Although she never attended art school, co-owner of the Halifax business Charita Downey has a passion for painting.
“It’s always been a hobby of mine,” Downey said Monday. “It’s just a talent that I have.”
Downey, along with her partner Nadeem Jan, were inspired by the “paint and sip concept” in other cities.
Since Jan has experience owning other businesses, he's the one who handles the financial side of things, while she works on the creative side, Downey said.
The Canvas Room opened on Cornwallis Street in north-end Halifax at the end of May.
“Our atmosphere is for art, so there’s bright lighting and we have good natural lighting,” said Downey.
In the past week, business has been going well.
“We got a lot of bookings for parties – there’s a lot of interest,” said Downey. “We’ve had a few (people on) dates come by.”
Downey said when they decided to start the business, they hadn’t heard of Paint Nite – a popular concept already in the Halifax area. However, the main difference is you don’t have to buy tickets in advance to attend a Paint and Sip.
Paint and Sip sessions take place Wednesday through Sunday from 7 through 9 p.m. For one fee, the Canvas Room provides paint, an apron, and of course, a canvas. Food and booze cost extra.
Downey is the instructor at these sessions, providing an example painting for people to work from.
“I’m not teaching them techniques or anything like that. I’m just guiding them.”
For those who want to do their own thing, BYOC – Bring Your Own Canvas – sessions are available during the day on Thursday, Friday and Sunday.
“There’s no instruction or anything; it’s solely independent,” explained Downey. “You can come in, sit down and have a coffee or something like that.”
Group parties can also be booked two weeks ahead of time. Paint and Sip sessions are only for those over the age of 19, but Downey said younger groups can be accommodated.
“We would host a kids-friendly party if people were interested.”