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The Fairmont Empress Welcomes Artist Harumi Ota

Publish Date: 02-Dec-2013

Victoria, British Columbia Monday, December 02, 2013

The Fairmont Empress is pleased to welcome ceramic artist Harumi Ota as the hotel’s new artist in residence. Ota will be the seventh artist in residence for The Fairmont Empress. Since beginning the art residency program in 2010, The Fairmont Empress has attracted many highly acclaimed Victoria, B.C. artists to create art onsite including Robert Amos, Manon Elder and David Goatley.

Harumi Ota trained in the forming and decorating of traditional Kutani-style ceramics in Ishikawa, Japan. Ota’s art may be best described as an eclectic fusion of Japanese esthetics with a contemporary style reflective of his adoptive country, Canada.  His art also contains vibrant influences of his year of mountaineering in South America. Ota’s works have been shown at major ceramic exhibitions including the International Ceramics Competition Mino and the Kutani International Decorative Ceramics Competition in Japan, as well as the Fletcher Challenge Competition in New Zealand. After having moved to Canada from his native Japan in 1998, Ota established his first studio in Victoria, B.C. Shortly thereafter, Ota’s passion for creating his own art evolved into offering workshops and formal art instruction.  In 2001, his work was selected for Eye Candy, an exhibition of contemporary art at the Art Gallery of Greater Victoria.

Ota most enjoys making non-functional pieces using the slip casting technique. These are high-fired once and fired again low temperatures, often several times depending on the type and quantity of colours used for the overglaze. He also makes colourful unique functional pieces that reflect a combination of the Japanese enjoyment of tableware and his own sense of fun.  Ota uses an electric kiln at his studio in Victoria and still maintains two anagama kilns that he built in Ishikawa and Toyama, Japan.

Artist Harumi Ota’s studio at The Fairmont Empress is located in the Upper Lobby of the grand hotel and is open for guests and local resident viewings daily.

Regarded on the Condé Nast Gold List, voted the Readers’ Choice and ranked on Travel + Leisure’s 500, Best Hotels of the World, The Fairmont Empress hotel majestically rises over Victoria's sparkling Inner Harbour. Turn of the century architecture and timeless beauty complement the quintessential Victoria experience as Vancouver Island's premier luxury resort destination. Award winning Willow Stream Spa, world renowned Afternoon Tea, unparalleled meeting facilities and a bounty of farm to fork dining experiences are just a few of the unrivalled experiences at Canada’s Castle on the Coast. For more information or reservations, please call 250 384 8111 or visit

Located in world-class destinations around the globe, Fairmont Hotels & Resorts is a celebrated collection of hotels that includes landmark locations like London’s The Savoy, New York’s The Plaza, and Shanghai’s Fairmont Peace Hotel. With more than 60 hotels, Fairmont is known as much for its warm, engaging service and culturally rich experiences, as its classic hotels that imbue a sense of heritage, sophistication and social importance and are often considered destinations in their own right. A community and environmental leader, Fairmont is also regarded for its responsible tourism practices and award-winning Green Partnership program. Fairmont is owned by FRHI Holdings Limited, a leading global hotel company with over 100 hotels under the Fairmont, Raffles, and Swissôtel brands. The company also manages Fairmont and Raffles branded estates and luxury private residence club properties. For more information or reservations, please call 1-800-441-1414 or visit

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Contact: Angela Rafuse-Tahir                                 Nancie Hall            
The Fairmont Empress                                           Fairmont Hotels & Resorts
250/389-2725                                                           604/695-5434            

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