Cultivating community

Cultivate is for Gabriolans and for people who love Gabriola. It’s a place to connect, to hang out, and to play. We strive for a welcoming, inclusive space, with something for every age, and every economic circumstance.

Cultivating live performance

We believe in live performance! We carefully select diverse performances for Gabriola Island soil.

Cultivating the Commons

Cultivate supports the Gabriola Commons as an open, vibrant gathering place on our island. We believe that culture is a commons: something we create together and that we all can participate in.

Cultivating creativity

We think something amazing happens when we bring together music, theatre, and art to cross-pollinate and intertwine.

Venue: The Gabriola Commons – 675 North Rd

Cultivate will transform the Commons into a festive gathering ground.

It will feature the Antony Holland Theatre Stage, the Garden Music Stage, by the main Commons garden, and the Goat Barn Stage. The Commons was originally a goat farm!

The Gabriola Commons is a place where sustainability, community and agriculture meet, featuring 26 acres of peaceful rural landscapes and rich ecosystems with significant biodiversity.

The property includes connecting pathways, open vistas, meditative spaces, vibrant community gardens, learning and meeting facilities for the use and enjoyment of the public.

The Gabriola Commons is a unique and distinct property on Gabriola with zoning that recognizes and enshrines the vision and spirit of a “community commons”.

We’re grateful for the partnership with the Gabriola Commons, and support the vision of a world where we hold resources and culture in common. Please enjoy your time at this special place.


Take time to explore all the treasures this island has to offer, including spectacular beaches, sublime forest trails, exciting artists’ studios and interesting shopping (featuring locally made products and much more!).

Click here for more info on Gabriola.


26 beachside festival campsites are available at Descanso Bay Regional Park, one of the most beautiful campgrounds on the Gulf Island archipelago.

Don’t miss the sunset swims at the point!

Regular shuttles will run from the campground to the festival site.

3 nights minimum stay (Friday – Sunday). 

To book your campsite, please visit

Please be kind to our beautiful island

Our Green Team works hard to reduce waste at Cultivate. Last year, we ended the weekend with only 2 bags of garbage – we’re aiming for even less this year.

Please help by bringing your own cups, plates, utensils, and napkins.

Leave your car at the campground and take GERTIE to Cultivate.  Gabriola’s Community Bus is FRIENDLY – to our nature relatives – and FUN! Start the party on the way to Cultivate!

View the schedule for free shuttle service here.

Getting to the Festival

The Gabriola Commons is located at 675 North Road on Gabriola Island, a 3-minute drive/ 20-minute walk from the Descanso Bay ferry terminal.

Gabriola is a 25-minute ferry ride from Nanaimo on Vancouver Island.

Click here for the ferry schedule.

You can also get here by float plane into Nanaimo Harbour or directly to Silva Bay on Gabriola.

GERTIE is offering extra runs all weekend so that Islanders can make it to Cultivate without driving.

View the weekend GERTIE schedule.


Leave your car at home and take GERTIE to Cultivate.  Our Community Bus is FRIENDLY – to our nature relatives – and FUN!  Start the party on the way to Cultivate! View the schedule for Cultivate weekend here.

GERTIE and GAC are teaming up to provide free shuttle service between the Commons, the Ferry Terminal, and Descanso Bay Campground.

Click here to see the Ferry – Campground – Commons Shuttle Schedule.


There will be central bike parking at Cultivate. Celebrate our island by riding free!

Bike rentals are offered by Pages Marina and Cyqle Bicycle Repair. 

GERTIE buses have bike racks.


Family Zone

Children are the heart of our community and festival!

The Cultivate Family Zone is a family and child friendly safe creative space run by art teachers, parents and peer helpers.  The Family Zone is a space for children to cultivate personal creativity through arts and craft workshops while building connections through art and play.

The Family Zone is an all ages, drop-in safe space where children can take time out, engage with other children or create art. At the Family Zone, all children are equal and valued and will be given opportunity to cultivate their personal expression under supervision.

Cultivate family connection through art!


Community groups are the heart and soul of this community. Cultivate Festival is an opportunity for these groups to engage and develop relationships that grow our community bonds; to share what is meaningful for these groups and potentially enlist new members.

Please register your community group here


Artisan Vendor Market


The Artisan Vendor Market at Cultivate celebrates the work from Gabriolan and Vancouver Island artists, makers and growers. Experience the beauty of locally-made artwork, jewelry, ceramics, candles, health and beauty products, glass, ornaments, trees, plants and more.  Find unique treasures for yourself and others in this vibrant Vendor Market!

While anyone can apply, Gabriolan vendors will be given priority, on a first-come, first-serve basis. See application for more details.

If you’re interested in vending at Cultivate, click here for more info and to submit an application. Deadline for applications is June 30.

Food and Drink Vendors

Fill your plates and cups with food and drink made by talented Gabriolan chefs, using locally grown ingredients.

While anyone can apply to serve food or drink at Cultivate, priority is given to Gabriolan chefs.

If you are interested in being a food or drink provider at Cultivate, please fill out the Food Vendor Application.  We recommend that you be in touch before applying.

Deadline for applications is August 5th.






A Commitment

“Reconciliation not only requires apologies, reparations, the relearning of Canada’s national history, and public commemoration, but also needs real social, political, and economic change … Canadians from all walks of life are responsible for taking action on reconciliation in concrete ways, working collaboratively with Aboriginal peoples. Reconciliation begins with each and every one of us.”

~ the truth and reconciliation commission of canada

Gabriola Arts Council is committed to promoting a deeper understanding of our true history, and supporting the path to a new relationship between Indigenous and settler peoples. We acknowledge our hosts, the Snuneymuxw First Nation, and recognize that we live and create on unceded Coast Salish territory. As part of GAC’s mandate, we support the resurgence of Indigenous culture and the work of Indigenous artists.

Festival FAQ’s

How many stages are there?

We have 3 stages: the Antony Holland Stage (on the Commons grounds), the Garden Main Stage (by the Commons house), and the Goat Barn Stage (in the goat barn – natch).

I live near the Commons. Will I be getting any sleep?

We want to be respectful of everyone who lives in earshot of the festival, and minimize our impact. We’ll be delivering a letter to each house within 750m of the venue in July, which will address any concerns you have about noise, traffic, and parking. Music will shut down at 12midnight. If you’d like more info, please contact

How accessible is the Festival?

Disabled Parking spots will be available at the school parking lot, across from the festival entrance.

The Antony Holland Theatre Stage, the Garden Mainstage, and the Goat Barn Stage are all wheelchair accessible, though there is uneven ground and some gravel. Contact for more details.

Are dogs allowed?

The Commons allows dogs on property, as long as they are on leash. Please respect other festival goers, and if your dog isn’t easy-going around crowds or other dogs, please don’t bring them!

Where do I get my tickets or wristbands?

You can pick up your tickets or wristbands starting Wednesday, Aug 28, at the On-Site Box Office, including the day-of. Theatre ticket holders are asked to pick up tickets at least 30 minutes before the performance.

Box office Hours:
Wed Aug 28: 10am – 5pm
Thurs Aug 29: 10am – 5pm
Fri Aug 30: 10am – 10pm
Sat Aug 31: 10am – 10pm
Sun Sept 1: 10am – 10pm

Can I still get involved?

We’re always looking for volunteers. Email for details.

Gabriola Arts Council Year Round Events

Gabriola Thanksgiving Studio Tour
Gabriola Thanksgiving Studio Tour
Gabriola Healing Power of Art

Support the Arts

Would you like to make a donation to the work of the Gabriola Arts Council? You can do it online or via CanadaHelps.

The Gabriola Arts Council is a registered charitable organization whose purposes are to support and encourage the development of and engagement with arts and culture on Gabriola Island. We gratefully acknowledges the generosity of all of our Sponsors, Funders and Supporters!

Please contact us for more information.