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ARTS AROUND: Remembering the life and legacy of Port Alberni's Gerry Hebert

Teas at the Mill begin this Sunday, July 14

Gerry Hebert, a celebrated local artisan known for his exquisite woodworking, will be honoured at The Grove Art Gallery on Thursday, July 11 from 5-8 p.m. Hebert's masterpieces, particularly his unique wooden boxes made from fine woods like walnut and maple, have adorned places like the Wickaninnish Inn, Black Rock Resort and the Royal BC Museum.

This event will offer a rare opportunity to acquire one of the last 50 pieces of Hebert's work. Attendees can enjoy art, share memories of Hebert and meet his family. The Grove Art Gallery will feature not only Hebert's artworks, but also live poetry, music performances and a selection of food and refreshments by donation. The event will conclude with a silent auction of one of Hebert's famous jewellery boxes.

“We are excited to celebrate Gerry’s life and art, bringing together those who knew him and those who were touched by his work,” said event organizer Tatiana. “It’s a heartfelt gathering to appreciate the beauty he brought into the world and to continue his legacy in our community.”

Everyone is invited to join this tribute to a man who shaped not only wood, but also the hearts of those around him. This event is a touching homage to Hebert's contributions and a beautiful way to keep his artistic spirit alive.

Hebert's works will be on sale at the Grove Gallery Gift Shop from July 12 through July 28.


The Community Arts Council of the Alberni Valley is excited to reintroduce a beloved Port Alberni tradition with a fresh twist: Teas at the Mill! Formerly known as Teas on the Terrace and held at the Rollin Art Centre, this cherished summer event series has found a new home at the historic McLean Mill.

This Sunday, July 14 from 3-5 p.m., our series starts with a Strawberry Tea. This event is ideal for all ages — so wear your finest attire, bring the whole family and enjoy delicious cakes, tea, live music, live painting and local art. The event also features child-friendly activities like biodegradable flower balloon art and flower art crafting.

Admission is $25 for adults and $20 for children and seniors. Visit for more information, or call us at 250-724-3412.


The featured artist for the month of July is potter Yolande Fournier.

Yolande (Yo for short) has lived in Port Alberni for more than 60 years, but was raised in the small village known as Woodfibre in Howe Sound — a small mill town that was accessible only by boat. At eight years old, Yo and her parents moved to Nanaimo and then settled into Port Alberni.

Fournier's pottery education came from attending night classes at the old Alberni District High School, then making her way down to Parksville for intermediate Wheel Throwing courses and attending conferences hosted by the Potting Association, where famous potters would come to demonstrate, host lectures and observe others. Fournier has a custom-built workshop space in her backyard, with a handmade extruder and slab roller.

Fournier has been doing pottery for more than 40 years. She has also taught pottery classes for the past 10+ years for students 16 and older.

“With clay, you never lose your fascination with it," said Fournier. "There is always something new to learn.” 

All her pottery, whether hand-built or wheel-thrown, can be functional or sculptural. Her signature wild cat design comes from her love of them, as she has had cats throughout her life and believes that every cat is a little wild at heart. Another favourite is her Orca design. Fournier says orcas are a west coast symbol and she can’t help but admire their strength and the way they hunt and work together in a matriarchal society.

Fournier is a talented storyteller, rock and roll enthusiast, fashion lover and enjoyer of anything with artistic merit. Fournier is also an avid gardener, makes preserves, currently writes articles for Garden Musings, hangs out with her kitty Miss Molly and gets into all sorts of trouble in her free time.

You can find Fournier's artwork at the Grove Gallery at Harbour Quay, open seven days a week.