Awards and Recognition

Wabamun art gallery finalist in Alberta Businesses Awards of Distinction

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A Wabamun art gallery has put the lakeside hamlet on Alberta’s business map.

“When I got the email, I was blown away. If I win, you’ll probably hear me squealing all the way to Spruce Grove,” said Gossamer Gallery & Gifts owner Lois Hannam.

She and her husband Len co-own the business which they opened in 2015. At the time, Wabamun was in search of someone to open a gift store in the community. After a lifetime in the corporate world as a project financial manager, Hannam said she jumped at the opportunity to start a retail operation where she would be her own boss. With no formal education in the art world, her sudden decision to open a gallery took her life in an entirely new and exciting direction. The name Gossamer was chosen because it is a term used to describe the appearance of dragonfly wings — of which Wabamun is home to Canada’s largest.

Her vision quickly turned into bringing art out of the city and into a rural, lakeside setting with the goal of providing an inviting, relaxed atmosphere for patrons to experience art in their own backyard. However, with little capital left to invest in the merchandise after purchasing a business space, Hannam was forced to approach local makers, artisans, and artists to help fill her store. This happy accident is actually what ended up giving Gossamer its unique identity as a hotspot for Albertan art.

“It wasn’t really my full intention to open up an art gallery but I’m glad I did. When I chose the name, it was kind of serendipitous of what I did and the rest is history,” said Hannam. 

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Publishing date:

May 07, 2021  • Last Updated May 18, 2021  •  4 minute read`

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