April 16, 2015
A Love Story
Written by Amrita Chandra
When Almis Ledas bought his ticket for 100 Prints, the predecessor to Open Studio’s Editions fundraiser, little did he know he would be getting a ticket to a lifetime of wedded bliss.
Our story starts way back in April 1999, when Almis was traveling to Boston at the same time Adriana (Adri) van Hilten was traveling to Winnipeg, both leaving out of Toronto’s Pearson airport. Adri caught Almis’ eye in line and they struck up a conversation which led to an exchange of email addresses before they took their respective flights.
A few emails followed, and Almis invited Adri to be his guest at Open Studio’s annual fundraiser. It was an unusual choice for a first date, a choice that impressed Adri. “I was so impressed that he invited me to an art event,” Adri said during a phone interview. “I thought ‘a guy who can keep himself busy for an evening looking at art on a wall is okay by me.’”
She had never been to 100 Prints before, and found it intriguing, even a little out of her comfort zone at first. As fate would have it, Almis’ name was the last to be called, giving them an entire evening to get to know each other. Adri was impressed by Almis’ patience and his organized approach to choosing a print.
He ended up going home with A Matter of Colour Suite by artist Judith Weksaiky but the real prize was capturing the interest of Adri, who 2 years later would become his wife.
“What started off as a date has become an annual tradition for us, a celebration of our anniversary,” said Almis. “We’ve been coming to 100 Prints ever since. It’s not just an event, it’s a part of a community who we support and who we’re always happy to see.”
And the print that brought them together? It still hangs in a special place in Almis’ office, a reminder of a special night and a special woman.