Business

Unique business partnership brings new concept to Canwest Art Gallery On The Lake

This smiling Jester featured at Canwest Art Gallery On The Lake is from the Xenis Collection.  - Erin Knutson/The Observer
This smiling Jester featured at Canwest Art Gallery On The Lake is from the Xenis Collection.
— image credit: Erin Knutson/The Observer

A Trans Atlantic business partnership has inspired the stunning new concept for Canwest Art Gallery On The Lake, located in the heart of Harrison Hot Springs.

Peter Beal co-owner and entrepreneur took The Observer on a tour of the gallery on Esplanade Avenue to showcase the fruits of his and European business partner Yannick Moisy’s labour.

“It’s about art and entrepreneurship and it really gives me the chance to appreciate what human beings can do, what they can create,” said Peter.

Yannick currently lives in Prague and the pair Skype in meetings, while each individual takes care of a specific part of the business.

Peter (left) manages gallery operations on a day to day basis and handles the administrative side of things, while Yannick takes care of social media and marketing.

They compliment each other and innovate on a level that has lent itself to the extensive renovation of the interior of the gallery and the refinement of their entire product line.

One thing is for certain, the pair are passionate about fine art.

The entrepreneurial jet setters who love to travel and explore, found each other at an online business forum six years ago, and met in person at a convention in Vancouver several months later.

Both curious and eager for new business ventures kept in touch and discovered the opportunity they were looking for in the gallery.

The gallery is set up using a thematic tone to direct customers to different products, while giving them the freedom of a self-guided tour.

The dynamic space utilizes key lighting and the walls are adorned in a statement making blue that was freshly painted on by Peter and Yannick before the gallery’s re-opening last May.

“It was really important to have good lighting to showcase the paintings properly,” said Yannick (Over a Skype interview with The Observer) who experimented with different techniques to get the right effect.

A lot of work went into seeing Yannick and Peter’s vision realized, as they toiled with set up, products, and staying on trend.

Yannick compared the experience of co-owning an art gallery to a passing train, “sometimes you get on board and see where the journey will take you, and sometimes you stay on the platform — so far it has been an amazing ride.”

The business partners believe that fine art is a philosophy and a way of life, one they want to share with others while providing a variety of quality products to customers.

Yannick came down for seven weeks at the beginning of October to help with the revamp of the store and to get things off the ground — he even chose the colour of the paint to create the right ambience.

The gallery embodies the spirit of a handful of artists that are 100 per cent Canadian, there are pieces from the Xenis Collection in the gallery that are also displayed in Harrod’s of London and even the Disney Museum.

Peter proudly pointed out a hand painted jester from the Xenix Collection that has lured many customers with its charming countenance and handcrafted costume. The jester has a sweet feminine face that is both adorable and intriguing in the typically masculine character.

According to Peter, one customer was so drawn to it that she teared up, but worrying about finances with a daughter’s wedding coming up, refrained from purchasing it in a selfless act so typical of parents.

Shortly thereafter the daughter who was present during the initial visit came back to the gallery and bought the jester for her mother.

It’s moments like this that inspire Peter and Yannick on a daily basis.

The gallery is home to a unique and elegantly displayed collection of original and one of a kind hand crafted items that were created by a plethora of talent.

Paintings, sculptures, woodcraft, jewellery, glassware, metal art, fashion accessories, pottery, natural beeswax candles, hand made soaps, and an ever expanding collection of First Nations art create a visual feast for the eye in the gallery’s expansive layout.

Rare stones glitter from glass cases with jade and opals commanding attention in the form of rings, earrings and necklaces.

They even sell fudge named after the legendary and local Sasquatch, a delightful combination of caramel and chocolatey goodness that perfects itself in a neat little package.

“We sell fudge, because often times when people are on vacation they will buy novelty items that they wouldn’t necessarily buy at home,” Peter said of the treat that they sell in a various assortment of favours.

Quotes are featured weekly on a board in the front of the gallery to inspire customers. A gallery favourite is by author Twyla Tharp who said “Art is the only way to run away without leaving home.”

The gallery is affordable and flexible with their “I own it” program which offers customers three month layaway plans for smaller purchases under $100. For purchases over $2000 they provide interest-free financing and they can arrange shipping to anywhere in the world.

For more information about Canwest Art Gallery On The Lake go to canwestgallery.com, phone 604-796-5557 or shoot an email to info@canwestgallery.com

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