Canvastone attracts tourists

Frazer McCammond Canvastone
Frazer McCammond Canvastone

A social enterprise that works with disadvantaged young people has helped put Dromore on the tourist map, having attracted the attention of Tourism NI.

The Canvastone gallery, based in Bridge Street, has been given an entry on the Tourism NI website.

“We’re delighted about it and see it as an incremental step in the right direction,” said Development Manager, Frazer McCammond.

Launched earlier this year, the self-financing social enterprise helping unemployed young people first made links with Tourism NI when they approached them to explore possibilities for breaking into a North American market.

“Although they couldn’t help us in terms of retail, they looked at our project in terms of our potential to draw visitors to Dromore town.

“Then they asked us to put in an application to have Canvastone featured on their website and on Thursday we received an email to say they had put us in.

“We’re the only business like this in the town centre to appear on the website and it really helps put Dromore on the tourist map.”

Canvastone gallery already have a Tourist Information point in the shop.

“We can point people to local attractions and hope this facility will also be a draw to help bring visitors into Dromore - not just to our shop but also to the cafes and other businesses in
the town.

“We hope others will see it as an encouragement.

“In terms of the art on our premises and the medieval history of Dromore - we’d like to harness these to build the economic future of the town and this is done rooted in helping disadvantaged young people who will be respected for generating that income source.

“We’re doing a lot of things here that people aren’t always aware of.

“Recently we did some restoration work on old photos which customers were very pleased with, we currently have three artists exhibiting with us and we have also done things like pop up banners.

“We’ve plans for outreach work with other social enterprise partners too.”

Visitors to the gallery are invited to have their own images created on the unique medium Canvastone, in-store.

Using liquid stone technology and reclaimed timber frames the images can be transformed into artwork ready to be mounted on the wall.

The Christmas offer is £5 off on orders of over £30.