art scene, you’ll also discover the deep roots of culture and history that have shaped this remarkable corner of Vancouver Island.

Art Galleries in Alberni Valley

Alberni Valley boasts a thriving arts scene, with several galleries that reflect the community’s commitment to creative expression.

The GroveBluefish Gallery in Port Alberni, Alberni Valley, established in 1965 as the Community Arts Council of the Alberni Valley, has been a longstanding arts institution and is affectionately known as ‘The Grove.’ It became a non-profit society in 1971, aiming to enhance the community’s quality of life by promoting the arts through education, information dissemination, quality programming services, and participation in cultural facility planning and development. The Grove features a dedicated gallery space where visitors can explore and appreciate the works of featured artists, adding to the richness of the artistic experience.

DRAW Gallery represents Westcoast Contemporary Canadian Art, showcasing works in Sculpture, Painting, Printmaking, Photography, Video, Sound, and Performance. Blue Fish Gallery is a local treasure, offering a unique selection of pottery, art glass, jewelry, paintings, prints, greeting cards, textiles, leather goods, children’s items, natural bath & body products, and more. While The Grove stands as a cornerstone of the arts community in Alberni Valley, DRAW Gallery and Blue Fish Gallery contribute to the contemporary arts landscape, providing diverse and local artistic expressions. Together, these galleries contribute to Alberni Valley’s identity as a haven for artistic inspiration and collaboration.


ahtsik gallery first nation artwork port alberni vancouver island

Artworks from the Ahtsik Gallery Instagram page.

First Nations Heritage and Arts

To learn about a place, first you must learn about its people. Port Alberni is located on traditional territory of the Tseshaht and Hupačasath First Nations, two of the fourteen nations of the Nuu-chah-nulth people of western Vancouver Island. The First Nations communities play a pivotal role in shaping the cultural narrative of Alberni Valley. The Ahtsik Gallery & Gordon Dick Studio stand as a beacon of Indigenous artistry and heritage. This cultural hub not only showcase traditional and contemporary Indigenous art but also serves as a space for cultural preservation and education. The impact of First Nations arts and culture on the Alberni Valley is profound, weaving a tapestry that honors ancestral traditions while embracing modern expressions. The influence of these artistic endeavors resonates throughout the valley, fostering a deeper understanding and appreciation for the rich heritage of the Nuu-chah-nulth, Tseshaht and Hupačasath people.

Learn more about the First Nations of the Alberni Valley.

Discover Our Legacy – History of Alberni Valley

To truly grasp the cultural essence of Alberni Valley, one must explore its storied history. The Alberni Valley Museum stands as a gateway to the past, preserving and presenting the tales of the region’s pioneers. McLean Mill, a National Historic Site, provides a glimpse into the industrial heritage of the valley, showcasing a working steam-powered sawmill. Meanwhile, the Maritime Discovery Centre invites visitors to delve into the maritime history that has shaped the community. Together, these landmarks paint a vivid picture of Alberni Valley’s evolution, ensuring that its rich history remains a source of inspiration for generations to come.

Mclean Mill National Historic Site, Port Alberni, Alberni Valley

Public Art Installations

Port Alberni’s streets come alive with vibrant public art installations and murals, each telling a unique story. Explore the town to discover these artistic gems that reflect the spirit and history of the community. The Tseshaht First Nation mural at Harbour Quay beautifully depicts the rich cultural heritage and history of the Tseshaht people, serving as an inspiring symbol of their traditions and community. Murals, like the one on the exterior wall at All Mex’d Up, dot the city, adding color and character to the streets of Port Alberni.

Mural depicting Tseshaht First Nation’s history at the entrance of Port Alberni’s Harbour Quay

(From left to right) Aaron Watts, Robert Watts, Shane Sieber and Cody Gus walk in front of a mural depicting Tseshaht First Nation’s history at the entrance of Port Alberni’s Harbour Quay, on December 11, 2023.

Mural on the exterior wall at All Mex'd Up in Port Alberni

More Arts + Culture in the Alberni Valley

Learning more about the History and the Arts of the Alberni Valley

The arts are an integral part of our identity, often reflecting the natural beauty that surrounds us. While you soak in the landscapes, take a moment to discover and learn about the cultural heart that make Port Alberni truly unique.