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High tea served in Port Moody to cap off art centre's 25th year

Take a walk down memory lane with PoMoArts as it concludes its silver anniversary celebrations on May 30, 2024.

Arts and culture lovers can take a walk down memory lane later this month to wrap up PoMoArts’ 25th anniversary celebrations.

Staff and volunteers from the arts venue on St. Johns Street — in the city’s first city hall — will fill the current city hall on Thursday, May 30 with photos and pieces from past exhibitions and events over the years.

Called 25 Years of Art Stories, the festivities start at 7 p.m. and, for an additional cost, include a high tea sitting at 7:15 or 8:15 p.m. hosted by the Blackberry Artists Society, which runs the gift shop at PoMoArts.

Treats will be served by the award-winning Cassandra Cake Co. of Port Coquitlam and speeches are scheduled for 8 p.m.

Blackberry artists will also exhibit works for Art in the Garden and offer a scrapbook, said society president Denise Jeffrey.

The showcase to conclude the milestone year follows the facility’s Art’s Birthday in January and an anniversary display last July.

Besides the art displays and gatherings, PoMoArts runs more than 300 classes annually for students in visual arts, ceramics, theatre and digital media; it also provides private music lessons and children’s camps.

Vicki Allesia, PoMoArts’ inaugural executive director, told the Tri-City News that bringing the arts centre to its full potential “was the career achievement of my life and, at times, felt like a runaway train with the whole community jumping on board.”

“The idealism of the artists, volunteers, teachers, staff, art groups, city staff, businesses, media and, most importantly, customers was so inspiring it made my (at times 24/7) work all worthwhile as we grew the facility from being open to the public 16 hours a week to 74 hours-plus in our first two years, all while continuing to produce a 10-day Festival of the Arts and so many other events.”

Deanna Kayne, PoMoArts’ incumbent executive director for the past two years, said the organization continues to build community through art.

Next month, it will launch its new strategic plan.

“PoMoArts, the Port Moody Arts Centre Society, has been a cornerstone of art experience and education since opening in 1998,” said society president Robert Simons.

“My involvement began as a patron at many of their events and exhibitions. I have seen over the past 25 years the centre grow from a solely volunteer-operated centre to one that now has a multi-discipline team of professional staff, artists and educators.”

For tickets to 25 Years of Art Stories on Thursday, May 30 at Port Moody City Hall (100 Newport Dr.), visit