Each Port Moody Regular Council meeting begins with a featured art presentation. Local performers and artists can request to showcase their art through the Art at Council program. This gives artists an opportunity to share their work with the public and educates Council on the cultural projects taking place throughout our city. Previous presentations have included paintings, sculptures, photography, film, music, sketches, artifacts, dance, and a variety of other forms of artistic expression.


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.

Past Schedule

In 2021, there were a total of 18 Art at Council presentations and can be viewed here.

In 2020, there were a total of 17 Art at Council presentations and can be viewed here.