Framing in Yellowknife since the daguerreotype.

Visual Effects Ltd is located in the core of downtown Yellowknife and has occupied its present space for 17 years. The store is relatively small in size 1119 square feet, but has proven itself time and time again to be capable of handling large framing orders as well as hosting art shows. The generous amount of natural light in the store due to a bank of floor to ceiling windows across the front adds greatly to the ambience of the space and helps properly showcase the Fine Art adorning the walls.

With the exception of the saw room and glass cutting areas which are isolated for both noise reduction and customer safety, the bulk of the framing shop has been integrated into the gallery space. As the customer browses the many prints and originals displayed they can also watch the framers at work who are readily available to answer any questions and facilitate them in any way.

The store owners have always been and continue to be very discriminating concerning the products they showcase and champion. All of the artists are well known and highly collectible. The handmade crafts are also carefully selected from an ever growing number of Artisans that frequent the business looking to showcase their work. The business has become a popular destination for many locals just wanting a break in their day, spending a bit of time in a soothing atmosphere. Did I mention the music? The guys are spinning vinyl these days from John’s extensive record collection from the 70’s and 80’s.

“As an artist, I appreciate the creative approach Visual Effects takes to framing my work. They understand how the right frame can bring out the best my work.”
Rae Braden, Local Artist
“Everybody was friendly and helpful, especially the fellows at Visual Effects, where I was introduced to Germaine Arnaktauyok, whose work I have been collecting for some time. This was a highlight for me, and I wish I had taken a picture with her.”
David Biltek, Grande Prairie
“I get my work mounted and framed at Visual Effects on a regular basis and I’m always happy with the results. Northerners are lucky to have a framing store of this quality right here in Yellowknife.”
Fran Hurcomb, Local Photographer

John Lodge

Peter Bent

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Born in Toronto, Ontario, John Lodge was interested early in architecture in high school and still admires the design of structures today. The design and layout of picture framing is a very similar process.

In the late 70’s while visiting a friend in Calgary, John thought he would take a couple of old calendars he had to a “U-Frame-It” shop. The owner of the business was busy with a group of seniors, so he jumped right in and learned as he went. Little did he know years later this would be my profession.

John moved to Yellowknife in the early eighties, a small art gallery opened and he was quick to ask if they needed a framer. Working half days at first, Arctic Art Gallery grew fast and needed another framer. Peter Bent was hired in 1985 from Kelowna and had years of experience in the framing industry.
Around 1986 John was approached by Langlois picture framing to take over their frame shop as they were losing their current framer. He worked there for eight years with Gary Steele and Pedro Amora and in 1988 they were awarded honorable mention in a framing competition for the Calgary Winter Olympics. Langlois was sold to Webster’s Galleries in 1994 when Webster’s Gallery was closing its doors two years later, Gary Steele and John decided to get into business for themselves. They stayed at that location for ten months before moving Visual Effects’ to its present location. Gary left the business around 2005 to pursue other interests. John ran Visual Effects on his own until 2011, when he partnered with Peter becoming a good team again after all those years.

Born in St. John, New Brunswick, Peter Bent was first introduced to the fine art and framing industry at the age of 19 securing a position with the Morrison Art Gallery. It was here that he got his early education in custom framing using by today’s standards very crude manual tools, a foundation that he feels still benefits him greatly to this day. It was also here that he was immersed into the alluring eccentric world of Professional Artists and learned his first lessons about the importance of maintaining an ethical, honest relationship with them. It was made crystal clear to him that it was a privilege to be representing their work.

Following the popular pilgrimage in the 1970’s Peter left for the West Coast. Although working many jobs unrelated to Art and Framing he was always drawn back to the Industry working in several prestigious art galleries including Gainsborough Gallery in Calgary, Alberta and Collectors Gallery in Kelowna, British Columbia. It was here he met a Gallery owner from Yellowknife, Northwest Territories who lured him to the north for a two week visit to help her in her business. Twenty-eight years later and still living here, Peter went from working several years for Arctic Art Gallery to opening and an operating a very successful fine art and framing business until finally collaborating with John Lodge of Visual Effects. The two partners soon realized that the marriage of their talents coupled with their visions for the business would prove to be the most exciting chapter in their careers. Incorporating in the fall of 2011 Visual Effects Limited gently morphed from a predominately custom framing business into a high end art gallery featuring several well-known Canadian artists, mixed with a group of very talented local artists, photographers, jewelers and crafts-people.