A chance meeting on a ski lift set Elizabeth Harris on the path to art gallery ownership.
Harris had studied art history at Queen’s University and was in Whistler for what she thought would be a season when she started chatting with a woman on the chairlift when she was skiing one day.
“We were chatting about life in Whistler and the woman happened to ask, ‘If you could do anything in the world, what would it be?’ I said, I’d love to work in an art gallery,” Harris explains.
“She said, ‘I’m a curator.’ It was very serendipitous.”
Harris started working in the Whistler art world, including for the previous owners of Adele Campbell Fine Art. Eventually, assumed ownership of the gallery, which she has run for the last seven years.
“The previous owners, who had been incredible mentors to me, presented this opportunity of taking over one day, and it worked out,” Harris says.
“It’s been a long process but definitely one where I’ve worked my way up and have had the opportunity to be mentored by fascinating women along the way.”
Harris has always been drawn to the business world, growing up in a family of car dealers.
“There was always a part of me that wanted my own business, but I wasn’t sure what that business was going to be,” Harris says.
Harris credits her wonderful staff with contributing to the success of the gallery.
“We would not have gotten through the last couple of years so successfully without our devoted staff, and I’m immensely grateful to them,” Harris explains.
She is also proud of the decades-long relationship the gallery has had with its clientele, as well as its artists, whose careers she has had the pleasure of watching develop.
Some of those artists include Laura Harris, a critically acclaimed Vancouver Island artist, who recently had a show at the gallery, and Kerry Langlois, whose previous exhibit at the gallery completely sold out.
This year, the gallery looks forward to an equally successful exhibition presented by Kerry Langlois, opening March 4, 2022.
Harris also commends the Whistler community for her success.
“I’ve lived in Whistler for 25 years. We lean so heavily on each other in this town,” Harris says.
“I truly owe my success to hard work and the many other people in my life.”