St. Albert Place Visual Arts Council (SAPVAC)

Promoting Visual Arts in St. Albert

The St. Albert Place Visual Arts Council (SAPVAC) is a registered not-for-profit charitable organization with users and members including the Floral Art Society of St. Albert, the St. Albert Painters’ Guild, the St. Albert Paper Arts’ Guild, the St. Albert Potters’ Guild, the St. Albert Quilters’ Guild, the Art Gallery of St Albert and the City of St. Albert Cultural Services.

Together, with the community, SAPVAC advocates, promotes, supports and strengthens the visual arts experience in St. Albert and the region. This is evident through W.A.R.E.S.; a unique gift shop, located on the main floor of St. Albert Place and via their annual Country Craft Fair held the 3rd weekend each November. The Country Craft Fair not only showcases members of SAPVAC but also profiles artisans from around the region.

Our Rich History

Visual Arts have played an active role in St. Albert since the City's inception in 1861. By 1960, the arts community was thriving and classes were being offered in basketry, creative stitchery and oil painting. The St. Albert Arts and Crafts Guild was formed in 1962. The basement of the local Community Hall housed the first Pottery studio, where several classes were available to both adults and children. In 1968 the growing St. Albert arts community approached Town Council and were given two portable buildings in Salisbury Park, next to Vital Grandin School, to call home. The Arts and Crafts Guild offered classes to school groups and began the School Tour Program, which The Art Gallery of St Albert now provides.

In 1974, a civic Master Plan was developed, which determined that a combined civic and cultural centre would best meet the needs of the growing community of St. Albert. In 1975, the St. Albert Further Education Council was formed, resulting in the transfer of classes traditionally offered by the St. Albert Arts and Crafts Guild to the City of St. Albert. Guild members remained active as resource people, technical advisors and instructors of the programs.

St. Albert Place opened in 1983 and was developed as a 'People Place'. The unique design of the building, created by Douglas Cardinal, included a library, St. Albert's first civic museum, the Arden Theatre, Profiles Public Art Gallery (on the second floor), Council Chambers, civic offices and state-of-the-art visual arts studios. At this time, the visual arts studios were named after Sybil Laubenthal, one of the area's first professional potters and influential instructors. Many St. Albert artists that honed their craft under Sybil’s tutelage are still active members of the St. Albert Potters Guild.

The City of St. Albert was the first municipality in Canada to create a Cultural Services Department. This department continues to work with the vibrant St. Albert arts community to promote, develop and foster cultural activities within St. Albert.

The St. Albert Arts and Crafts Guild disbanded in 1985 to form independent guilds. Today, the St. Albert Place Visual Arts Wing is home to the  St. Albert Floral Art Society, the St. Albert Painters’ Guild, St. Albert Paper Arts’ Guild, St. Albert Potters’ Guild and the St. Albert Quilters’ Guild.  Together, along with, the Art Gallery of St Albert, and the City of St. Albert Cultural Services Department, these groups form a non-profit charitable organization called the St. Albert Place Visual Arts Council (SAPVAC).

For more information on the guilds or how to get involved contact:

P.O. Box 141
St. Albert Main
St. Albert, AB  T8N 1N2

Member Events

Please check the individual event links below to find out the status of the event you are interested in and if it has moved to virtual offering or has been cancelled.  

Related Pages

Last edited: April 19, 2022