Article in Capital Xtra, Centertown News and the Ottawa Citizen.
After Stonewall has been Ottawa, Ontario’s (Canada) LGBT bookstore for 22 years, originally started in the Glebe. However, After Stonewall now has a new vibe!
Michael Deyell, originally from Ottawa, has returned to Ottawa after 20 years and changed After Stonewall into an Art for Everyday Living space. Centretowns new Snapdragon but more. Michael, born and raised in Ottawa, worked at the National Gallery of Canada and lived in the village years ago. Having worked for companies such as Torstar Publications and the Heart and Stroke Foundation has decided to move back to Ottawa and breathe new life into After Stonewall.
Michael decided to purchase After Stonewall when it went up for sale in 2012 and change it up a bit in order to appeal to everyone by including handmade functional art, fine art, chocolate, wine and events at After Stonewall in 2013...creating a new and exciting art space for everyone! “I feel it is the right combination in creating an Art for Everyday Living experience for the community, bringing something to the village that does not currently exist. Creating an art space for downtown Ottawa.” notes Michael. Having run a number of businesses over the last 10 years in Prince Edward County such as fad: funktional art and design, Out in the County, Prince Edward County Travel and DM Social Marketing; it has helped Michael to understand business and most of all how to change up a business in a downturn in the economy, creating a business that appeals to everyone in different ways.
“I already have such a great feeling about the Ottawa community, and many businesses already seem excited that I have moved forward with my ideas at After Stonewall” explains Michael. “We had our grand reopening on January 26, 2013 and there was one time in the evening that you couldn’t even fit another person in the space. The attendance was overwhelming as was the positive feedback” explains Michael.
Michael decided to keep the name After Stonewall because of the meaning behind the name and because the business has existed in Ottawa for 22 years. The big change is now having 2 businesses in one, literature and art!
In still focusing on the literature, Michael has created a type of library feel for the literature, creating a relaxed atmosphere. 30+ Ontario and Quebec artists are showcased now at After Stonewall who creates functional art including glassware, pottery, stoneware, , metalware, woodwork, leatherware and jewellery. All the work is handmade and can be worn or used in your home. Michael is even showcasing fine artists, starting with abstract artist Andrew Stelmack whose work has previously been available at Snapdragon Gallery in the Ottawa Glebe. The next stage is renovating the lower space in the years to come which has not been used to date to create a fine art and event space. Michael will be working with a number of Ontario wineries doing evening wine tasting events at After Stonewall. In order to attend the Private Wine Events all a person needs to do is join the After Stonewall facebook page or drop by in person and fill out a Preferred Customer Card.
“I respect other businesses in a community and always try not to bring into a business something that another business doesn’t already have available for the consumer. It is about working together and not against, cross promoting with businesses. You must respect your neighbours. That is one of the reasons I am coming back to Ottawa, to be part of a great village and a great community.” quotes Michael.