Melanie Ellery, alive and kicking, acrylic on canvas

January 11, 2022
Melanie Ellery | alive and kicking

We are starting off this year’s Art at Council with a colourful acrylic on canvas by local artist Melanie Ellery. The piece is titled alive and kicking.

Melanie is a painter, creating bold, lively, expressive abstract works. She worked as a graphic designer and art director before fully shifting her focus to painting. Melanie can be found painting her vibrant contemporary pieces here in Port Moody at the 2709 Esplanade Artist Studios. She is a founding member of the artist collective “13 feet off the ground” and has participated in art residencies in Italy, the United States and Mexico.

More of Melanie's work can be seen at her upcoming exhibition titled Coming Together taking place at PoMoArts January 13 thru February 16.  In addition a Virtual Artist Talk & Tour will be held on Facebook Live on Thursday, January 20 at 7:15pm.

The Council video archive can be viewed here. Art at Council begins at the 2 minute 30 second mark.

Rae Yano, Silent Spirit I and II, acrylics

January 25, 2022
Rae Yano | Silent Spirit I and II

This evening we are presenting 2 paintings from Tri-Cities artist Rae Yano.

In 2012 the City purchased a pair of Rae’s paintings from a series of her forest and totem themed artwork. A wonderful trip to Haida Gwaii inspired her to combine the spirit of the totem pole with the mystery of the forest. She created the paintings using multiple photos she brought home from that trip and other photos that she took on a trip to Alaska. The acrylic paintings are titled Silent Spirit I and Silent Spirit II.

During Rae’s working years as a teacher, she found little time to pursue her art interest, although she took several classes in illustration, sumie, the art of monochrome painting in ink, and painting with different media. After retiring, she found more time to pursue her passions of golf and art. Rae likes to compare the two. Sometimes you get a good stroke (club or brush), and sometimes a reasonably good result (round or painting).

As a member of the Port Moody Art Association and Art Focus Artists' Association, she shows her work in their annual shows and many of their other exhibitions.

The Council video archive can be viewed here. Art at Council begins at the 1 minute 29 second mark.

Athabasca Witschi, Bucky, drawing

February 8, 2022
Athabasca Witschi | Bucky

Tonight’s Art at Council is a drawing titled Bucky by Athabasca Witschi.

Athabasca has been drawing cats and people since she could hold a pencil. For her, art is a way to capture moments, tell stories, and balance her analytical computer-science side. The expressive simplicity of her portraits and illustrations comes from keen observation, attention to detail, and a whimsical mind.
Drawing is but one expression of Athabasca’s deep creative drive. Her other outlets include computer programming, hobby electronics, dance, costuming and makeup, writing, photography, and woodworking.

Athabasca lives in Port Moody with two cats that frequently feature in her work. In 2021 she joined the Blackberry Artist's Society, where her work can be viewed and purchased at the Blackberry Gift Shop, as well as on display around the Tri-Cities.

The Council video archive can be viewed here. Art at Council begins at the 55 second mark. There was an issue with the audio so the sound turns on at the 1 minute 38 second mark.

Martin Sollanych, Kaanapali Sunset, acrylic

February 22, 2022
Martin Sollanych | Kaanapali Sunset

Tonight’s Art at Council is an acrylic painting by Tri-Cities artist Martin Sollanych titled Kaanapali Sunset.

The painting was inspired by a photograph that he took while on vacation in Maui. The photo of the spectacular sunset was taken on a beach in Kaanapali and you can see the island of Lanai just off in the distance. You will notice that the palm tree is not in the final painting. Martin had asked his fellow artists if he should include the palm tree and they liked it the way it was. Even without the palm tree he was able to capture the beauty of the tropical sunset.

Martin began drawing as a child and started painting in oils in 1985, and then switched to painting mostly in acrylics in 2007. He prefers to paint landscapes of local scenery or vacation spots (as evident by tonight’s painting), and some spiritual and impressionistic works.

This artwork has been part of the City’s private art collection since 2018 and can be seen on the second floor of City Hall.

The Council video archive can be viewed here. Art at Council begins at the 1 minute 40 second mark.

Debra Sloan, Life in the Highrise, earthenware

March 8, 2022
Debra Sloan | Life in the Highrise

Tonight’s Art at Council is one of six 3D artworks in the City’s private art collection. The earthenware piece titled Life in the Highrise was created by Debra Sloan. Debra is a ceramic artist, teacher, adjudicator and author, and President of the North-West Ceramics Foundation.

This artwork was purchased by the City in 2000 at the West Coast Clay Sculpture Association's exhibition titled Living in the Year 2000, held at the Port Moody Arts Centre. The piece won Best in Show.

Debra’s love of clay began in grade 2 when she saw a short film titled The Story of Peter and the Potter created by the National Film Board of Canada. Debra went on to take pottery classes as a teenager, art classes in college, and hasn’t stopped working with clay and her craft since.

The Council video archive can be viewed here. Art at Council begins at the 1 minute 13 second mark.

Port Moody Station Museum archives, pipe

March 22, 2022
Port Moody Station Museum Archives | Pipe

We are switching gears this evening. We invited the Port Moody Station Museum to delve into their archives where they uncovered tonight’s Artifact at Council.

This strange looking object is a piece of galvanized wire machine banded wood stave pipe. The pipe was donated to the Station Museum by Mary Holdcroft in 1983. Mary’s father, John B. Holdcroft, was an engineer at Pacific Coast Pipe Co. between 1923 and 1955 where he designed these pipes. These types of pipes were used across Canada in city and town water systems up until the 1960s. Fun fact: tanks were made with the same process.

The Council video archive can be viewed here. Art at Council begins at the 50 second mark.

Ysabella Choung, Moonbeam series, clay

April 12, 2022
Ysabella Choung | Moonbeam series

Tonight’s Art at Council is a series of clay artworks titled Moonbeam by local ceramic artist Ysabella Choung.

Ysabella specializes in unique handmade functional pieces for daily use, as well as in hand-cut paper collage and illustrations in abstract, organic forms, arranged in colour combinations. She loves to do everything by hand, so every one of her projects starts with scissors, paper or clay, and a playful collage session. Ysabella’s work is distinguished by its modern and curved lines, and its playful movement and naturalistic tension.

Ysabella has been teaching at PoMoArts, and has recently been appointed their new Ceramic Studio Manager and Technician. She is also the owner of Spatial Art + Design Studio here in Port Moody.

The Council video archive can be viewed here. Art at Council begins at the 27 second mark.

Gillian McMillan, Pioneer Memories, sculpture

May 10, 2022
Gillian McMillan | Pioneer Memories

Tonight, we are presenting one of the City’s first public art pieces titled Pioneer Memories by local artist Gillian McMillan.

Back in November of 2000 the City put out a call to artists to create appealing planters for two traffic circles along St. George Street to improve the existing streetscape. This was a first for the City and paved the way for the integration of public art in future Public Works projects.

The design of the planters was inspired by the remains of Port Moody’s thriving sawmill industry of the last century. The planters are reminders of the original bee-hive burners found at the edge of Burrard Inlet and include many objects from the original site. One of the planters listed the names of early Port Moody settler Sergeant John Murray’s children around the perimeter of the planter, and the other planter listed the names of eight of the lumber companies from that time.

Unfortunately, in 2008 the planter listing John Murray’s children was destroyed in a vehicle accident, and in 2009 the remaining planter was relocated to Shoreline Park near the Old Mill Site. This new location was a great choice as it paid homage to Port Moody’s sawmill industry.

The Council video archive can be viewed here. Art at Council begins at the 34 second mark.

Diane Norrie, Dunluce Castle, acrylic

May 24, 2022
Diane Norrie | Dunluce Castle

We are delighted to have Diane Norrie joining us this evening for Art at Council. Diane is a local artist living in the Tri-Cities and a member of the Port Moody Art Association. She is sharing one of her acrylic paintings titled Dunluce Castle.

Diane is truly in love with art. She studied at the University of the Fraser Valley in Fine Arts and graduated on the Dean’s List with Honors. Diane is passionate about painting and drawing and can often get very preoccupied in her art. Her artwork is strongly influenced by a spiritual connection, so her work is constantly changing and evolving.

The Council video archive can be viewed here. Art at Council beings at the 1 minute 22 second mark.

Sara Graham, A Sojourn in the City banners, Nature banner

June 28, 2022
Sara Graham | A Sojourn in the City

For tonight’s Art at Council, we are pleased to share one of Sara Graham’s last projects, prior to the end of her term as the City’s Staff Artist in 2021.

This street banner series, titled A Sojourn in the City, features bold images in collage form, reflecting aspects of Port Moody’s urban, natural, and heritage environments. These banners were conceived under the larger theme of “I love Port Moody”.

These colourful banners, along with a selection of hand painted banners from the 2019/2020 season are being installed along Port Moody streets in the coming days.

Sara was the City’s Staff Artist for a little over two years between 2019 and 2021 and this is the second street banner series that she designed during that time.

The Council video archive can be viewed here. Art at Council begins at the 1 minute 58 second mark.

Polish Canadian Art Fusion Exhibition July 4 - 15, 2022 for WEB

July 12, 2022
Polish Canadian Art Fusion Exhibition

For this weeks’ Art at Council we are pleased to welcome back the Polish Canadian Art Fusion Exhibition, organized by the Polonez Tri-City Polish Association of BC. We have been hosting this group exhibition annually since 2014, but this is the first time having them back since COVID closures. This years’ theme is Vancouver Dream and features 27 artists and over 100 pieces. The artwork will remain on display in the Galleria until Friday, July 15.

The Polonez Tri-City organization was founded in 1989 on the idea of keeping Polish culture alive in BC and sharing it with the community. In addition to organizing this annual exhibit, they are also involved with a variety of other cultural events such as organizing musical performances and participating in various festivals. In fact, they just hosted The Art of Music, here on this very stage this past Sunday.

We do not have any of the artists in attendance this evening, but we welcome you to view the exhibition and find your favourite artwork from the show.

The Council video archive can be viewed here. Art at Council begins at the 1 minute mark.

Viktor Mitic, Heartland, Sculpture
July 26, 2022
Viktor Mitic | Heartland

Tonight’s Art at Council is a public art sculpture titled Heartland acquired by Marcon Developments for its 43 townhome and heritage home restoration project titled WILL. The artwork is located at the corner of Moody Street and St. George Street, within the Moody Street public amenity space.

Heartland is a 10-foot tall playful outdoor sculpture comprised of vertically-stacked abstract shapes formed in bronze, patinated in black or green, or polished to a high sheen and mounted atop a concrete base. The geometric forms appear to defy gravity in their towering formation. The sculpture’s dynamic contours and crevices offer numerous vantage points from which to experience the work, inviting engagement and playfully animating the space. The soft, rich colours carefully achieved through bronze patina lend the work a natural quality and charm, making it a welcome and timeless addition to the urban environment.

The artist, Viktor Mitic, was born in Belgrade, Serbia, where he was classically trained in European art schools before moving to Canada. He is currently based in Toronto. Viktor creates paintings, prints, and sculptures. He has exhibited in Tokyo, New York City, Chicago and Toronto, and his most recent public art installations include Rochester, New York, Markham, Ontario, and Colombo, Sri Lanka.

The Council video archive can be viewed here. Art at Council begins at the 2 minute 9 second mark.

Laura Genovese, Majestic Eagle, acylic

September 27, 2022
Laura Genovese | Majestic Eagle

Tonight’s featured art presentation is by local Tri-Cities artist Laura Genovese.

Laura enjoys working with a variety of media including acrylic, watercolor, plaster, and glass, and she loves to incorporate elements from nature. For example, her mixed media pieces are a collage of acrylic paint on canvas and can include paper, glue, sand, wood, and even plaster and shells from time to time. Laura is often found creating images for collectors, friends and family and is inspired by her surroundings here on the West Coast. When Laura is travelling she creates watercolor paintings on location. Pet portraits and landscapes are her specialties.

Laura is also an active member of the Port Moody Art Association. She was the club’s President from 2017 – 2022 and is currently the Treasurer.

The Council video archive can be viewed here. Art at Council begins at the 3 minute 45 minute mark.

 Port Moody Station Museum archives, Just Us Girls pin

October 11, 2022
Port Moody Station Museum Archives | Just Us Girls Club pin

With the recent passing of Freedom of the City recipient Nellie Sholund, tonight’s Artifact at Council is a nod to Nellie, as well as her husband Al Sholund who passed away in October 2016. Both were pillars of the community and credited with creating the City’s Museum and historical society.

The Just Us Girls Club (JUGS) was a service group organized in 1947 and was comprised mostly of local ladies. They raised funds to help individuals within the community, but also helped raise funds for the soup fund at Ioco School, Christmas hampers, Ioco May Day, United and Anglican Sunday schools, Sunny Hill hospital, scouts, sports teams, and the library. They also set up a scholarship for Moody High school students and a bursary for second year students at SFU. They raised money by holding dances, teas, bazaars, bake sales, fashion shows and rummage sales. The JUGs grew to 229 members and provided community services in Ioco and Port Moody for 36 years. Members would receive a JUGS pin for twenty years of service.

We do not have anyone from the Station Museum joining us this evening, but we are pleased to have shared this piece of Port Moody history.

The Council video archive can be viewed here. Art at Council begins at the 40 second mark.

Don Portelance 3 artworks City Private Collection

November 8, 2022
Don Portelance | The Arrival of the First Continental Train, July 4, 1886

Joining us tonight for Art at Council is Don Portelance, a Tri-Cities based professional artist and art teacher. Don works in a wide variety of media including oil, watercolor, chalk pastel, acrylic and stone lithographs. His inspirations are endless and come from his travels, local B.C. landscapes, figures, florals, still life, and abstract ideas. Don has exhibited in many countries and his artwork hangs in corporate, public, and private collections worldwide.

The City acquired three of Don’s artworks over the years and are all proudly on display here in City Hall. There are two watercolour paintings titled Harbour Fantasy and Lillian Packs and Fish, and a print titled The Arrival of the First Transcontinental Train, July 4, 1886.

At this time, I would like to invite Don up to the podium has he has something special to share with us this evening.

The Council video archive can be viewed here. Art at Council begins at the 1 minute 2 second mark.

Valentina Doostdar, Cover Art Competition Winner, Th Handmaid's Tale

November 22, 2022
Valentina Doostdar | Cover Art Competition Winner for The Handmaid's Tale

Recently the Port Moody Public Library’s Teen Advisory Group held a Cover Art Competition. Avid readers with a love of art, and who were between the ages of 6 – 18, were invited to turn their interest of reading into an amazing piece of art. They were asked to redesign a book cover for a book that is meaningful to them. The submissions could be hand-drawn, painted or digital.

The winner of the 11–15-year-old category, Valentina Doostdar is here with us this evening.

She is 13 years old and submitted a hand-drawn mixed media artwork for The Handmaid’s Tale. Welcome Valentina! We are so happy you could join us this evening. Please make your way up to the podium.

Valentina, we would love to hear why you selected the book you did and tell us about the cover you created.

The Council video archive can be viewed here. Art at Council begins at the 2 minute 3 second mark.

CP Holiday Train

December 13, 2022
Tom MacDonald | Live Performance

The CP Holiday Train will once again be rolling into Port Moody on Sunday, December 18. Join us as we celebrate the arrival of the train with entertainment, activities, refreshments, and crafts. This event is only made possible by the numerous community volunteers who come out each year to make this a holiday tradition in support of the SHARE Food Bank.

Tom MacDonald has been sharing his musical talents with Port Moody for quite some time. Not only does he coordinate Tri-Cities Got Talent as a volunteer Director with Golden Spike Days, his performances are a staple of the CP Holiday Train event. And we are thrilled to have him join us this evening to bring us some holiday cheer. Welcome Tom, thank you for joining us.

You can hear more from Tom, who will be joined by Elizabeth Irving, at the CP Holiday Train on Sunday, December 18. You can find all the details at And thank you for supporting the SHARE Food Bank and all the families who need a little extra support over the holidays.

The Council video archive can be viewed here. Art at Council begins at the 4 minute 17 second mark.