Our Northwest Coast Art Gallery is located on 2926 Back Road in the beautiful Comox Valley, which lies in the middle of Vancouver Island in BC, Canada. You will find us between Comox and East Courtenay. Our location is right in the centre of the area in which many of the important West Coast Native Artists and Master Carvers live and work.
Pacific Northwest Coast Native Culture and Native Art
Our passion for Pacific Northwest Coast Native Culture and Native Art started in 1986, when our co-founder Walter Stolting moved to Vancouver Island to study business at the University of Victoria. Through his travels via motorcycle all over Vancouver Island and other areas of British Columbia, he visited many Native Communities and Galleries and fell in love with the area, the people and their culture. At that time he started collecting Northwest Coast Native Art Work.
After continuing his national and international education in business and enjoying over a decade of building and managing businesses for a European Multinational, Walter returned to Vancouver Island with his wife Tatjana and his two young kids, Victoria and Thomas to start his own family owned business. In 2006 Walter and Tatjana founded Spirits of the West Coast Art Gallery and started their labour of love.
The mission of our gallery is the following:
- To provide excellent value, quality, information and service to our customers and visitors.
- To promote Pacific Northwest Coast Culture and Artwork worldwide.
- To build long-term mutually beneficial relationships with Northwest Coast Artists and Communities and focus on relationships with artists that work in their traditional communities. Our goal is to create a positive and sustainable impact not only for the individual artists, but for the community and culture as a whole.
- To volunteer time for educational activities as well as support and give back to our local and Indigenous Communities.
Our local national and international experiences have again and again strengthened our respect for these incredible Pacific Northwest Coast Native Cultures, which have been building on vibrant and inspired traditions since time immemorial.
We feel very grateful that we can work in this environment and respectfully acknowledge the K’ómoks First Nation, on whose unceded traditional territories it is an honour and a privilege to live and work.
Improving sustainability at the gallery is an important priority for us. We are always looking for ways to make advancements in our sustainability efforts in all areas including environmental, social, and economical.
Here are a few of the initiatives we have implemented:
- Social Sustainability and Community
- Upholding the values of equality, inclusivity, reciprocity and honesty in all aspects of running the gallery
- Reconciliation: Being an ally to First Nations peoples, educating our visitors through the voices of our artists and their elders, amplifying the voices of Northwest Coast First Nations artists through the representation, exhibition and distribution of their artwork around the globe.
- Annual Comox Valley Food Bank Drive & Fundraiser
- Reducing Emissions & Carbon Offsetting
- As of 2022, our gallery’s energy consumption is entirely offset by solar energy. We installed a 11.7kW Solar Photovoltaic System on our property in 2022.
- As of 2021 the gallery is using an electric vehicle for most of our business trips.
- At least 50% of staff commute to work by bike, transit, carpooling, EV or walking
- Energy efficient LED lightbulbs throughout the gallery
- Reusing and repurposing packaging as much as possible
- Sourcing more environmentally friendly packaging, including recycled and recyclable materials
- Fair treatment of employees
- Living wages paid to all gallery employees
- Prioritising a work/life balance for all employees
- Positive and enjoyable work atmosphere
- Standing desk
- Calm and Temperature controlled environment
- Reducing Emissions & Carbon Offsetting
We strive to remain part of a circular economy, balancing the continual growth of the business with our social and environmental responsibilities.
Our Northwest Coast Art Gallery is situated in the Comox Valley, BC, Canada
Below are a few images of our new gallery building, that we built and moved into in 2017. Before that we had over 10 wonderful years in our old gallery, which was half the size of our new one.
The last image shows Tatjana and Walter Stolting, the founders of Spirits of the West Coast Art Gallery.