It's coming and soon! The Festival is just a few days away. Do you have your Festival Passes? That $75 gets you 4 days of amazing events. Each evening performance is $16. Get your tickets at Artworks or through the Poetry Gabriola website.

Poetry Gabriola - For Everyone!

On Saturday, February 18,  and Sunday, February 19, enjoy Knock-Knock, Who's There?, a FREE, site-specific, multi-artist event designed to take place in the 11 tiny cabins on the oceanside grounds of the Dragon's Lodge. From 12:30pm until 2:00pm, the audience is invited to fan out into the forest and start knocking on cabin doors.

BATTER UP!! Poetry Festival OPENING NIGHT is All About Baseball!

Join two of our favourite heavy hitters on opening night for a double header that's all about writing and baseball. Your host for the evening will be  rock-star accordionist Barbara Adler.

Joëlle Anthony         Women in the Line-Up 

Ravin' Ravens For The Caws - The Art Draw Is Back!


Poetry Gabriola's much lauded Raven Art Draw has returned in 2012 - offering the opportunity to win incredible works of art including original pieces by Sheila Norgate, Jeff Molloy, Stephen Reid, and others. Prize pieces include:

Poetry Festival Tickets On Sale NOW!! @Artworks &

Poetry Festival Tickets On Sale NOW!!

Advance TICKETS to the 8th Annual Poetry Gabriola Festival are now on sale at Gabriola Artworks in Folklife Village. To purchase tickets ONLINE, through PayPal, visit

Announcing the 8th Annual Poetry Gabriola Festival

Announcing the 8th Annual Poetry Gabriola Festival

February 16 - 19, 2012

Poetry Gabriola had an amazing year in 2011 with the creation of the Poetry Yurt at the Commons and a full summer program of performance labs.

Creation Labs Knocking our Socks Off

The Summer Inventions Creation Labs are truly delivering the unexpected. May Moore's songwriting lab was SOLD OUT with a dozen Gabriolans composing and performing new songs. Wow! What an experience!

The Yurt - A Good News Story

Poetry Gabriola cut $20,000 by province of BC


It's official - our festival budget has been cut by $20,000 

Yes, on the day after the BC arts community received the good news that the BC gov't would be restoring a portion of funding to the BC Arts Council, Poetry Gabriola received the official word that we will lose the $20,000 community gaming funding that has supported our infrastructure for the past three years. This was hardly a surprise, as all arts funding (with the exception of some programs dedicated to youth and children) has been cut from the community gaming program (formerly Direct Access).

What we do find completely BIZARRE, however, is the fine print. There is a sub-section under the Arts & Culture granting program that distributes grants to "Fairs, Festivals, and Museums". Eligible festivals include "fall fairs, rural fairs, and cowboy days" while Ineligible festivals include "Performing arts festivals, storytelling festivals, media and visual arts festivals".

So the provincial Arts & Culture section of community gaming has systematically excised all actual artistic endeavor - performing arts, literary arts, visual and media arts festivals -  from its eligibility criteria, but is still willing to fund "cowboy days".

Anyone who knows me knows I have nothing against cowboys.  (Really. I  learned to throw a diamond hitch over a set of pack boxes when I was sixteen. In fact, some of my best friends are cowboys.)

But as one of our board directors asked after reviewing the guidelines, " So ...this government only funds festivals in which animals are harmed?"

Yeah, animals and artists.

To check out this wacko eligibility criteria, go to and click the pdf link under "eligibility criteria summary"

Minister Krueger is my Pen Pal


Dear Barbara McDonald and Kevin Krueger,

Thank you for replying to my letter.

I have spent the past decade dedicating thousands of hours to building a professional festival and now am proud to say that the Poetry Gabriola Festival is the second largest literary performance festival in Canada. Our team has worked very hard to create a festival that has high production values, pays professional fees to artists, has an excellent membership base, and an enthusiastic audience.

At a time when BC Arts Council funding has been significantly cut over the past two years, and most arts organizations are no longer eligible to apply for community gaming grants, many organizations are feeling severely lacerated. People who have spent their entire careers building the arts in BC have lost their organizations, their jobs, and their homes.

Do you really think that this is a good time to invent an entire new slate of festivals?

A professional arts festival is not a box of instant mashed potatoes: you can't just add money and have a result. 

I strongly object to $3 million going to public tender to fund a series of festivals that will be produced by anyone who promises to put something together by February.  Any responsible arts organization budgets at least a year in advance and would find it impossible to put together a festival based on a policy whim. It takes years to build a festival, just as it takes years to build a track record and an audience. Unfortunately, it takes a much shorter time to demolish these things.

Furthermore, no consideration has been given to existing festivals, nor were they consulted, prior to the decision to launch this campaign. Any festival slated to produce in the first week of March will be severely impacted by a sudden "BC Spirit Festival" arriving in their community. This is particularly true in smaller communities, islands, and places where the limited population base translates to a limited number of ticket sales in a given quarter.

As far as the growing politicization of the arts to promote a Liberal agenda, I entreat you to heed Spencer Herbert's letter:

I can tell you, Minister Krueger, that many artists of all disciplines, organizers, technicians, and other  creative sector workers are pulling up stakes and moving to other provinces. There is a general feeling of dismay in the community as people watch everything they have worked for over the last 30 years being systematically dismantled by provincial government policy that is unfriendly to our industry.

I understand that the intention behind the BC Spirit Festival is being sold as "good". I appreciate that the Ministry of Culture may be taking this step in an effort to support the arts in British Columbia. I propose, however, that it is a misguided step, and urge you to re-think the investment of the legacies money. Please consider redirecting it to the hundreds of arts organization that have been building an arts legacy for the past three decades, and that are currently under threat because of recent cuts.

Sincerely yours,

Hilary Peach

Artistic Director, Poetry Gabriola Society