About Us

Once upon a time, a young artist had a dream...

Rob Buckland-Nicks, originally of the United Kingdom, decided to pursue his dream and relocated his young family to Canada in 1975. With a 3-month old baby and a 3-year old child, he and his wife arrived in Canada. Rural, country life for Rob and his family was established in the small village of Bear River, Nova Scotia.

Over the next few years, through several iterations of partnerships and cooperative efforts, ‘The Flight of Fancy Arts Ltd.’ was founded in 1980 and is now known worldwide for excellence in fine art and craft.

Rob Buckland-Nicks is the sole owner and curator of this remarkable gallery where well-known Canadian and Atlantic Maritime artists, artisans and craftspeople are featured. Rob is the curator who knows how to bring superb works of art to one setting. Patrons from around the globe have come to admire and purchase his wares, to listen intently to the tales about the exquisite work and to learn about the treasures and magical experiences that make this hidden gem so spectacular.

On most afternoons at the gallery, you will find a man with a gentle caring voice; his melodic English accent still intact. If you’re lucky, he may show you into his workshop located in the gallery upstairs and share stories about his younger days during the sixties at St Martin’s School of Art in London, England or, some of his life’s adventures in Bear River.

Celebrating Over 40 Years of Flight of Fancy

History of Bear River ~ Shipbuilding and Lumbering

The Flight of Fancy’s home, nestled along the waterfront in this historic village, was originally built in1845 with the purpose of servicing three-masted schooners as a shipping office for Bear River’s largest employer during the 1800’s, the Clarke Brothers.

The Clark Bros., among their many enterprises, catered to hunting and fishing parties but their biggest single endeavor was their sawmill and wood working plant at Lake Jolly, about 14km South East of Bear River. Here they produced spruce and pine lumber as well as shingles and box material. The mill was later converted to handle hardwood and produced dowels,clothes pins, window sashes, door frames and toy furniture.

(Reference: Bear River Historical Society & Museum)

During the 1890’s, Bear River had six shipyards and six lumber mills, even though its population at that time was only 1200, there were many shops, supply stores and service centres established. The craftsmen who constructed the ships also built large, elaborate homes that are perched along the steep hillsides of the river. These fine craftspeople were the forerunners of today’s ongoing influx of new artisans. The number of artists and craftspeople,who still call this unique village home, makes Bear River the largest artisan community per capita in Nova Scotia!

For more information on the history of Bear River, please visit the Bear River Museum website or find them on Facebook.

* Photos courtesy of the Bear River Historical Society.