How the Stinking Fish Studio Tour got its name!

In the 1840's, when explorer James Douglas asked the First Nations people of this region what they called the area now known as Metchosin, they answered
S-met-sho-sun, which literally means "stinking fish".

We have adopted this evocative and historic name for our annual juried studio tours.

Sooke also got its name from a fish. It was named for the local natives, the T'Sou-kes who took their name from a small fish, the "stickleback".

The T'Sou-kes reef-netted salmon around Becher Bay, and collected shellfish, berries and roots for winter months spent at Pedder Bay. Spanish Explorer Manuel Quimper was the first European to sail into the Sooke Inlet in 1790. Within 5 years the British and Spanish governments signed a treaty at Nootka by which all lands north of the Juan de Fuca Strait became British. 3 years later Vancouver Island was granted to the Hudson's Bay Company. Settlers began arriving in the Metchosin/Sooke area in the 1860's. Farmers, prospectors, miners, loggers and fisherman plied their trades. By the late 1800's the area had large sailing ships and dugout canoes running supplies to and from Fort Victoria as well as a steam-powered sawmill providing lumber for the community.

Stinking Fish Studio Tour


East Sooke Park