Posts Tagged ‘artist’

Doors Open Richmond 2016

Friday, May 6th, 2016

The Best of Steveston’s Heritage, Art and Culture

By Charles Takaesu and Gabrielle Sharp

Steveston_Visitor_Ctr_Palla_MediaDiscover Steveston’s heritage, arts and culture during the free Doors Open Richmond 2016 city-wide event, on Saturday, June 4 and Sunday, June 5 between 10:00 am and 4:00 pm. Twelve Doors Open sites are based in Steveston and showcase the area’s past and present.

Steveston Village is a great starting point for your weekend activities, with many sites clustered within walking distance of local restaurants and shops. Experience delicious dining, unique shopping and fabulous culture all in a single weekend!

Steveston_Gulf_of_Georgia_Cannery_Palla_MediaAt the west end of Steveston Village, the Gulf of Georgia Cannery (12138 Fourth Avenue) is offering “Under the Rafters” tours, a rare behind-the-scenes experience exploring areas of the cannery typically closed to the public. This tour is not wheelchair accessible. Please pre-register by calling 604-664-9009, as space is limited. There are two tours each day, at 10:00 am and 2:00 pm. Although the “Under the Rafters” tour is free, normal admission rates apply for guests who wish to visit the regular exhibits.

Watch a silversmithing class in action at Juvelisto Design and School of Metal Arts (120-3500 Moncton Street) and chat with owner Sasha Shkolnik. Juvelisto Design specializes in beautiful one-of-a-kind jewellery made by Sasha and other gifted artists.

Tour the Steveston Museum and Visitor Centre (3811 Moncton Street) in the heart of Steveston Village. Experience the diversity of Steveston’s history through the newly landscaped, Japanese-inspired Town Square Park and the Japanese Fishermen’s Benevolent Society Building that was opened a year ago. The first 200 people on each day will receive a mini-plant pot and children can enjoy trying the Japanese art of origami.

Steveston_Tram_Palla_MediaAlthough access to the tramcar may be limited due to restoration, stop by the Steveston Interurban Tram Building (4011 Moncton Street) for an Open House including children’s crafts.

Painter and teacher Adrienne Moore is opening her Home Studio (3171 Chatham Street) to the public during Doors Open. Adrienne employs a wide variety of styles and subjects, from local landscapes to mixed media and abstract expressionism. Visit Adrienne’s studio, filled to the brim with her vibrant work, and meet the artist to learn about her painting techniques.

Steveston_JapaneseBldg_Palla_MediaThe Steveston Japanese Canadian Cultural Centre (4255 Moncton Street) is bustling with activity during the event weekend. Visitors can choose from displays, demonstrations, presentations and interactive activities on the culture, history and traditions of Steveston’s Japanese Canadian community.

A short walk northeast of the Japanese Canadian Cultural Centre, the Steveston Buddhist Temple (4360 Garry Street) is the oldest standing Buddhist Temple in the lower mainland. Tours are available throughout Doors Open, and Introduction to Buddhism sessions are offered each day at 1:00 pm. On Saturday, enjoy a Japanese cooking demonstration and Seiza Meditation. Sunday features the morning service (opened to the public) and a cultural presentation in the late afternoon.

Steveston_Fire_Station_Palla_MediaAt the “gateway to Steveston”, visit the Steveston Fire Station (11011 No.2 Road) to meet fire fighters and Blaze the Dalmatian mascot. Tour the state-of-the-art fire hall and learn how to keep your family safe from house fires in the educational fire trailer.

Steveston_Branscombe_House_Palla_MediaRhonda Weppler, inaugural Artist-in-Residence at Branscombe House (4900 Steveston Highway) invites visitors of all ages to participate in the International Picnic Project, a still-life mural featuring Richmond’s international foods. Guests can contribute a drawing, painting, or collage of their favourite (locally available) international food in exchange for a candy gift inspired by Rhonda’s favourite ethnic food. Rhonda is also exhibiting a series of tiny marzipan food sculptures, created by local art students, representing Richmond’s culinary diversity.

Steveston_London_Heritage_Farm_Palla_MediaA must-visit for afternoon tea lovers, London Heritage Farm (6511 Dyke Road) features period themed rooms in a restored farmhouse, herb and perennial gardens and a Hand Tool Museum. Stop in for London Lady Tea and tasty treats in the Tea Room between 12:00 pm and 5:00 pm.

Steveston_Britannia_Shipyard_Palla_MediaBritannia Shipyards (5180 Westwater Drive) is hosting a veritable bounty of activities during Doors Open. The Dragon Zone Paddling Club offers a unique opportunity to get out on the water and try the exciting sport of dragon boating. There are four 30 minute sessions each day, at 12:00 pm, 1:00 pm, 2:00 pm, and 3:00 pm, with a limit of one session per person. Pre-register by calling 604-718-8050 to reserve your spot. Visit a series of new exhibits at the Seine Net Loft and learn Morse code with radio historian Tom Brent at the Murakami Boatworks. Saturday activities at the Richmond Boat Builders include a Shipwright talk and Drop-In Boat Building, while Sunday offers Children’s Boat Building and Decorative Knot Tying.

Steveston_Steves_Farmhouse_Palla_MediaRevisit Steveston’s roots with a trip to the Steves Family Farmhouse (2871 Steveston Highway). Steveston is named after Martha and Manoah Steves, whose family founded the farm in 1877. The farm is still active today under the direction of their great grandson, Councillor Harold Steves. Tour parts of the farmhouse and peruse a large collection of artwork and historical objects. Heirloom seed gardens and antique farm equipment are also on display throughout Doors Open weekend.

Steveston_River_Queen_Boat_Palla_MediaFinally, hop aboard the River Queen Water Shuttle for a fully narrated nature and history tour of Steveston’s waterfront. This year, the River Queen will travel between Fisherman’s Wharf on the 2nd Avenue float, and the Britannia Shipyards dock. One way tickets between destinations are $6 for adults, $5 for seniors and students, $4 for children aged 4 to 12, while children under 4 ride free.

Join us for our Doors Open Richmond 2016 Opening Kickoff at Minoru Chapel and Pierrefonds Gardens (6540 Gilbert Road) on Friday June 3rd, from 5:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m. This year’s kickoff event features free live music, crafts, light refreshments and vibrant displays.

Remember, these are only 12 of the 42 sites offered throughout Richmond on June 4 and 5. To find out more about Doors Open Richmond 2016, pick up a map brochure now available at City of Richmond facilities or visit

New Mural Installed in Fisherman’s Park Steveston

Wednesday, December 2nd, 2015

Steveston artOver the past year a group of non-profit organizations in Steveston have come together to produce a fishing mural on the building in Fisherman’s Park. The inspiration for the project came from the Gulf of Georgia Cannery Society and the Steveston Historical Society as an effort to beautify the western end of Steveston and highlight the village’s fishing history.

Rebecca Clarke, Executive Director for the Gulf of Georgia Cannery Society says, “We are excited to have a significant piece of public art installed at the west end of the village. With new commercial buildings at the corner of Bayview and 3rd Ave, I think we’ll see a significant increase in pedestrian traffic and it’s good to show we are more than an industrial area.”

Working with the Steveston Harbour Authority who owns the building and park, these two heritage groups formed a committee with representatives from each of the three non-profits as well as the Richmond Arts Coalition. The committee created a plan for depicting Steveston’s fishing past on three sides of the building.

With support from the City of Richmond, the Steveston Harbour Authority, the Gulf of Georgia Cannery Society and Benjamin Moore paints, the group hired experienced mural artist Victoria Oginski to begin the work for the south facing wall of the building. Basing her work on images from the Gulf of Georgia Cannery’s collection and photographer Joel Baziuk, Victoria has beautifully captured the essence of today’s fishing industry in Steveston.

According to Sarah Glen, Director on the Steveston Historical Society board, “The Historical Society is excited to share Steveston’s history with the public in a new way. We plan to include the mural in future walking tours of the village to help visitors understand the importance of fishing in our history.”

The group is currently seeking funding to add mural panels on the remaining two sides of the building. These panels will complete the history of fishing in Steveston, from First Nations village to thriving fishing harbour.

Public are invited to the official unveiling of the mural on Sunday, December 6 at noon in Fisherman’s Park at the west end of Moncton Street in Steveston.
For more information:

Rebecca Clarke, Executive Director Gulf of Georgia Cannery Society
12138 Fourth Ave
Richmond, BC V7E 3J1
t: 604.664.9192

4Cats Steveston Art Studio

Tuesday, November 26th, 2013

Lyssa Kayra, the owner/curator of 4Cats Steveston Art Studio, says people regularly stroll into the studio asking if they can buy artwork on display in the windows. It puts a smile on her face each time this happens, and it must be very satisfying to know that the imaginative creations by 4Cats young clientele are deemed gallery calibre.

Kayra’s fascinating life would be excellent fodder for a memoir. She grew up in Kyuquot, a remote fishing village on the west coast of Vancouver Island accessible only by air or boat. There were neither roads nor cars, and children went to school aboard a school boat. Her Finnish grandfather came to Kyuquot to work in the fishing industry. Kayra tells the tale of her grandmother, a nurse, who delivered a seal pup by C-section. This pup, named Miss Charlie, became the family’s pet and lived for over forty years, the longest life span ever recorded for a seal. She attempts to go back to visit this special place once a year.

After completing her visual arts education at Nova Scotia College of Art and Design University in Halifax, and University of New South Wales in Australia, with majors in photography, media arts and fashion, Kayra returned to B.C. and became an assistant to 4Cats Art Studio founders Joey and Darryl Simon.

4Cats Arts Studio was conceived in 2005 when the Simons first offered classes from the basement of their home in Victoria. Joey Simon chose the company name to pay homage to 4Cats Cafe in Barcelona, Spain, which is where Picasso went with artist, poet and philosopher friends to discuss art and life and make and show great art.

A mere eight years since its inception, 4Cats now has head offices in Vancouver and Toronto. With 58 franchises across Canada (Alberta, B.C. Ontario, Saskatchewan and Quebec), 4Cats has now gone global with locations operating in Australia, Mexico and the United States.

Kayra took on the task of helping franchisees get their businesses up and running. Her job was to locate, decorate, staff, train, evaluate and market studios across B.C. and in Guadalajara, Mexico, until it dawned on her that she should establish her own franchise. Her former business partner, and good friend, Shelley Weir, introduced her to Steveston. They saw the fishing village at its best on a sunny spring afternoon, and realized the potential of opening a 4Cats in this location.

The Steveston art studio has been in operation since 2010. Building on its success, last year the business partners opened a larger second Richmond location at Garden City Mall.

Subsequently, Weir left 4Cats to earn her teaching degree and works as a teacher on call in Vancouver. Kayra is now the sole proprietor of the Steveston location, and Janice Cheung joined her as partner at the Garden City 4Cats. Staff members Merrick Irwin, who is an art therapist, and Jen Branagan, are both assets to the Steveston business.

When asked what she finds most satisfying about her job, Kayra says she is inspired by children’s creativity, and their uninhibited approach to art. In addition to creating art, some age-appropriate art history is offered to complement the class. Captivating and inspiring stories are shared in a fun and humorous manner about the life and work of the artist. For example, did you know that Andy Warhol was crazy about cats and throughout the 1950s and 1960s he had 25 cats, and he named all but one Sam?

Inspiration for art classes is often drawn from the works of famous artists with a medium that corresponds, for instance, a Picasso class may utilize acrylic on canvas to produce cubist paintings and ceramics, while a Frida Kahlo class may use paper-mache and paint acrylic on canvas to create self-portraits.

Kayra’s favourite medium is painting as she feels it allows for the most expression. She enjoys showing kids how to mix colours and says, “It is like magic for them.” She greatly admires artist Frida Kahlo’s honest and raw artwork and even dressed up as her for Halloween last year.

This upcoming winter session 4Cats shines the spotlight on Georgia O’Keeffe (who had an affinity for painting gigantic, beautiful flowers) and Lawren Harris (one of the founders of the Group of Seven). During the weekly classes children study both artists and work in a variety of mediums.

The busy studio also hosts workshops including the upcoming Shop ‘Til You Drop sessions (December 21 through 23) which give parents a chance to shop while their child creates a masterpiece. In addition, there are workshops and camps throughout the year (winter and summer camps, family workshops and Pro-Day workshops too).

4Cats is a great location to host a party; paint splatter parties are always a big hit, with many other themes to choose from. 4Cats gift certificates are a good gift choice for budding Van Gogh’s of all ages (yes, some adult classes are offered too).
When the newly engaged business owner is not working she spends time painting in her home studio. She says her home is much like a rotating gallery and she is drawn to creating large expressionist paintings based on colour theory and process.

With any business what it really comes down to is customer satisfaction, and the following story is an endearing snapshot of 4Cats devoted fan base. Kayra tells the story of a 3-year-old student who visited Victoria with her family. Upon sighting a totem pole she proudly reported that Emily Carr was known for her totem pole paintings. It seems that the art history component of 4Cats curriculum had registered loud and clear.

The urge to release the artist within is unleashed the moment you set foot inside 4Cats Arts Studio. The walls are filled with colourful and joyful artwork, and with tempting art supplies all around, you will feel inspired to sign up for a workshop, pronto!

4Cats Steveston
110-12031 First Avenue
Richmond BC V7E 3M1
Telephone 778-297-4244