What we do

At Spirits of the West Coast Art Gallery we offer a unique and authentic Indigenous experience to our visitors and customers. Our focus is on hand-made artwork and jewelry by skilled Northwest Coast Indigenous artists living within their Indigenous communities and actively involved in their cultures. Our goal is to uplift and amplify the voices of First Nations artists and their cultures for our visitors and customers to discover and learn. Authentic Indigenous artwork is built on vibrant and inspiring cultural traditions that have existed since time immemorial. Our gallery is an excellent opportunity to learn more about Northwest Coast First Nations cultures and find meaningful one-of-a-kind works of art. By acquiring a piece of Northwest Coast First Nations artwork you are contributing to these indigenous artists and communities directly, helping them and their culture flourish.

The mission of our gallery is as follows:

  1. To provide excellent value, quality, information and service to our customers and visitors.

  2. To promote Pacific Northwest Coast Culture and Artwork worldwide.

  3. To be an ally to Northwest Coast First Nations artists and communities, building long-term mutually beneficial relationships and focusing 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.

  4. To volunteer time for educational activities as well as support and give back to our local and Indigenous Communities.

Who we are

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.

Walter and Tatjana value the connections they have established over the years with respected Indigenous artists from along BC’s coast. It is a privilege to have the artists share their knowledge and culture with us and trust us to accurately and intentionally convey their artwork and culture to our audience.

We feel very grateful that we can work in this environment and respectfully acknowledge the K’ómoks First Nations, on whose unceded traditional territories it is an honour and a privilege to live and work.

Sustainability Efforts

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

  • Environmental

    • 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 and errands.

      • At least 50% of staff commute to work by bike, transit, carpooling, EV or walking

      • Energy efficient LED lightbulbs throughout the gallery

      • As of 2023, domestic ground shipments made with Canada Post, our primary shipping provider, are carbon-neutral using third party carbon offset providers

    • Packaging

      • 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

We strive to remain part of a circular economy, balancing the continual growth of the business with our social and environmental responsibilities.

Find Us

Our Northwest Coast Art Gallery is located in the beautiful Comox Valley, BC, Canada in the middle of Vancouver Island. The gallery is situated between Comox and East Courtenay at 2926 Back Road. 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.

Below are a few images of our new gallery that we built and moved into in 2017. Before that we had over 10 wonderful years in our old gallery space, which was half the size of our new one.