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The Schmidt’s win 2022 Rainy Coast Arts Award

Pacific Rim Arts Society presented the honour during their 52nd AGM
Ucluelet artists Judy and Tom Schmidt received the Pacific Rim Arts Society’s Rainy Coast Arts Award during the 52nd AGM on Nov. 20 at the Cougar Annie Room at Waters Edge Resort. The annual award recognizes artists for their outstanding dedication to the arts and culture on the West Coast and beyond. (Nora O’Malley photo)

Ucluelet resident artists Tom and Judy Schmidt are the recipients of the 2022 Pacific Rim Arts Society (PRAS) Rainy Coast Arts Award.

The Rainy Coast Arts Award was established to recognized people who make a significant impact on the arts and culture community. On Sunday, Nov. 20, during the PRAS 52nd annual general meeting, the Schmidt’s were bestowed the honour.

Known for their intricate tiny driftwood houses, the Schmidt’s say helping the art community is “just what we do”.

The creative couple have been married for 56 years.

“We just like doing artwork all the time and joined art groups wherever we moved. That’s how we got together doing artwork. Way back when. We used to be on the (PRAS) board here too,” they said.

PRAS executive director Kelly Deakin said they are always willing to help.

“They’re just there for everyone. They are very giving,” said Deakin from within the Cougar Annie Room at Waters Edge Resort.

Deakin said PRAS is “moving onward and upward” after a really busy year. The non-profit launched a new website (, set-up the PRAS Foundation, and saw spike in arts sales thanks to the resurgence of member curated art shows at the Orange Door Gallery.

Once again, PRAS will bring back the Missoula Children’s Theatre for a week in January 2023 for children K to Grade 12 (home-schooled kids can join too) and ArtSplash!, the largest non-juried art show on the Coast, is set for March 18 to 27, 2023.

“1,000 people went through ArtSplash! (in 2022),” said Deakin.

Past Rainy Coast award winners include a prestigious list of West Coast artists: Christine Lowther (inaugural Rainy Coast recipient in 2014), Joe Martin (2015), Mark Hobson (2016), Signy Cohen (2017), Joanna Streetly (2018), Vi Mundy and Jacqueline Chamberland (2019 co-recipients), Tla-o-qui-aht First Nation brothers Timothy Masso and Hjalmer Wenstob (2020) and Mark Penney (2021).

RELATED: West Coast artist amazes with driftwood tiny houses

Nora O'Malley

About the Author: Nora O'Malley

Nora O'Malley studied journalism at Mount Royal University in Calgary.
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