Retiring after more than twenty five years

Larry and Gillian Hanlon sold Peninsula Gallery earlier this year to new owners

Business owners Gillian and Larry Hanlon are retiring from Peninsula Gallery next week after more than two decades at the popular Sidney gallery.

Larry and Gillian Hanlon have owned and operated Peninsula Gallery for over 25 years, but as of next week, the two will be moving on to new endeavours after they sold the popular art hub earlier this year.

“I know there will be days I will miss it but I’m looking forward to retiring,” said Larry, adding that he hasn’t quite decided what his next plans will include.

“I like to say that chapter has yet to be written,” he laughed.

Larry started the business in 1986 in Mariner Village mall at the corner of Beacon and Seventh Street.

“I opened it then with the notion I would sell a lot of prints, posters and limited editions,” he explained, adding that the gallery quickly evolved into something greater.

“As we brought in better quality art we found there was always a market for it.

That’s when we moved in the Landmark Building so we could have more space to display original pieces and sculpture.”

The Hanlon’s have seen their fair share of change in Sidney’s landscape over the the last quarter century.

“When we first moved into the space in the Landmark Building it had been occupied by a bank and this end of town used to be the quiet end,” he said.

“Once the breakwater was put in and the marina area was developed the town became much more of a destination with tourists coming through all year long.”

A turning point for the business, he continued, was in 2000 when the gallery showed $2.5 million worth of Robert Bateman originals they had been able to glean before they were shipped to South Africa.

“We had 17,000 people come through the gallery for that show. Did it change things for us? Well aside from the fact we needed new carpet, yes, it gave exposure we never had before that,” he laughed.

He continued to say that through that show, the gallery gained notoriety with other artists who may not have otherwise known the gallery or considered showing there.

“That show allowed us to continue to broaden the base of artists we showed here and increase the number of customers we had interested in pieces coming in,” he said.

“We had a tremendous amount of community support after that.”

The two decided to look into retirement and selling the gallery over the last year or so.

“When we put it on the market we had three offers on it very quickly but the new owners, we just knew they were the right people,” said Gillian.

Ying Tang, a movie director and producer in Shanghai, China, purchased the gallery and members of her family who live here in Victoria will run it.

“Ying and her family had been looking to purchase a gallery and we had many artists in our gallery they liked and admired. It was a good fit.”

Gillian continued to say that the new owners have no plans to change the gallery at the outset.

“They want to maintain the artists we have now and maintain the feel of the gallery, but I would expect customers will see it evolve over time. Everything does,” she said.

Gillian said she is looking forward to spending more time with her grandchildren in her retirement and taking it easy in the coming months. Larry plans to stay with the gallery over the transition in ownership to ensure it all goes smoothly.

“One of the main things is that our framer, Elma Tankink, will be staying with the gallery after the transition which is wonderful,” added Larry, noting Elma has been with them for 22 years and has deep connections with many of the gallery’s customers.

Gillian said Monday, which is her last day at the gallery, will be bittersweet.

“Our customers over the years have been outstanding,” she said.

“It’s so wonderful how much joy we got to bring people in this job. We were the link between the artist and the art lover, and I always felt a bit like we ran an adoption agency,” she laughed.

“We always wanted to make sure the right piece of art was going to the right person.”

“You develop such intimate relationships with people over art and discussing and working out where a piece will hang and whatnot,” added Larry.

“That’s something I will definitely miss.”

reporter@peninsulanewsreview.com

 

 

 

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Leila Bui with her parents Tuan Bui (left) and Kairry Nguyen at the end of the trial that found Tanessa Nikirk guilty of dangerous driving causing bodily harm. Nikirk is back in court for her sentencing hearing. (Black Press file photo)
UPDATED: Court hears letter from driver convicted of hitting Saanich girl

Leila Bui has been in a non-responsive state since she was hit in 2017

Victoria police are looking for high-risk offender Douglas McPherson. (Courtesy of VicPD)
UPDATED: Victoria police arrest high-risk parolee with history of bank robbery

Citizen alerts cops after spotting parolee on Pandora Avenue

VicPD and B.C. Conservation Officer Service teamed up to free two bucks who were entangled in a fishing net and dragging a wheelbarrow sized piece of driftwood behind them. (VicPD)
VIDEO: Victoria police, B.C. Conservation help two bucks caught in one fishing net

Bucks were also dragging a wheelbarrow sized piece of driftwood behind them

Saanich implements single-lane traffic stretch on Prospect Lake Road along Clavert Park. (District of Saanich/Twitter)
Saanich makes one-way traffic permanent on segment of Prospect Lake Road

Prospect Lake Road to close near Calvert Park Nov. 2 from 9 a.m. - 3 p.m. for construction

(Black Press Media file photo)
Police arrest suspect in Saanich liquor store break and enters

Windowpane removal key component in string of thefts

FILE – Provincial Health Officer Dr. Bonnie Henry provides the latest update on the COVID-19 pandemic in the province during a press conference in the press theatre at Legislature in Victoria, B.C., on Thursday, October 22, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chad Hipolito
B.C. shatters COVID-19 records with 817 weekend cases; masks now expected indoors

Three people have died over the past three reporting periods

RCMP have released more details regarding what led up to an arrest caught on video in Williams Lake Sunday, Oct. 26. (Facebook video screenshot)
Review launched after ‘high-risk, multi-jurisdictional’ chase, arrest in Williams Lake

RCMP launching a full review and code of conduct investigation

Freighter drags anchor towards Boulder Point Oct. 22. It came within 730 metres of the shore, according to maps from the Port of Nanaimo. (Photo submitted)
MacGregor introduces bill to address freighter anchorages along the South Coast

Concerns about the environment, noise, pollution and safety abundant

(Pxfuel)
B.C. limits events in private homes to household, plus ‘safe six’ amid COVID-19 surge

Henry issued a public health order limiting private gatherings to one household, plus a group of ‘safe six’ only

B.C. Liberal Leader Andrew Wilkinson speaks during a drive-in car rally campaign stop at a tour bus operator, in Delta, Saturday, Oct. 17, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
Andrew Wilkinson stepping down as B.C. Liberal leader

Will stay on until the next party leader is chosen

Harvesters participating in the extended commercial halibut season will need to land their catch in either Prince Rupert (pictured), Vancouver, or Port Hardy by Dec. 14. (File photo)
B.C.’s commercial halibut season extended three weeks

COVID-19 market disruptions at the root of DFO’s decision

Campbell River's new hospital, July 2018
Nurse diverts opiates and falsifies records at Campbell River Hospital

Nurse facing disciplinary action for moving opiates out of the hospital

A view from the deck of a home in SookePoint. The property is a prize in the VGH and UBC Hospital Foundation Millionaire Lottery. Tickets are on sale now. (Contributed photo)
Millionaire Lottery home up for grabs in Sooke

Sooke prize home part of latest VGH and UBC Hospital Foundation Millionaire Lottery

Most Read