Campbell River’s Patrons of the Arts (POTA) is opening an arts gift boutique in the Anchor Inn in February.
The idea came from Charlotte Deptford, who has been running the Ultimate Gift Boutique in downtown Campbell River and as a pop-up shop in the inn for a few years. Deptford was approaching retirement when she wanted to find a way of ensuring that the boutique, which sells locally-produced art and gifts, stuck around to support the community. As a member of the POTA board, she realized that the group had the mandate and resources to take on the project, and that the Anchor Inn, which has the intention of becoming an “art hotel,” had the space.
“It’s a perfect fit for what we’re trying to do with POTA, and it’s a perfect fit for Bev [Herperger, the manager of the Anchor Inn] who’s trying to become the art hotel. That’s my sentiment on it, and I think that when there’s a group of people whose interests are all the same and it’s for the good of the community, whether it’s artists, artisans, musicians or whatever, it’s a wonderful experience for all,” said Deptford.
POTA was started two years ago by Penny Gosselin, who wanted a way to support artists and artisans in Campbell River. The group, supported by the Campbell River Arts Council, started with a wearable art show in October 2019. From there things took off.
“We just started with a little bit and then the next thing we knew we had gone on to something bigger and better,” Gosselin said. “One of the things that usually happens with artists is that they are asked to donate. They’re asked to give their time for free. When we formed our group, our mandate right away was to give opportunities to support and celebrate artists and pay them. We never ask them to pay to be in anything that we’re putting on, instead we in turn pay them.”
The boutique — which will be called The Edge with the tagline “Island Inspired Art” — will fall under that mandate, requiring merchandise to be made with 80 per cent local products. Under the POTA umbrella, it will ensure that most of the profits go back to the artists, and the rest will go to the Anchor Inn to help cover costs of operation.
“We were just undergoing a major renovation in the hotel. Charlotte came in here and helped me create the vision of becoming an artist hotel, and she began by having her paint workshops here. She was also hanging art from various artists in our restaurant, which has beautiful feature walls for hanging art,” said Herperger. “Once we renovated the lobby, I was thinking of putting my own little boutique in herre of things that our guests could purchase that are unique to Campbell River. Then again Charlotte came in and saved the day when she opened up her pop-up sattelite shop in the lobby.”
The idea stuck, and is about to become the permanent store in the Anchor Inn. Herperger hopes this will only be the first of many interesting and exciting endeavours that will benefit the arts in Campbell River.
“We have the ability to do fundraisers, some art auctions, dinner theatre, whatever,” she said. “The sky’s the limit with what we can do when we work together to promote local artisans.”
The store will be open in February, and POTA is already in talks with some local artisans to help stock the shelves. Those interested in participating can visit the store in the Anchor Inn and pick up a from from the staff with more details.