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New York in April

VISA Art Tour of New York City 
Dates: April 21-28, 2020

We are excited to announce the dates of our annual Art tour of New York. This year we are going for SEVEN nights!

Price: $4299 CAD per person (Double occupancy) and $5499 CAD (single supplement)*
(Please note: if you are travelling on your own and would like to pay the double-occupancy rate, we are happy to match you with a suitable roommate. The hotel rooms are large so you will still have a lot of personal space).
*this price is only guaranteed until January 20, 2020; after that time it could be subject to increase depending on current rate of flight and hotel.

Price includes airfare, hotel, breakfasts, transportation to and from New York airport, museum entrance fees, docent tours of special exhibitions, lower eastside street art tour and ongoing guidance and joviality by artists and art instructors, Xane St Phillip and Wendy Welch. These tours fill up quickly so please register soon if you are interested.

Cost includes:

  • return flight from Victoria to New York
  • 7 nights accommodation (double occupancy) in the Hampton Inn (Times Square North)
  • Artist/instructor tour guides Wendy Welch and Xane St Phillip will share their knowledge about art in New York
  • breakfasts
  • cocktail reception upon arrival
  • two walking tours: Highlights of Midtown Architecture and Alternative Street Art: Lower East Side
  • admission to museums included in tour (guided tours will be included in some of the museum visits)
  • curated tours of selected Chelsea Art Galleries and Uptown Galleries
  • transportation by shuttle from New York airport to hotel (and return)
  • $200 tax deductible donation to the Vancouver Island School of Art
Not Included:
  • transportation to and from Victoria airport
  • lunch: we will mostly be eating lunch as New Yorkers do, from street vendors or in museum restaurants
  • dinners: there are many restaurants including take-out places and grocery stores within a short walk from hotel
  • theatre, music or dance performance tickets
  • New York City Metropass: this will give us full access to the New York bus and subway system which will be our main mode of transportation
This New York tour will include visits to the major art museums in New York such as MoMA, the Metropolitan Museum of Art, the Whitney Museum of American Art, The Drawing Center and more. Other places we will visit en route are  Central Park,
Rockefeller Center, the Chrysler Building, the Strand Bookstore (home to 18 miles of new, used and rare books); Chelsea Market and The High Line and shopping in SoHo.

There will be "free time" factored into the tour for those who might want to spend an afternoon shopping or seeing other sites or museums not listed above. Walking is a wonderful way to get to know New York, so this art tour is walking-focused and we will be walking to a few of the venues from the hotel. If you prefer not to walk, there is the option to take public transit or a taxi and meet us at the location. For venues that are further than a mile from hotel, we will opt for public transit.

To sign up for this trip you need to fill out the Registration Form and full payment is due at time of registration. VISA students as well as the general public are welcome to join us on this tour. Spaces are limited so please register soon if you are interested in joining the tour. Payment can be made by phoning the office at 250-380-3500 with credit card number, or email transfer to, or by cheque (in person or by mail).

We will be flying via Westjet from Victoria to Calgary or Toronto, then on to New York. It is possible to book trip departing and returning to/from Nanaimo, Vancouver or Calgary, however extra fees will apply. This is an all-inclusive trip re: flight and hotel so we cannot make exceptions (flight only or hotel only).

Testimonials from last year's participants:

I have been to New York City on three previous occasions, and I can honestly say I have never stayed in such a roomy hotel, or one better located to Midtown (for such a reasonable price). Wendy and Xane (a dynamic duo) were absolutely perfect and imperturbable guides, shepherding us all on an architecture tour (from the UN to the Chrysler building), to the myriad art studios, museums, and other "must-sees.”

Be sure to bring your new walking shoes, because you may wear them out! To their credit and good planning, the dynamic duo’s schedule allows for some well-deserved 'down' time. But if you like, you can keep going, and add in your own New York experience; I took in a Yankee’s Game with Xane, and I heard that others sat in on a local (everything’s local in Manhattan) jazz performance. The city of New York has such a rich history with so much to see, and Wendy and Xane have sculpted a tour that accentuates the positive, and eliminates the negative of The Big Apple.

Roger Lundberg

As a member of the 2019 VISA NYC Art Tour, I thoroughly enjoyed myself each and every day!

Wendy and Xane bring a collective wealth of local knowledge about NYC that was self-evident to the tour participants. Using knowledge gained during previous (NYC) trips, no logistical detail appeared to have been overlooked during our tour. From the first to the last day, the Tour was an absolute pleasure to have been part of.

Our daily schedule was well laid out and included both planned activitiesas well as ample free time for personal adventures. Arriving at places like MOMA or the MET as a large group was so simple because of the superb advance work done by Wendy and Xane.

It goes without saying that in order to extract the greatest experience from a trip to New York City, each participant needs to go prepared to invest significant hours and energy every day. Only through this personal investment will you enrich your experience and get the absolute most out of the trip to a truly amazing city. A surprising by product of the tour (for me) was the infectious group camaraderie. The trip was wonderful, the organization was superb --and yes, I would go again in a minute with VISA.

Paul Peters

My wife, Ira Hoffecker, and I were part of the 2019 New York Art Tour. As a non-artist, I was happy to join because I know New York City a bit from my past and I hadn’t been there for a while. My idea was to join the group on their daily museum and gallery visits for a while, and whenever I would get a bit tired of 'too much art', I would just wander off on my own.

Well, as it turned out, I never went on my own. I happily stayed with Wendy, Xane and the group, enjoying every small and big gallery, museum, indoor and outdoor art spot. While we all were experiencing art all over Manhattan, we were also doing a walking city tour at the same time, getting proper exercise as well. Even I — as the non-artist — very much enjoyed the humongous quantity and variety of art, Wendy had organized for us to see and the in-depth explanations she and Xane offered each day. Thanks a lot, Wendy and Xane for your extensive organization and planning efforts to make this trip an unforgettable New York City experience for Ira and me, and I’m sure, for the others, too!

Matthias Hoffecker

I was very impressed with VISA's New York Art Tour 2019. It was superbly organized. I was assigned a roommate with whom I got along very well indeed...we had a lot of fun together. As for the tour itself, Xane and Wendy did an awesome job of balancing art, walking tours, free time, and general enjoyable activities with down time as well. I would certainly highly recommend the tour to anyone who is interested in experiencing a lovely slice of The Big Apple and its cornocopia of art and visual goodies. Everything went smoothly, we were well looked after, and it was great fun indeed!

Val Warder