Canadian Heritage

Canadian Heritage

August 20, 2010 12:30 ET

Government of Canada Supports Commemoration of Canadian Artist and Writer Emily Carr

VICTORIA, BRITISH COLUMBIA--(Marketwire - Aug. 20, 2010) - On behalf of the Honourable James Moore, Minister of Canadian Heritage and Official Languages, the Honourable Gary Lunn, Minister of State (Sport) and Member of Parliament (Saanich–Gulf Islands), today announced funding for a monument that will honour artist and writer Emily Carr.

This funding will enable the realization of the "Our Emily" project by the Parks and Recreation Foundation of Victoria. The Emily Carr monument, which will be erected in Victoria, will promote awareness and understanding of one of Canada's most significant artists and her accomplishments. The monument will consist of a bronze statue by sculptor Barbara Paterson and a bronze plaque in the form of a book on a plinth.

"I am thrilled that Emily Carr—who is a source of pride for everyone in our community—is being recognized for her exceptional contribution to our country's cultural history." said Minister of State Lunn. "Our Government is proud to support projects like this one, creating opportunities for Canadians to participate in national commemorations that build a sense of pride and belonging to Canada."

"Although Emily was a Victorian, her art and books are treasured by Canadians from coast to coast," said Ann Geddes, President of the Foundation. "Ministers James Moore and Gary Lunn's support for the monument dedicated to Emily Carr ensures that the Government of Canada is recognized on the bronze plaque by the monument. The Foundation is grateful for the approval of our contribution request."

Emily Carr, a nationally recognized artist and writer whose legacy continues to inspire Canadians, is known for her work depicting the culture and daily life of Canada's First Nations. She has become known to international audiences through exhibitions of her art outside Canada, and her writing has been translated into other languages. Her art is included in exhibitions that celebrate and examine the work of early North American modernists. Within Canada, her work is often associated with the artistic output and legacy of the Group of Seven.

The Government of Canada has provided funding of $40,000 through the Commemorate Canada component of the Department of Canadian Heritage's Celebration and Commemoration Program. This component provides financial support to initiatives of national significance that commemorate various aspects of the history of Canada.

For more information on Emily Carr, see the attached backgrounder.

This news release is available on the Internet at under Newsroom.

Emily Carr: A Brief History
1871 – Born December 13 in Victoria, British Columbia
1879 – Attends Mrs. Fraser's Private School. Art lessons begin
1886 – Death of Emily's mother; two years later, her father dies
1890 – Studies art in San Francisco
1893 – Returns to Victoria. Teaches children's art classes in the "Barn Studio"
1894 – Wins prize for drawing at Victoria Agricultural Fair
1899 – First trip to Ucluelet to sketch; studies art in England
1906 – Acquires "Billie," her beloved bobtail sheepdog
1907 – Visits Alaska, stops at Alert Bay. Decides to visit Aboriginal sites and paint records of their vanishing villages
1913 – First major exhibition of 200 First Nations paintings in Vancouver at Drummond Hall. Vancouver Province gives enthusiastic review
1917 – Sets up kennels to raise and sell bobtail dogs
1921 – Acquires "Woo," her Javanese monkey
1927 – Goes to eastern Canada; meets Group of Seven. Participates in "Canadian West Coast Art: Native and Modern" at the National Gallery of Canada in Ottawa
1937 – First heart attack. Successful solo exhibition at Art Gallery of Ontario
1938 – Solo exhibition at Vancouver Art Gallery
1941 – Klee Wyck published. Wins Governor General's Award for Literature.
1942 – Last sketching trip. Major heart attack. Publication of The Book of Small
1943 – Solo exhibitions in Montréal, Toronto, Vancouver, and Seattle. Hospitalized with a stroke. Begins to write Hundreds and Thousands
1944 – Paints in Beacon Hill from wheelchair. The House of All Sorts published. Has third stroke
1945 – Enters St. Mary's Priory. Last heart attack. Dies March 2, at age 73
After Emily Carr's Death
Carr's posthumous publications: Growing Pains,1946; Pause: A Sketch Book and The Heart of a Peacock,1953; Hundreds and Thousands, 1966; This and That, 2007; Emily Carr: A Biography by Maria Tippett, 1979; The Life of Emily Carr by Paula Blanchard, 1988
2001 – The exhibition "Places of Their Own: Emily Carr, Georgia O'Keefe & Frida Kahlo", curated by McMichael Canadian Art Collection, travels North America
2001 – Sculptor Barbara Paterson makes first sketch of "Our Emily"
2006 – The exhibition "Emily Carr: New Perspectives on a Canadian Icon", co-curated by Vancouver Art Gallery and The National Gallery of Art, travels across Canada
2008 – Parks and Recreation Foundation of Victoria begins fundraising for the "Our Emily" monument, which is to be placed on the grounds of Victoria's Empress Hotel
2009/2010 – The Audain Foundation of Vancouver, Rogers Communications, Shaw Communications, and Victoria businessman Frank Garnett give large donations to support the "Our Emily" monument

Contact Information

  • Office of the Minister of Canadian Heritage
    and Official Languages
    Matthew Deacon - Press Secretary
    Canadian Heritage
    Media Relations