A Brief History of ArtCan Gallery and Café
By Ron Hayes
When my family first came to Nova Scotia I noticed there were very few places to exhibit art in the Valley, and nowhere to buy basic art supplies. I decided to create an art gallery and art supply shop. ArtCan was born out of this idea in 2001. After a couple of years we required a bigger space, so we purchased the old MacDonald Chisholm building by the park in Canning. While renovating this building we added a café and reopened in 2004.
There have been many adjustments over the years. The gallery was a studio for a while, where I painted and taught classes, and I was also hired to teach part-time at Acadia University. Another transition happened two years ago when we built an addition on the back of ArtCan. We now have a new studio with a view of the river and wheelchair access providing, a space where artists can come and take a class or rent a spot to paint.
Our daughter Michaela now creates the fine food for the Café. Her lunch menu is inspired by and utilizes produce grown in the area. We serve Full Steam Coffee along with sweet treats that are made fresh. ArtCan Café is open for the summer with a beautiful view of the river and park. The gallery, art store, and studio are open year round.
This summer we are hosting several Kitchen Parties with Kim Barlow. The music is live in our gallery and the café is open for drinks and desserts. ArtCan Gallery is also pleased to present Myriad, an exhibition of abstract paintings by 5 artists from Annapolis Royal opening August 1. I will be exhibiting my work at the Halifax Public Archives opening August 7, and this show continues for the month.
The biggest challenge has been to manage all the different things that we offer. I try to balance my time between operating the business and creating my own art. My current series of paintings are inspired by the beautiful landscape which surrounds us and is made with much support of my family and friends and for this I am very grateful.
For more information please visit: artcan.com
Photos: Asparagus orange and fennel salad (photo: Michaela Hayes); painting by Ron Hayes