For the complete article including photos and links, visit the Bowen Island Accommodations Blog
Have you visited Bowen Island this past year? Snug Cove, our sleepy little village, has been getting a makeover, with several new buildings popping up. For those curious as to what to expect in these new places, we’ve gathered some information and mini-interviews about the exciting offerings coming soon to Snug Cove.
Catching Stars Gallery
Image – West Coast Dreams by Marie Neys
Bowen is an island chock-full of artists, so it’s no surprise that one of the new features in Snug Cove will be an art gallery featuring the works of local artists. (For a full listing of art galleries on Bowen, see our Arts page here.) We spoke with co-founder of Catching Stars Gallery, Marie Neys, to get the scoop on this exciting addition to Bowen arts and culture.
BIA: What artists and what kinds of artworks will visitors find at Catching Stars Gallery?
Marie: Catching Stars Gallery offers a wide range of fine art, giftable art and home decor. Over 25 local and off-island artists will be represented. There will be 500 square feet of gallery space and 300 square feet of art framing space, with paintings, jewellery, sculpture, fibre arts, accessories, glass, mosaics, home decor, and more.
Image – Emilie Kaplun, Pauulet Hohn, and Marie Neys: artists and founders of Catching Stars Gallery
BIA: What’s the story behind you deciding to open a gallery?
Marie : Pauulet Hohn, Emilie Kaplun and I dreamed of providing a venue where artists can showcase their new works in a permanent location in the heart of Snug Cove.
BIA: Why “Catching Stars?”
Marie : The symbolism can be taken 2 ways. The Gallery will be featuring many of the star artists on Bowen, plus we live by the ocean and one of the sea creatures that fascinate us are the beautiful red and purple starfish.
BIA: How does Catching Stars fit with what Bowen Island means to you?
Marie : Just as Bowen Island is a rich diverse community we know Catching Stars Gallery will offer a diverse array of art, gifts and home decor. Our mantra is “Find what Inspires You!”
Image – Some of the artists who will show their works at Catching Stars Gallery
BIA: Anything else you’d like to add?
Marie : Just a hearty thank you for taking the time to include us! We will be organizing our promotional materials in the upcoming months and would be happy to provide them to your guests.
Catching Stars Gallery opens this winter 2018, in the new building in the Snug Cove intersection that will house the new Bowen Island Pub. Folks can find more information online at:
Bowen Island Pub
Image – from https://bowenpub.tumblr.com/post/129874756677
As both a locals’ friendly hangout and music scene staple, we look forward to seeing how the new Bowen Pub building will enhance the great food, service, and fun it’s provided to Bowen for so many years. As the go-to spot for Bowen live music and themed parties, (you don’t want to miss Hallowe’en, New Year’s Eve, or Movember at the Pub), we can only expect bigger and better from the new venue, rumoured to open in late spring or summer this year, and to have a larger stage—for more DJ nights, Blues Nights, and all-around good times.
The new pub building will hold not only the Pub and Catching Stars Gallery (see above), but also retail on the first floor and much-needed housing for Pub employees on the top level. Once the new building is ready to go, the owners’ plan is for the old pub to be demolished and a new rear building will replace it, containing town homes, apartments, and retail space.
The Bowen Pub was chosen as one of West Vancouver Chamber of Commerce’s Businesses of the Year in 2015, thanks to its leadership and contributions in the community by (then new) owners Glenn and Meredith Cormier.
Copper Spirit Distillery
The long-empty lot between the Snug Cafe and Doc Morgan’s is being transformed this year into a brand new Snug Cove building and business, Copper Spirit Distillery, owned and operated by locals Candice and Miguel Kabantsov. Candice kindly took the time to answer our questions about the business and building, and their artisanal products soon to appear on shelves and in cocktails on and off-island.
BIA: Describe for us what Copper Spirit will be like for visitors to see and experience?
Candice : Copper Spirit Distillery, which is set to be open in June, will primarily be a small craft distillery and tasting room producing organic vodka, gin, and whisky. In the tasting area, guests will be surrounded by beautiful copper stills while sipping our handcrafted spirits and discussing the production process and flavour profiles with our master distiller. The lounge, set to open in the fall, will be a place to relax, unwind and connect. Our focus is mindful consumption with an emphasis on health inspired cocktails and elixirs.
BIA: How did you come to decide to build a distillery?
Candice : We decided to build a distillery because we want to create a sustainable business that supports the local economy. We are passionate about mixology and health, and endeavour to design the healthiest possible spirits and cocktails using local organic grains, fruits and botanicals.
Image – Concept image of the Copper Spirit Distillery building.
BIA: Tell us about the products you’ll be creating there, and will they be available for purchase off-island as well?
Candice : Though our focus is primarily organic vodka, gin and whisky you can expect to find various concoctions on the go at any given time: multi-grain spirits, house-malted grain spirits, house-brewed kombucha and ginger beer, infusions, and seasonal fruit liquors. All spirits will be available for online purchase, at the tasting room, and distributed to restaurants and private liquor stores throughout the mainland.
BIA: What does Bowen Island mean to you, and how does your distillery complement that?
Candice : Bowen Island has been our home for the last six years. It is our peaceful refuge and we feel absolutely lucky to be part of the few that call it home. Bowen Island is a great tourist destination with a small town feel. The community, scenic mountain backdrops and the ocean within walking distance cannot be beat. Copper Spirit Distillery will be a relaxing gathering place for locals and visitors to connect, learn about artisanal spirits, and experience unique craft cocktails.
Image – Photo from https://www.annexgalleryproject.com/vision
The Cove Commons, set to open in January 2018, is a vision made reality this past year, thanks to community donors, fundraisers, and grants from the Federal and provincial governments, as well as many volunteers involved in all aspects. A partnership between the Bowen Island Public Library and the Bowen Island Arts Council, visitors and locals alike will enjoy this new building right at the entrance to Snug Cove, just off Government Road.
The main entrance off Cardena Road will house the new Gallery @ Cove Commons, featuring ten exhibits a year of local and off-island artists, as well as music and literary events, art classes, and more.
If your visit lands on a weekend, check the Bowen Island Arts Council website to see if an art show opening or other event is happening during your stay, as the Arts Council is the heart of Bowen Island culture, and you’ll be sure to have a good time. Either way, be sure to pop in to see the current exhibit, and perhaps purchase some art cards to send to friends while on your lovely island vacation.
Image – Illustration by Jeff Swain
Behind the Gallery, in the other half of the Cove Commons, sits the Annie Laurie Wood Annex of the library, which will feature comfortable seating areas for independent work and use of internet. While you’re there, browse the old library building, accessible via the Annex, and enjoy this historical old general store-turned-library, recently renovated (November 2017) to match up with the Annex.
We recommend borrowing DVDs and New Books from their well-curated collection to enjoy during your stay on Bowen. Getting a local area card, a BC One Card, or a visitor’s card to borrow items is easy as pie, just bring some ID with your photo and address.