Cowichan community mourns iconic artist Goble

Dale Goble was a well-loved artist in the Cowichan Valley. (submitted)
Perhaps Dale Goble’s most recognizable work is his Applebet. (submitted)
Dale Goble was a well-loved artist in the Cowichan Valley. (submitted)
Dale Goble was a passionate and inventive artist. (submitted)

Contributed by Caroll Taiji

The news of the death of Dale Nigel Goble in mid December 2019 has left our community reeling.

Condolences written on the window of his vibrant downtown Duncan studio, and comments left on his popular social media feeds, express shock and sadness at the loss of such a passionate creative and treasured friend.

Dale made the Cowichan Valley his home for more than 20 years, and touched many, many lives along the way with his vivacious personality and vibrant artworks.

“He had a true gift,” says colleague and friend Caroll Taiji. “Art was his calling and he worked hard at mastery every single day.”

For years, Dale’s signature style, typically expressed in silk-screen prints and acrylic paintings, and more recently in a series of children’s books, has been enjoyed by collectors both locally and around the world.

Much of his work was inspired by the natural beauty of our region, and we are blessed with a legacy of how he saw and treasured this place.

“Dale didn’t just master his craft,” adds Taiji, “he also excelled at the business end of art-making — always coming up with innovative concepts and clever ways to get his work into the world.”

Created close to two decades ago, Dale’s Applebet, a floating, wooden wall hanging that uses the alphabet to form the shape of an apple, quickly became one of North America’s most coveted artworks.

It has been featured in countless magazines and virtually every home design TV show in Canada. It proudly hangs in homes, schools and galleries, including the Canadian Museum of Civilization, and the Children’s Museum of Manhattan.

Widely known for his generosity, Dale freely gave of his time and expertise in support of emerging artists, and regularly donated his work for charity fundraisers.

The community is invited to attend a retrospective, one-day show and sale of Dale’s artwork, to be held on Saturday, Feb. 8 in the Portals Gallery in the Cowichan Community Centre on James Street in Duncan. A portion of the proceeds from this event will go to The Vancouver Island Kidney Patients’ Association (VIKPA).

A celebration of life is also being planned for early February for close friends and clients. For more information, please contact Dale’s studio manager at


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