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Supporting Arts and Culture in the Peace

Peace River Art Hub | Peace River Art Club



The Peace River Art Hub first swung open the doors to its 10,000-square-foot facility in April, and already they are hitting homeruns for artists and art lovers alike.


Located in downtown Peace River, the Art Hub is an inclusive space where people can gather to discuss, create, view and purchase art.


“Throughout the years the club has utilized several smaller spaces where local artists would gather to share and discuss art. Until now, we’ve never had a permanent space where all types of artists could come together to create,” said Peace River Art Club President MaryAnne O’Byrne.


The Peace River Art Club is a non-profit organization responsible for the creation of the Art Hub. Registered under the Societies Act on July 6, 1988, the Peace River Art Club has always dreamed of having a variety of artists under one roof.


O’Byrne has been involved with the art club for decades. When she retired from her 9-5 job as a social worker four years ago, she became president.


“I’ve been a strong supporter of creating the Art Hub,” said O’Byrne. “It is such an asset for the community to have a place where everyone can create and enjoy art. Our board members, volunteers and the support of the community has made it possible. We’re so grateful for the donations received from individuals, businesses and school boards.”


Open to the public, visitors are greeted by a large plaque naming generous sponsors. Once inside, everyone is welcome to experience the expansive building. It has dozens of rooms to explore—all for sharing, teaching or creating art.


One room was sponsored by a young couple in memory of their child.


“Sloane’s Room is dedicated to children creating art. People love to donate their extra art materials to this space,” said O’Byrne. “Having children come play and create is one of the greatest parts of the Art Hub.”


The Art Hub has a diverse environment. Hosting exhibits and galleries that display a variety of media, artists can find comfortable and practical spaces for creating. Inside there is also a Peace River-themed meeting room available to rent.


The beautiful gift shop offers many unique items. From charcuterie boards, earrings, furniture made with recycled farm equipment, Métis dot art, handmade cards and more, the gift shop is the place to find one-of-a-kind treasures.


“Everything in the gift shop was made by members of the Art Hub. Nearly 70 members have their beautiful and unique items for sale there,” said O’Byrne.


As the seasons change, the Art Hub will host holiday and winter-themed events, classes and displays. And, the gift shop is a great place to find a Christmas gift for that special someone—all while supporting local artists.


For a minimal annual fee of $40 for adults, $20 for seniors and $10 for children, anyone can become a member of the Art Hub. Members can sell their work in the gift shop, exhibit art in the galleries, receive discounts on classes and utilize extra studio time.


“For the courses and classes not included in the membership, we do our best to make them affordable. We also have access to a small bursary to help cover some of the costs for individuals who need it,” said O’Byrne.


Through donations and subsidies, the Art Hub’s goal is to continue making everything as inexpensive as possible.


Classes are for all skill levels. There are classes in pottery, stained glass, acrylic, oil or water colour painting, drawing, wood burning and Métis art.


Most adult classes are held in the evenings, while children’s classes are available on Saturdays and include lessons in Métis dot art, paper making, ceramics, Ukrainian egg decoration, clay activities and more.


“Many classes are taught by a variety of different art instructors. One member is an author and artist, who offers after school activities for both older teens and younger school age children,” said O’Byrne. “We are also in the process of organizing art time for home-schooled children.”


With over 100 members and growing, the Art Hub finds innovative ways to create opportunities that combine art and community.


“We know there are more artists who would be an incredible addition to the Art Hub. We want to add to the diversity and creativity of our environment,” said O’Byrne.


Filled with immense gratitude, O’Byrne is happy with what the Art Hub has become in a short time.


“The Art Hub is a place where everyone is welcome to explore artistic endeavors, no matter how big or small,” said O’Byrne. “We would like to extend a sincere and heartfelt thank you to our contributors and volunteers who have made the Art Hub possible. We couldn’t have done this without you.”



Article by Laura Hanna | Photography submitted


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