Celebrating Decorative Arts & Design!         Célébrons les arts décoratifs et du design !

Log in
The historic mid-19th c. Lang Tannery building in Kitchener-Waterloo, restored and adapted and now a home to information/technology companies. 

39th Annual Symposium and General Meeting

Kitchener-Waterloo, October 1 to 3, 2021

'Preservation Meets Innovation'

CSDA/CCAD is presenting this year's symposium in Kitchener-Waterloo, Ontario. The area was settled by German-speaking farming families from Pennsylvania early in the 19th century, then by a further wave of skilled labourers two decades later from urban areas in Germany which were in severe depression at the time. In this new community, named Berlin, industries thrived, both in agriculture and manufacturing. Since 2000, the tech industry has exploded in Kitchener-Waterloo, with many companies breathing new life into aging post-and-beam factory buildings, and others bringing creative design and innovation to the urban landscape.

The symposium originally scheduled for Fall 2020 was postponed due to the pandemic. Our 2021 symposium will be hybrid of virtual lectures, an online auction, and a one-day in-person event Saturday October 2 at the Canadian Clay & Glass Gallery (health regulations permitting).

We acknowledge that the Canadian Clay & Glass Gallery is located on the traditional and unceded territory of the Attawandaron, Anishinaabe and Haudenosaunee peoples.

Symposium Program 

Friday, October 1, 2021 All Virtual

12:45 pm – 1:30 pm

CSDA/CCAD Annual General Meeting (For members only) 


1:30 pm - 3:00 pm

Welcome from Karen Redman, Regional Chair of the Waterloo Region.  

Marian Bradshaw Lecture 

 Re-Modern: Approaches to the Reuse of Post-war Modern Architecture in Waterloo Region

Rick Haldenby, Professor, School of Architecture, University of Waterloo, will talk about the cities of Kitchener and Waterloo and how they were dramatically transformed in the years after the Second World War. A new road system was created, along with new public buildings, shopping malls, apartment blocks, and a vast expansion of the educational infrastructure.  Most of these buildings were designed by local architectural firms. The quality was high, one of the greatest cultural achievements in the history of this region. This talk celebrates the remarkable heritage of post-war architecture in Kitchener and Waterloo and the responsibility and opportunity it presents today. Five recent projects preserve and transform post-war buildings of quality in appropriate and creative ways

5:00 pm to 6:30 pm

The Decorative Arts In Perspective: A CSDA/CCAD 40th Anniversary Panel Discussion 

Since its founding in 1981, the Canadian Society for the Decorative Arts has sought to provide a critical platform for the study of the decorative  and utilitarian arts. In recognition of the four-decade long history of the CSDA, this panel will consider the changes in thinking about the value of tangible culture and about the roles of objects in both the public and private realms. This talk is moderated by Dr. Michael Prokopow, historian and curator with the following panelists: Bruce Bolton, Executive Director of the McDonald Stewart Foundation,  Stephanie Rebick, Associate Curator at the Vancouver Art Gallery, and Nicholas Bell, President & CEO of the Glenbow Museum. 

7:00 pm

CSDA Online Auction Closes - Check out the art objects, books, and experiences unique to the CSDA/CCAD. The auction is hosted with generous support from Waddington's .Check out the objects here;  AUCTION SITE  (note the auction will go live on September 22 and close on October 1 at 7:00PM EDT). 

NOTE: As this is a fundraising event there are no buyers' premium or taxes charged on items being bid on. 


Kinichi Shigeno -Japanese-Canadian b 1953, Porcelain Teapot with Cat (from the The Orkin Collection).


Saturday, October 2, 2021 Virtual & Live Events in Waterloo (In-person space is limited.)

LOCATION: Canadian Clay & Glass Gallery, Waterloo (Health regulations permitting)

9:30 am to 10:00 am - Coffee, Fresh Fruit and Baked Goods

10:00 am to 11:00 am (In-person only)

Introducing: The Canadian Clay and Glass Gallery (CCGG)

Dr. Denis Longchamps, Executive Director and Chief Curator, will take guests behind the scenes to see  the collections in this Governor-General’s Award-winning building designed by Vancouver’s Patkau Architects.


11:00 am to 12:00 pm (In-person at CCGG or virtual)

The Handmade’s Tale - A Story About Forensic Blacksmithing 

Making things by hand for a living requires a firm belief in the inherent value of the skills required to turn raw materials into structures that are sensual, intimate and visually engaging. Blacksmith  and artist Sandra Dunn will talk about forging steel and copper for 27 years and what she has learned from that experience.  She will then demonstrate the tools and steps involved in forming a copper acanthus leaf.


12:00pm to 1:00pm – Box Lunch provided in Waterloo


1:00 pm to 2:00 pm  (In-person at CCGG or virtual)

Variations on a Theme 

Chris Blott, Owner of Artefacts: Salvage and Design, believes the front door of a home is where first impressions are formed by guests upon arrival. What does the front door say about the homeowner and what the homeowner is trying to convey?


2:00 pm to 2:30 pm  Break: Free time in the gallery or shop.


2:30 pm to 3:30 pm (In-person at CCGG or virtual)

Winifred Shantz Award for Ceramics 

Peter Flannery, Curator at the Canadian Clay & Glass Gallery will discuss the innovative works of the finalists and winner of the 2021 Winifred Shantz Award for Ceramics, a prestigious national award for emerging ceramic artists. Finalists and winners represent the best of new Canadian ceramics talent and the future of the diverse work in this medium.


4:00 pm - 5:30 pm (In-person only - transportation to the house is the responsibility of the delegates.)

 A Private Tour of the 1842 John Wissler House and Cascaden Collection

Followed by a 40th Anniversary Reception toast and stories.

The 1842 John Wissler House is a “Georgian Mennonite” gem built for an entrepreneur who developed one of the largest tanneries in Upper Canada.  While the exterior of house reflects the earlier architectural style of his native Lancaster County in Pennsylvania, the interior includes an unusual front hall design featuring elaborate plaster work.  From the mid-1850’s to 1900, three additions with features more commonly found in the Mennonite farm houses of Waterloo Region were added. The current owners (Ron and Wendy Cascaden) have taken great care to restore the impressive features of this house, modernizing sympathetically where required, and furnishing appropriately.


Sunday, October 3, 2021 All Virtual