Downtown Nanaimo framing business closes doors after 38 years 

Downtown Nanaimo framing business closes doors after 38 years 
WatchA longtime Nanaimo business is closing its doors after nearly four decades being part of the downtown.

Paulette and Blake McCarthy have become trusted fixtures of downtown Nanaimo for 38 years by bringing people’s family photos and art to life.

“You take something that is important to the client and you enhance it,” said co-owner Blake McCarthy.

“He’s absolutely amazing,” said Bastion Gallery customer Laurie Dougan.

“He just has an eye for colour,” she said.

With heavy hearts, Blake and Paulette McCarthy have made the decision to close the doors on their framing business, Bastion Gallery, and retire.

“I have tears in my eyes,” said Paulette.

“Because it’s a long time.”

The two actually met in the shop  after it had just opened. Paulette brought in some pieces for framing and she says she fell in love with Blake on the spot.

“And that was the beginning,” said Paulette.

Since then, they’ve framed baby pictures all the way up to those babies getting married and revived old family heirlooms.

Bastion Gallery’s original location was destroyed when a massive fire burned down the Jean Burns Building in 2016. While the business survived and they found a place to move to, they say it was never quite the same.

So the McCarthy’s are calling it a career to enjoy making memories of their own.

“You know it’s time,” said Blake.

Everything in the shop is now on sale to be cleared out by the end of November, including the old rotary phones that Bastion Gallery used decades ago.

“We will be having our very first Christmas that is non-retail, together,” said Paulette.

Skye RyanSkye Ryan

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