Stained glass heart artist Layne Collinson (centre back), Qualicum Stationers co-owner Bonnie Luchtmeijer (centre bottom) and her employees show off some of their favourite hearts, now for sale with 50 per cent going towards the Manna Homeless Society. — Adam Kveton Photo

Parksville Qualicum Beach artist makes more than 500 glass hearts for Manna

Layne Collinson’s Valentine’s project grows again this year

Have a heart, says Layne Collinson. In fact, have several.

She’s made plenty to go around for her fourth year of fundraising for the Manna Homeless Society.

Collinson is a local stained glass artist with a thing for the symbol of love.

“I’m addicted to hearts,” she said. “I can’t stop making them.”

But, rather than horde them all away, Collinson has spent the last three years selling her hearts, each with a unique design, before Valentine’s Day as a Hearts for the Homeless project.

Half of the proceeds from the hearts go to Manna.

“The first year we put them up at Smoke ’N Water (in Pacific Shores Resort in Nanoose Bay) and we raised around $1,000,” said Collinson. The next year she raised about $3,500.

Last year, Qualicum Stationers (206 First Ave. West, Qualicum Beach) began selling the hearts as well. That year the project raised about $6,700, said Collinson.

This year Arbutus Fashion (147 West 2nd Ave., Qualicum Beach) and Sapphire Moon Gallery and Gift (162 Harrison Ave. in Parksville) also have the hearts for sale, with Collinson having made more than 500.

With the increase in hearts and sellers, she’s hoping for a banner year.

“I’m hoping to crack $10,000 this year,” she said. “You never know. I don’t want to jinx myself. Whatever people give is great, and people come all the way from Victoria to see them, and Nanaimo.”

She’s also continuing to pursue a listing in the Guinness Book of World Records.

Last year, it occurred to Collinson that “‘Nobody can be as insane as this, so I might as well try.’ That was my goal, do 500 and then contact them (The Guinness Book of World Records),” Collinson said at the time.

Unfortunately, the Guinness Book of World Records finds art to be a little too subjective to award a world record for, said Collinson, though she’s now hoping to convince them once she’s made 1,000 hearts in total.

“I might get in then,” she said.

Though her passion for creating the hearts still comes from her driving obsession with designing them, and that they help to support a worthy cause.

“It’s definitely a cause of the heart,” said Collinson, estimating that she makes as little as a dollar an hour on them.

“I do it to give back and it’s just so much fun. I get a lot of love back from people who think it’s just so fabulous that it’s for the homeless,” she said.

“A lot of people end up buying three or four and they come back two weeks later saying, ‘Well I gave them all away and I need more.’”

Collinson added that there will be a fundraiser evening at Smoke ’N Water on Thursday, Jan. 18 that will include a raffle for a big stained glass heart, and a 50/50 along with live music.

Send news tips to:

adam.kveton@pqbnews.com

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