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Visual Arts

A library help guide to Visual Arts resources at UVic Libraries.

Art and Culture in Victoria

Image: Wawadit'la, also known as the Mungo Martin House, on the grounds of Thunderbird Park, Royal BC Museum. Credit: Darren Stone, Times Colonist

As the provincial capital of British Columbia, Victoria is a city with many different arts and cultural organizations. Below are some of the galleries, libraries, archives and museums -- or GLAMs -- that make up the cultural landscape of our city. Also listed are some performing arts organizations and literary reading series and festivals, as well as some local Indigenous organizations that champion Indigenous art.

Please note this list is not comprehensive; to find out more about what's happening in Victoria, visit Do250 Victoria for up-to-date calendar events. 



Legacy Art Galleries - The University of Victoria's art museum, responsible for the accessibility and stewardship of an art collection which consists of 18,000 objects, including Canadian, Indigenous, and international historic and contemporary art. 

Victoria Arts Council - Connecting artists with audiences, the VAC exists to support artists at all levels of engagement. They provide opportunities for artists and audiences to connect through exhibitions, performances, readings, publications, and educational programmes. 

Open Space - A non-profit artist-run centre situated on unceded Lekwungen territory. SInce being founded in 1972, Open Space has worked to present contemporary visual arts, music, writing, media arts, and more. 

Art Gallery of Greater Victoria -  The AGGV has been building its collections for over 70 years, and showcases contemporary art, significant works produced in this region, and art that represents our collective histories. The AGGV has one of the finest collections of Asian art in the world. 



Greater Victoria Public Library - Greater Victoria's public library system with multiple branch locations. 

Legislative Library - Provides information and research services to the Members of the Legislative Assembly, their staff, Assembly staff, statutory offices, and provincial government researchers. 

BC Archives - The archives of the Government of British Columbia and provides research access to records of enduring value to the province for both the provincial government and public researchers. 

Saanich Archives - The documentary heritage of Saanich.  Inquiries welcome by email, phone, or in person at their public reference room located inside the Saanich Centennial Library.

Royal BC Museum - Founded in 1886, the RBCM collects artifacts, documents, and specimens of British Columbia's natural and human history.

Carr House - A provincial and national historic site for the birthplace of writer and artist Emily Carr. 

Craigdarroch Castle - Built between 1887 and 1890, the Victorian mansion was built by industrialist Robert Dunsmuir and was once the site of Victoria College, which eventually became the University of VIctoria. 



Pacific Opera Victoria - POV is one of the most influential opera companies in Canada. Its repertoire comprises original productions of classic favourites as well as lesser known works, new commissions, co-productions, and collaborations.

Phoenix Theatre - Theatrical productions created by students enrolled in UVic's Department of Theatre's Bachelor of Fine Arts and Master of FIne Arts degrees. Located on campus.

Belfry Theatre -  A professional adult theatre company dedicated to producing contemporary plays, with an emphasis on Canadian work, and to promoting artistic, cultural, and educational events in the Greater Victoria Region.

Dance Victoria - As a non-profit charitable society, Dance Victoria operates with the mission to promote the appreciation of dance by developing and presenting diverse local, Canadian, and international artists, and by engaging the community in the celebration of dance.

Ballet Victoria - Founded in 2002, Ballet Victoria is a boutique professional ballet company with 12 dancers and four yearly productions. Their performances are dramatic, technically demanding, and often laced with humour.

Victoria Symphony - Victoria Symphony is one of British Columbia’s largest performing arts organizations with nearly 60 main season concerts, education concerts, summer concerts, and performances. A medium-sized orchestra in size and scope, Victoria Symphony is recognized as a leader in the promotion of Canadian new music. 


Victoria Festival of Authors - Since 2016, the VFA has invited writers from Vancouver Island and beyond to share their works with a diverse community of readers. From politics to poetry, science to music, history to thrillers, the VFA celebrates the richness of Canada's literary community. 

Planet Earth Poetry - Canada's longest-running regular poetry reading series. 

Tongues of Fire - Cultivating and celebrating spoken word art, welcoming all written, oral literary traditions and multilingual expressions.

Victoria Native Friendship Centre - The VNFC's mandate is to encourage and promote the well-being of urban Indigenous people by strengthening individuals, family, and community.

Songhees Wellness Centre - A multi-purpose building that supports and houses the Nation’s Governance and Administration Offices, Local Services, Education Services, and Health Centre.

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