I-Hos Gallery: An Immersive First Nation’s Experience In The Comox Valley

I Hos carving

Hok Hok Cedar Panel – Karver Everson

Vancouver Island is well-known for its rich abundance of ancient forests, rugged coastlines, access to recreation, and deeply-rooted First Nations culture. For those visiting the Comox Valley, no visit is complete without a trip to the I-Hos Gallery, located along Comox Road just a few minutes west of Comox.

I-Hos is 100% owned and operated by the K’omoks First Nation and filled with aboriginal art by artists from all reaches of the Island. Your experience begins outside, in front of the distinctively designed building with a beautiful carving of a whale and a double-headed serpent. Inside, you’ll find a varied selection of traditional and contemporary artwork and crafts inspired by all elements of the Pacific Northwest. There’s something for every budget, making it a great place to find the perfect addition to your personal home collection or small gift for friends and family.

Supporting Local, First Nations Artisans

The gallery receives their art directly from the artists. This weaves a personal connection with each piece, regardless of size or price, and helps to nurture the cultural foundations the art is based around. Nearly every item includes an artist biography, taking that personal connection one step further with a glimpse into the creator’s life and history.

With so much to see, it’s easy to spend up to an hour exploring every wall, bookshelf, and display case. The authentic, hand-carved masks, paddles, and plaques adorned on the walls are among the most captivating features, boasting intricate designs with delicately painted lines and vibrant pops of mineral-based color. Find ornate handmade rings, bracelets, and necklaces in the display cases at the heart of the gallery, featuring gold, silver, copper, and precious stone elements.

Whether you’re shopping for yourself, looking for the perfect gift, or simply want to experience First Nations culture and art first-hand, the I-Hos Gallery is an immersive, must-stop experience.

Nurturing Culture & Connection Through Events

Inside IHos Gallery

While the gallery is open year-round, they also host several special events throughout the year to connect people with the artists in creating some quintessential indigenous pieces, including:

Cedar Weaving

Having two facilitators of two different cultures is an honour. Coast Salish and Haida weavers both harvest their own cedar and do so in the highest most respectful and traditional manner possible. Each weaver supplies all that is needed for the workshops they provide.

Drum Making

Participate in deer hide drum making with a facilitator. I-Hos Gallery supplies the 14-inch drum ring, deer hide, and sinew. The deer hide is already hole-punched and ready for stringing around your drum.

Dream Catcher Making

The gallery has a facilitator available to help you make your own dream catcher. This is a great opportunity for groups and couples! Pair this with a trip to the spa for the perfect girls weekend getaway.

Indigenous Night Market

Indigenous Night Market is a night market held during BC Day Long Weekend and this is their biggest event of the year. Everyone is invited to bring the whole family to the original K’omoks Village site. Aunty Toni’s tasty, must-try bannock with savoury jam is made fresh on-site. In addition to viewing the artwork, you can also come enjoy cultural sharing with Khowutzun Dancers (Salish Dancers) and Kumugwe Dancers (Kwa kwak wala) in the Kumugwe Cultural Bighouse.

Customer Appreciation

The last weekend of November, the gallery celebrates their anniversary with their Customer Appreciation Days! Enjoy 30% off of the gallery (with a few exceptions) as a thank you for your continued support! This is also available through their online store but going to visit them in-store is much more fun.

Visit Ihosgallery.com to find out more about hours of operation, special events, and to see more of what’s in store.