Join us on May 24 for a concert and visual arts activity - just for adults! Find out More

About Creative Connections

For our 50th anniversary, we interviewed several Place des Arts community members to share their stories and learn how Place des Arts impacted them. This video series we’ve named Creative Connections highlights board members, founders, teachers and more! In our 50 years, we have had many incredible, talented and dedicated people that have made Place des Arts the organization it is today. We’re so excited to share their accomplishments and their contributions to our community.

This is the second in our interview video series, Creative Connections. This series shares the stories of board members, founders, teachers and other members of the Place des Arts community! Don Portelance was a founder of Place des Arts, President of the Coquitlam Fine Arts Council (a precursor to Place des Arts) and a teacher for many years of our Arts Enhancement and Didgeridoo classes. In our 50 years, we have had many incredible, talented and dedicated people that have made Place des Arts the organization it is today. We’re so excited to share their accomplishments, their impact on Place des Arts and the impact we’ve had on them in turn.

Next video: February 10, 2023

Welcome to our new video series, Creative Connections, which shares the stories of members of the Place des Arts community including board members, founders, teachers and more! In our 50 years, we have had many incredible, talented and dedicated people that have made Place des Arts the organization it is today. We’re so excited to share their accomplishments, their impact on Place des Arts and the impact we’ve had on them in turn. The first in our series is from long-term board member and current Board President, Barb Hobson. We will be sharing videos weekly.

Sept 16, 2022

The next story in our Creative Connections series comes from Cyd Eva, who has had a long journey at Place des Arts.

Cyd began attending our Summer Fun! camps during her elementary school years. Camps were always the highlight of her summers, and the fibre fun class has stood out as a fond memory as she is now a fibre/textile artist.

Cyd participated in a variety of classes as a student at PdA. From hip hop to paper mache, pottery and painting, as our camps offer a full experience into different arts.

Since her early education at Place des Arts, Cyd fully participated in the theatre and visual art programs throughout high school. She then went on to study Visual Art at Simon Fraser University and Fashion Design at Cape Town College of Fashion Design.

“So many of my passions in my current profession as an Artist and Fashion Designer started at the Summer Fun! camps and I am so excited to be coming back to this magical creative space.” -Cyd Eva

Ten years after graduating from high school and pursuing her career in the arts in both Canada and South Africa, Cyd has returned to Coquitlam and has joined our Place des Arts Faculty as a Visual Arts Instructor and Exhibiting Artist.

Cyd’s time at PdA has come full circle as this summer she taught abstract mural painting and covered the art that she once painted in her youth during a graffiti class during Summer Fun!

We are so pleased that Cyd will be returning to Place des Arts, and have heard the impact that our Summer Fun! programs have had on her as an artist!

Cyd will be combining her talents in textile art and fashion design, in our new class Dress to Express: Upcycling & Sustainable Fashion. She will introduce up-cycling clothing to make a fierce fashion statement and encourage PdA students to join the sustainable fashion movement by using textile embroidery on recycled denim and/or canvas clothing from their own closets!

Please join us in welcoming back, Cyd Eva!

December 16, 2022

Our Exhibitions are always a fantastic place for us to connect with talented artists who then impact the community in different ways. Our next Creative Connections story is from an artist who exhibited with us a couple of years ago, Phyllis Schwartz, (She, Her)

“In January 2020, I was invited to present a Family Day demonstration along with my group exhibition, Collaborative Alchemy: a plant based visual art exhibition. My part of the exhibition was a show of Lumen Prints, analogue photography made without cameras. The best way to explain the work is to show the process and answer questions along the way.

For this demonstration, I invited two artists who were curious about making Lumen Prints to work along side me while I demonstrated the process of laying out print compositions, waiting for images to make their marks on photosensitive paper and processing them.

I was greatly appreciative of the gallery coordinator, Kim Correia, who made it possible to have a demonstration of colleagues working together while asking and answering questions of event attendees. I have given artists talks about my process, enjoying the dynamics of connecting with those who take an interest in my work while sharing how to create the work. Incorporating others who work along side me, was an experiment but was also a way to demonstrate how artists work together. It was an empowering way to give back to the community. Thanks Place des Arts.” – Phyllis

Thank you Phyllis for sharing your artistic knowledge with us and all the event attendees. We know that all the children and parents who attended the event left with smiling faces and a new appreciation for nature and the arts.

December 9, 2022

With our 50th Anniversary Gala presentation behind us, we want to highlight someone who has helped shape Place des Arts for our next Creative Connections story. Here is our Board Director, Barb Hobson, sharing her story! <3

Barb Hobson, (She, Her) @hobsonbarb

“Both my children grew up at Place des Arts and enjoyed every minute of their time in the calm, accepting environment. When the stresses of daily life were weighing heavily, Place des Arts was a place of refuge for us. My kids took classes in pottery, dance, weaving and music. They attended Summer Fun! and Spring Break art camps. I took wheel throwing classes, attended concerts, fundraising events and came to visit the galleries and gift shop. I was also fortunate to be invited to join the Board of Directors of the facility and have enjoyed assisting to guide the organization for many years.

From a small arts school in a building that was once a family home to the beautiful structure that is the current Place des Arts, the centre has always exuded a warm, welcoming environment and is an island of calm tethered to the City of Coquitlam for all to enjoy.” – Barb

That last bit got us all choked up. Thank you, Barb, for your continual support and kind words. We are honoured to have you on our Board.

December 2, 2022

After a very successful 50th Anniversary Gala last Friday, we are extra pumped to share more stories from our community members. So much so that we will share two stories today! Let’s begin with Laura’s.

Laura (she/her/hers)
Place des Arts has been part of my life since the year 2000, so I have many wonderful memories attached to singing with the Women’s Vocal Ensemble, and attending various art classes. But there’s one story in particular, a bit silly, that always comes to mind when I think about my years at PdA.

It was probably 2005, and I had hung a painting called Barn Gate in the annual Student Show. It was the first time I’d participated in an art show of any kind, and I was very excited. A few days after the show started, I arrived at PdA to attend my regular art class. As I walked through the Student Show, I looked at my painting and was shocked to see a little red dot stuck on the card beside it.

What??? That’s weird…that’s supposed to be used when a painting is sold!

I immediately went to the front desk, where Tania was working at that time, and said “Tania, there’s a red dot beside my painting!” Tania nodded, and I blurted out “Is that a mistake?” Tania very quietly said “Laura, we take our red dots very seriously here. It means your painting has sold.”

I was so overwhelmed at that moment – someone really liked my work enough to spend their money on it? And they weren’t my friend or a relative? What a wonderful feeling!

Tania later let me know that it was purchased by a retired gentleman from New Westminster, who had grown up on the prairies…and he passed along some encouraging words to me about continuing to paint my beautiful prairie memories.

I’ve been fortunate to sell quite a few paintings over the subsequent years, but I will never forget how that first sale from the Place des Arts Student Show felt!

November 14, 2022

In observation of Remembrance Day, our Creative Connection post was moved to today. Please enjoy the following story from our Place des Arts community member, Mayor Richard Stewart.

As a teenager back in the 1970s, my first recollections of PdA was serving as a pianist for dance classes that were held in the basement of Place des Arts, after it was converted from the former Coquitlam RCMP detachment. Beginning in 1978, as a student at SFU, I had a part-time job as a Building Service Worker (BSW) with Coquitlam Parks and Recreation, and one of the buildings I helped maintain was Place des Arts. I remember the adaptions made to Ryan House to support its new use, and the fact that you had to walk through the pottery room and past the kiln to get to the stairs leading down to the former jail, which was the dance studio.

And I remember the work of such leaders as Eleanor Peyton, and Fern and Cecile Bouvier and others, whose passions and dedication advanced the delivery of arts programs at our PdA. The purpose-built expansion allowed the centre to expand its offerings, though today there is a strong need for further expansion/renewal of this vital piece of Coquitlam’s arts community. Deep appreciation to all the staff, volunteers, supporters and builders of this remarkable facility for the residents of our community.

Photo: Governor General David Johnston’s February 2012 visit to Place des Arts

Oct 21, 2022

Building creative connection through the arts is something we have strived for since Place des Arts was founded. We are overjoyed to share the stories of all those who have a connection to Place des Arts. Our next Creative Connections story is from a student, event attendee and artist, Zenobia Turnbull.
Enjoy her Place des Arts story!

Presently I’m a watercolour visual artist. My connection to Place des Arts began in the late 1990s when I quilted. I belonged to various groups of quilters and fabric artists who introduced me to Place des Arts where they had exhibited.

As I became more interested in visual art, I attended a few lessons taught by Jane Appleby held at PdA and in her outdoor workshops. (the photo above is from the PleinAire acrylic workshop at Mackin Park).

Once Opus Art Supplies opened its new store on Brunette Avenue visits to Place des Arts ’ followed.
Opus had an Outdoor Challenge based out of Place des Arts’ backyard. Once again I enjoyed painting in a quiet corner of Mackin Park. I also participated in two miniature shows in 2017 and 2019. To my great joy I was selected for a solo show in the Lenore Peyton Salon in Nov 2020. It inspired a spurt of painting activity just as the COVID Phase 1 lockdown began.

Place des Arts, the Caboose and Heritage buildings across from the park is the vibrant hub of community living. The centre radiates a welcoming energy with its natural light in the atrium, music lessons, little dancers, colours of spun and woven threads.

Oct 7, 2022 – Yurgen Ilaender (Mr. I)

 

View this post on Instagram

 

A post shared by Place des Arts (@pdacoquitlam)

Sept 16, 2022

The next story in our Creative Connections series comes from Cyd Eva, who has had a long journey at Place des Arts.

Cyd began attending our Summer Fun! camps during her elementary school years. Camps were always the highlight of her summers, and the fibre fun class has stood out as a fond memory as she is now a fibre/textile artist.

Cyd participated in a variety of classes as a student at PdA. From hip hop to paper mache, pottery and painting, as our camps offer a full experience into different arts.

Since her early education at Place des Arts, Cyd fully participated in the theatre and visual art programs throughout high school. She then went on to study Visual Art at Simon Fraser University and Fashion Design at Cape Town College of Fashion Design.

“So many of my passions in my current profession as an Artist and Fashion Designer started at the Summer Fun! camps and I am so excited to be coming back to this magical creative space.” -Cyd Eva

Ten years after graduating from high school and pursuing her career in the arts in both Canada and South Africa, Cyd has returned to Coquitlam and has joined our Place des Arts Faculty as a Visual Arts Instructor and Exhibiting Artist.

Cyd’s time at PdA has come full circle as this summer she taught abstract mural painting and covered the art that she once painted in her youth during a graffiti class during Summer Fun!

We are so pleased that Cyd will be returning to Place des Arts, and have heard the impact that our Summer Fun! programs have had on her as an artist!

Cyd will be combining her talents in textile art and fashion design, in our new class Dress to Express: Upcycling & Sustainable Fashion. She will introduce up-cycling clothing to make a fierce fashion statement and encourage PdA students to join the sustainable fashion movement by using textile embroidery on recycled denim and/or canvas clothing from their own closets!

Please join us in welcoming back, Cyd Eva!

Sept 2, 2022

To start us off, let’s head back to 1985 with Place des Arts student, artist and event attendee, Corky Hartley!

Corky began her creative journey by taking fine arts classes at Place des Arts. Then Hartley attended workshops, entered a juried art exhibit, purchased gifts and introduced their grandchildren to camps.

 

 

 

 

Some of Hartley’s highlights over the years included:

  • being taught by very qualified and professional instructors
  • meeting so many staff members and fellow students with different personalities
  • sharing ideas, laughter and recipes during the hours of open studio pottery
  • understanding that everyone comes to PdA for different reasons.

As Hartley puts it “My daily passion to create, in various mediums, has been nurtured with practice by the annual routine of registering for PdA classes […] to play with like-minded individuals.

One memory she wanted to share is “My funniest memory was during a pottery class in the old building where we smelled and saw hazy smoke so the room was evacuated (twice), to be inspected. Turned out that a student wearing running shoes, unnoticed by herself, kept resting her foot on a spinning part of her wheel until it started burning, causing the smoke! We could not stop laughing and her comments added to the hilarity. […] Attending Place des Arts classes over the years has helped keep my daily life balanced and my creative/social needs met while having fun!” – Corky Hartley

Close Search