Federation of Canadian Artists

1941 - current

The Federation of Canadian Artists was founded in 1941 following the Kingston Conference, organized by Andre Bieler, an artist, and Harry McCurry, Director of the National Gallery. The group attempted to address the role of the artist in society on a nation-wide basis, while trying to reduce the isolation of many Canadian artists. With World War II in progress and the Depression over, it was an opportune time for an artists cooperative to form.

In 1946 - 47 the FCA - B.C. Region, organized a travelling exhibition, in cooperation with the University of British Columbia Department of Extension, that went to galleries in Vancouver, New Westminster, Port Alberni, Duncan, Kamloops, Vernon, Kelowna, Grand Forks, Rossland, Nelson, and Creston. The five artists represented in the exhibition were Stanley Brunst, Lawren Harris, Charles H. Scott, Jack Shadbolt, and Cliff Robinson.

The Art in Living Group was an "offspring" of the Federation of Canadian Artists, that was founded after WWII.

1957 Painting in the Parks programme

The B.C. Region of the FCA was also founded in 1941, and still maintains an active presence in Vancouver at their gallery on Granville Island at 1241 Cartwright Street, where they hold frequent solo, group, and invitational exhibits, supplemented by a publication titled Art Avenue.

A 2010 club card for a group exhibition

In 2010 there were a number of chapters active in the B.C. Region, including Comox, Victoria, Nanaimo, Arrowsmith, Central Okanagan, and North Okanagan.


1942 Nov. 3 - 15 Red Cross Benefit Exhibition Vancouver Art Gallery
1944 Sept. 1 - 17 Art in Living - A School of Today Vancouver Art Gallery
1945 Aug. 31 - Sept. 19 Art in Living - The New Community Vancouver Art Gallery
1946 (dates?) Traveling Exhibition #1 (BCA15 selections) ("the interior")
1946 Nov. - 1947 May Traveling Exhibition #2 (5 artists) (11 locations)
1964 Spring Exhibition - B.C. Region (location not noted)
1967 July 1 - Sept. 10 Centennial Sculpture '67 Queen Elizabeth Theatre
1977 1977 Winter Exhibition (location not noted)
2005 July 7 - 26 Island Inks (location not noted)
2006 Painting on the Edge 4th Annual FCA Gallery, Granville Island
2009 Sept. 22 - Oct. 4 A Bird, A Stone, A Letter FCA Gallery, Granville Island
2010 June 1 - 13 Septessence FCA Gallery, Granville Island
2012 May 29 - June 10 Double Identity FCA Gallery, Granville Island


"Noted Artists Offer Paintings For Red Cross"
      Vancouver Daily Province (presumed), November 1942

"An important event also is the forming of a Vancouver Island region of the Federation of Canadian Artists under chairmanship of the Hon. Mark H. Kearley of Metchosin. Last June the organization on the Island numbered a dozen members, but by the new year had jumped to 150."
      From "Collection of Eastern Artist Features Art Gallery Display" by Palette
      Vancouver Daily Province, January 24 1945

"The B.C. Region of the Federation of Canadion Artists has been engaged for the past five years in Province-wide activities. Included in these activities are the sending of small travelling exhibitions of Art to the Interior towns of the Province in co-operation with the University's Department of Extension; the planning and financing of a campaign to further the Community Centre Art Brief, and co-operation with the Parks Board of the City for an Art Festival Week in Stanley Park during the summer. Excellent work has also been done by a group of Federation members known as the Art in Living Group."
     From "A Short History of Art in British Columbia" by Charles H. Scott
     Behind The Palette 1946-47 issue

"Artists and Laymen" by Robert Ayre
      Canadian Art magazine, 1947, Vol. 4 No. 4

"Certainly, we had none of the fantastic, grisly abortions sent round to Trail, Rossland and other interior points from time to time by the so-called "Federation of Canadian Artists!" (and we would have shown none). "
      From "LIKES WESTON", by "Allan P. Allsebrook"
      Trail Daily Times, March 1948

"This is our fourth display, two having been held locally in the summers of 1947 and 1948, and one in Victoria under the auspices of the Federation of Canadian Artists at the Little Centre."
      From "Letter re Saltspring Island Art Group exhibition"
      Personal correspondence, October 25 1948