The energy in Stone Art Gallery is infectious. Walk in the red front door of the little heritage house and you'll immediately be greeted by a warm hello. The floor will creak as you move through the gallery filled with spectacular jewellery, art and sculpture. It's almost certain that you will leave with sparkles in your eyes and a new piece of jewellery in your bag!
Home Sweet Home.
Stone Art Gallery hasn't always been the eclectic studio it is today. Once a home many decades ago, it has also been a fish shop, a reflexology center, and a lingerie store. It's a little building with lots of character and Joye Designs has been home here for 10 years.
There's more than just jewellery in the gallery - you'll find ceramics, glass, stone sculpture, photography and canvas, all by local BC artists and designers. Joye loves to support her fellow jewellery designers, so in Stone Art you'll find many of her favorites with design styles far different from her own. It's a perfect place to pick up a unique gift for someone who has everything (or maybe for you who should have everything, right?)
Springtime awakens the mature cherry trees that surround the Gallery and it's almost magical how the blossoms envelop the front of Stone Art. Take a seat on the front porch, sip on a coffee and let the passers by envy your new Joye Designs pendant.
What is in the past...
Port Moody is a heritage town full of British Columbia's early history. Two main events spurred its creation: the Gold rush on the Fraser River and the 1886 arrival of the first transcontinental train. Port Moody's job was to actually protect the then capital of the province, New Westminster. Prospectors and army and navy personnel set up tents and thus began a new settlement.
In 1879, to entice British Columbia into the Confederation, Port Moody was officially named the Western terminus for the Canadian Pacific Railway, the new Transcontinental line dreamed up by Prime Minister, Sir John A. MacDonald. The first passenger train arrived in Port Moody from Montreal on July 4th, 1886. About 150 passengers endured the lengthy 139 hour trip!
Port Moody was expected to become the biggest city in the West, but William Van Horne decided that the railway should continue on to a new terminus newly named, Vancouver. Needless to say, Van Horne was not a popular man in Port Moody at the time. The population grew stagnant and growth halted.
The settlement became primarily a mill town exploiting the fruits of the old growth cedar forests. Eventually a few oil refineries found their start. It was smoky, noisy and industrial. Streets were lined with private residences with gardens in the back and laundry on the lines. Slowly, five general stores, three hotels, two gas stations, a school and one police officer emerged to create a working town. In 1913, Port Moody was incorporated as a city. The first city hall was built and Perry A. Roe, the owner of a local sawmill, became the first mayor.
After the outbreak of World War II, employment became available and growth took hold. Port Moody began meeting the edges of the other towns and soon joined the suburbs. Industries settled in the area and on continued the expansion of this historically pivotal city.
...makes what is today.
Over the decades, without the push to be the biggest and best in the West, Port Moody has become a major arts center in BC's Lower Mainland. It is well known for ecclectic art, sculpture, metal works and of course, phenomenal hand crafted jewellery. The city is alive with festivals and celebrations for families, with plenty of recreation for all. Art remains accessible in the city with plenty of free events, free exhibits and free parking.
With a population of only 29,000, Port Moody has managed to maintain the nostalgic feeling of its budding years. The streets are still lined with heritage homes which date back to the beginning and they are actively protected to preserve their lasting beauty. As you stroll down St. John's street, the historic thoroughfare and main artery, you'll find shops and cafes to delight your every whim, but yet the little city never feels urban, it doesn't quite feel as new. In an area as busy and bustling as Vancouver, this is a refreshing change!
For Stone Art Gallery, the history and artful nature of Port Moody make the place the perfect home. Because it's a city that hasn't had to compete with others for location, resources and population, it has been able to nurture the creativity of its citizens. Port Moody thrives on the art community and for artists like Joye, what more could be asked for?