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Past CSDA/CCAD events 



CSDA Sundays: Sis Bunting Weld Private Collectors Series

Treasure(d) Boxes

On Sunday, June 5, 2022 the CSDA held the first in-person event for some time in which Antique collector and dealer Steven Blevins shared his collection of “Treasure(d) Boxes.

Often overlooked, the Box is the Treasure here. Throughout history, boxes are where we have encased our precious things, but now these can be more interesting and valuable than the treasures they were originally meant to contain. Steven Blevins says, “I collect to see the hand and skill of the people who have come before imparted in the work in these creations. These boxes are very personal and unique relics of those lives lived. There was also a bonus feature about the venue for the day’s event—the two Avoca co-op apartment buildings in midtown Toronto, classic examples of mid-century modern architecture. No recording is available for this talk. 


CSDA/CCAD YP&C Explore Series

Contemporary Decorative Arts: Blurring the Line Between Art and Design

On Thursday, May 19, 2022  The YP&C Committee  hosted a talk with Isabelle Weiss advisor and accredited appraiser. The blurring of boundaries between fine art and design is not only shaping today’s decorative arts market but opening up an entirely new sector of ‘contemporary art’ collecting. The intersection of art and design is nothing new and yet, armed with a consciousness of the world’s art and design histories and markets that is unique to this time, emerging artists/designers are examining, pushing and questioning this intersection more than ever.

The recording for this lecture is available to members on the Members-only portal.



CSDA Sundays: The Experts Series: May 15, 2022

Curator's Choice - Treasures from the Fashion History Museum

Fashion History Museum Board Chair Kenn Norman introduces us to this gem of a museum and Curatorial Director Jonathan Walford shares some of his favourite treasures from its permanent collection. When is a shoe not just a shoe?  When does a foundation garment offer more than support?  And when does an accessory serve no useful purpose except to send a message?  Answers to these and other intriguing questions will unfold as we explore the interplay between form and function in fashion through a virtual visit to the Fashion History Museum.  

The recording for this lecture is available to members on the Members-only portal.


CSDA Sundays, The Experts Series

Chinese Porcelain in Canada in the 18th & 19th Centuries:  Featuring Examples in Nova Scotia & Quebec Collections

On Sunday, April 3, 2022, CSDA hosted a talk by Asian art expert Susan Lahey. She illuminated the story of the more than 69,000 fragments of Chinese blue and white porcelain in the archaeological collection of Nova Scotia’s Fortress of Louisbourg and discussed how Chinese famille rose porcelains were imported to Canada from the famous Imperial kilns of Jingdezhen in a visually engaging presentation exploring Chinese porcelain in museum collections from Quebec and Nova Scotia. 

The recording for this lecture is available to members on the Members-only portal.





Ornamentum Lecture Series - Cultural Vessels - When 1960s Mi’kmaq Design and Stories Met Traditional English Bone China

On Thursday, March 24, 2022 Ornamentum magazine hosted with the sponsorship support of Beaverbrook Art Gallery a talk with Emma Hassencahl-Perly a Wolastoqey artist, curator and educator from Negotiuk (Tobique First Nation) and John Leroux manager of collections and exhibitions at the Beaverbrook Art Gallery. They discussed the first modern Indigenous artists in eastern Canada that developed an international following almost overnight. (Note: Article found in Ornamentum Fall/Winter 2021)

Images: Various teacups, saucers, creamers and sugar bowls from Royal Tuscan's "The Micmac Indian Legends of the Little People" fine China set, 1964 Photos: John Leroux 



CSDA Sundays, The Experts Series:  WHAT'S OLD IS NEW . . . or is it?

On Sunday, March 6, 2022 CSDA hosted a panel discussion with estate liquidator/certified appraiser Judith Martin, interior designer Emily Hollis, and do-it-yourselfer Sophie Golets.              In recent years, fine furniture made of mahogany, walnut and various fruit woods has often been dismissed as "brown furniture."  Is Canadian House & Home magazine correct in suggesting that brown furniture is making a comeback?  Are people finding the time to polish silver or hand-wash gold-rimmed china?  Are minimalists making room for family heirlooms?  And does COVID have anything to do with it?  Whether you are upsizing, downsizing, giving your current home a facelift, or just wondering what's going on out there, this event is for you. The recording for this lecture is available to members on the Members-only portal



CSDA/CCAD YP&C  Explore Series  -  An Introduction to the Art Kintsugi!  

On Thursday, February 17, 2022 CSDA hosted a talk with Shuichi on the art of Kintsugi is a Japanese traditional art form and a practical technique to mend pieces to use them again in our life. Its history can be traced back 9,000 years and includes multifaceted Japanese philosophies such as resilience and sustainability. Kintsugi is increasingly referenced in media and communications during this pandemic period. The recording for this lecture is available to members on the Members-only portal


CSDA/CCAD Sundays, The Experts Series - Early Electric Cars of Canada

On Sunday, February 6, 2022 CSDA hosted in partnership with the Canadian Automobile Museum a talk about electric transportation which has been around for nearly two centuries. From the intricate models of the 19th-century experimenters to the cars we drive today. Join the Canadian Automotive Museum’s Project Coordinator Dumaresq de Pencier as he steps back to the first century of the electric, from its birth as a scientific toy to the record-breaking motorized carriages of the early 1900s to its golden age before the First World War, and beyond. The recording for this lecture is available to members on the Members-only portal



CSDA/CCAD Sundays, The Experts Series -  Introducing the Arts and Crafts Movement 

On Sunday, January 9, 2022 CSDA  hosted a talk with Dr. Carl Benn on the The Arts and Crafts Movement and the the profound impact on architecture, design, and social thought in the latter 19th and early 20th centuries. In an richly illustrated lecture, Dr Carl Benn will introduce the ideas that informed the movement, will explore its concerns as it sought to promote good design, nurturing homes, and social reform, and will examine some of the decorative arts, architecture, and paintings created by such individuals as William Morris and Philip Webb in Britain as well as Gustav Stickley and Mary Augusta Heister Reid in North America. The recording for this lecture is available to members on the Members-only portal


CSDA/CCAD Sundays: Treasures in the Attic - Favourite Holiday Traditions

On Sunday, December 5, 2021 CSDA held its first 'Tis the season to be jolly talk, a special seasonal version of our popular Sunday series, "Treasures in the Attic." Members donned a festive sweater, and poured a festive drink as 8 fellow members of the CSDA presented some of their most cherished ornaments, religious symbols, tableware and vintage decorations from a range of traditions being observed in the coming weeks. No recording is available for this talk. 


No recording is available for this talk. 


CSDA/CCAD Sundays: Makers Series - Heart, Hand and Eye: A Cabinetmakers’ Conversation 

On Sunday, November 7, 2021 CSDA in partnership with Crafted Vancouver, hosted a live, illustrated conversation with Jessie LaFleur, an emerging woodwork artist and recent alumnus of the school, whose Discovery Islands Collection embodies the principles of the Amateur Way. The conversation will be moderated by Marion Couvreur of Crafted Vancouver and herself a graduate of the school. Guests Joined them as they discuss their approach to woodcraft, the Inside Passage School, its founding principles inspired by the late James Krenov, and the common thread woven between them.  The recording for this lecture is available to members on the Members-only portal. 


CSDA/CCAD Sundays, Collectors at Home: Artists as Collectors series presentation - Fashioning Old into New: A History of Artist-Collectors 

On Sunday, October 17, 2021 - CSDA hosted a talk with Jennifer Franks, decorative arts specialist and artists T.M. Glass and Christine Davis.  Artists have collected a myriad of ancient to modern objects, reflected in their fine art practices. For the first museums known as Kunstkammern, or cabinets of curiosities, artists provided “curious” artworks displayed with dead specimens from nature; these once living organisms were often collected by the artists themselves, who repurposed or immortalised them in a variety of mediums; this practice continues today - from ethically sourcing butterfly remains for a canvas to capturing plant specimens in digital paint. The desire to transform the old or transitory into the new and contemporary, most notably in nature, remains a prevalent part of our collective, artistic consciousness. No recording is available for this talk. 


CSDA/CCAD 'EXPLORE' - Young Professionals & Creatives' Ceramics on the Runway: Exploring the Medium Beyond the Museum 

On Sunday, October 3, 2021 YP&C hosted a talk with Anjli Patel. Anjli explored the work of renowned designers who are creatively inspired by decorative ceramic objects and who incorporate ceramics into their work. The recording for this lecture is available to members on the Members-only portal. 


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39th Annual Symposium & Annual General Meeting 

Preservation Meets Innovation 

October 1 to 3, 2021, Waterloo Ontario 


CSDA/CCAD Sundays: The Art of Appraising - What is it Worth? with Julie Riches & Susan Lahey 

On Sunday, September 12, 2012 CSDA hosted a talk with two Canadian certified appraisers focusing on unveiling the mystery that surrounds appraisals by presenting a variety of objects and discussing the elements that make each of them desirable. Like a detective, the appraiser uncovers the clues to value questions in order to produce accurate results. Co-presenters Susan Lahey and Julie Riches will provide tips on how to better understand the current market and share past experiences identifying unique and challenging appraisal projects. The recording for this lecture is available to members on the Members-only portal. 


CSDA/CCAD 'EXPLORE' - Young Professionals & Creatives' CHINESE ART: Collecting in the 21st Century  

On Thursday, August 12, 2021 CSDA YP&C hosted a talk with Anthony Wu, Asian art appraiser. Anthony spoke about a selection of decorative art objects that will include porcelain, ceramics, jade carvings, snuff bottles, furniture and paintings. He will also address the changing market and the benefits of collecting for a new generation. The recording for this lecture is available to members on the Members-only portal. 

Image: Lyndoe Bench, Photo from Mary Ratcliffe Studio


CSDA/CCAD 'EXPORE' - Young Professionals & Creatives'  Longevity-Minded Design

On Thursday, July 15, 2021 CSDA YP&C hosted a new series called 'EXPLORE' with Furniture Designer Mary Ratcliffe who discussed the birth of Mary Ratcliffe Studio. MRS is a Toronto-based contemporary furniture design studio committed to exceptional craftsmanship and creating pieces to be passed down through history. The recording for this lecture is available to members on the Members-only portal. 


George III Silver Cake Basket, Charles Aldridge & Henry Green, London, 1792

CSDA/CCAD Sundays: Treasures in the Attic - 'All that Glitters is not Gold '

On Sunday, June 6, 2021 CSDA hosted a talk between collector Michael Crawley and silversmith and appraiser Ross Morrow of A.H. Wilkens about Mr. Crawley's family silver heirlooms.  

The focus was on pieces presented including two 18th c, silver cake baskets (one English the other Irish) and a  tea service dating from the  William IV period. "In my mind they show beauty, craftsmanship and how the middle class aped the upper classes by the end of the Victorian era" said Mr. Crawley. The recording for this lecture is available to members on the Members-only portal. 


Ornamentum 15th Anniversary Panel Discussion ‘Then and Now ‘

On Sunday, May 23, 2121 CSDA held a panel discussion Moderated by Rosalind Pepall, ‘Then and Now’ will feature panelists Erin Lynn McMullan, Alexandra McCurdy and Peter Larocque, as they look back over the last 15 years and discuss the landscape of decorative arts within Canada. Reexperience what it was like to create a new magazine then and discover the latest trends in the decorative arts field now, hear what the panelists are working on and what is happening around them.

Experience the FREE talk HERE

CSDA/CCAD Sundays: If the Cups Could Talk:  Pottery in Victorian Painting and Literature

On Sunday, May 2, 2021 CSDA held an online talk with Dr. Rachel Gotlieb.  What can ceramics tell us about the virtue of a George Eliot heroine or a Dickensian hero? Rachel Gotlieb walk you through some well-known novels and paintings of the Victorian period to see how authors and artists used pottery and porcelain to provide insight into the characters they portrayed.

This richly illustrated talk will explain how depictions of ceramics played a central role in moralizing and decorating Victorian society. The recording for this talk is available to members on the Members-only portal


Printed Textiles from Kinngait Studios mounted by the Textile Museum of Canada

On Saturday, March 27, 2021 CSDA and the Textile Museum of Canada presented the little-known story of a group of Inuit artists and printmakers who produced a collection of graphic textiles in Kinngait (Cape Dorset), Nunavut in the 1950s and '60s a period of social change that disrupted traditional language and relationships to the land. The recording for this lecture is available to members on the Members-only portal. 

CSDA/CCAD Sundays: Makers' Series - Wesley Harris, RCA

On Sunday, March 7, 2021 CSDA held its first of many Makers' talks. Participants listened to one of Canada's leading metalsmiths Wesley Harris. In this 'Makers Series', Wesley will highlight two smithing techniques represented in the creation of his tea service (photographed here).  Additionally, Mr. Harris will discuss nature as a source of inspiration and how it appears in his work. The recording for this series is available to members on the Members-only portal. 


CSDA/CCAD Sundays: Material Culture: What does it Include?

On February 7, 2021 CSDA held an online lecture with Dr. Michael Prokopow on the subject of Material culture as it relates both to a subject area and a methodology. This talk will consider the study of human-made and human-modified things and the ways that they are classified and why. Issues of function, decoration and style will be considered. The recording for this lecture is available to members on the Members-only portal. 

See the source image

CSDA/CCAD Sundays: Treasures in the Attic: Personal Mementos from Spadina House 

On January 10, 2021 CSDA held an online talk with James Thompson, a fifth-generation member of the Austin family, who built Spadina House and later donated it to the City and the Province. James will give us a glimpse into the story of Spadina House by sharing decorative arts objects and other items he acquired when the house transitioned from a family home into a public museum. The recording for this talk is available to members on the Members-only portal. 



CSDA/CCAD Spotlight on Decorative Arts at Waddington's

On November 22, 2020 CSDA and Waddington's held an online event highlighting objects selected by CSDA and the Gardiner Museum's Young Patrons Circle members. Bill Kime, Sean Quinn and Hayley Dawson of Waddington’s lead a discussion surrounding the pre-selected objects, which will be included in Waddington’s upcoming Decorative Arts & Design Auction. 


Ornamentum Exchange virtual talk with Rosalind Pepall & Dr Rachel Gotlieb discussion Talking to a Portrait: Tales of an Art Curator book - November  1, 2020. If you missed the presentation please you can access the recording here.

In these fifteen essays we encounter artists falling in and out of love, family tragedies, the creation of the Stanley Cup, the secrets of Tiffany, Antiques Roadshow, a rootless baroness, the design craze for aluminum, small Japanese boxes called kogos, watercolour sketchbooks of the Canadian north, a beautiful prayer room in Montreal, gondolas flying through windows in Venice, and Moscovites who love Goldfinger,  The recording is available to members on the Members-only portal.  Order your own copy of the book HERE.



The Legacy of the Bauhaus: Urban Upheaval and the Rise of New Vernaculars

On October 2, 2020 Professor Marcin Kedzior, Director of the Centre for Cultural Landscapes - Willowbank School of Restoration Arts presented at the conclusion of CSDA/CCAD's 38th Annual General Meeting his observations on the illustrations of ornamentation and the spirit of the decorative arts did not subside during Modernism and industrialization, it was simply displaced. Modernist architects including Mies van der Rohe, Le Corbusier, and Frank Lloyd Wright were influenced by vernacular artifacts, and movements such as Art Nouveau. Ornament did not go away, but was understood as the "celebration of a joint," the exuberance of material properties, constantly shifting light affects, a continuity with the vitality of nature, the expression of structural forces, and an alternate take on craft. 


Collectors at Home 

The CSDA/CCAD will be highlighting some of the beautiful, rare and/or sentimental pieces our members enjoy behind closed doors.

June 20, 2020 inaugural virtual event with guest curator Jennifer Franks, Art & Design Historian.  Theme - From Utility to Life: Sculptural Decorative Arts - followed by  Q&A with CSDA collectors.


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37th Annual Symposium & Annual General Meeting
Trends and Traditions: Decorative Arts in Kingston, Ontario  
September 26th to 29, 2019, Kingston, Ontario

36th Annual Symposium & Annual General Meeting
Spirit of the West: Decorative Arts In Calgary, Alberta 
September 27th to September 30, 2018, Calgary, Alberta
36th Annual Symposium & Annual General Meeting
Spirit of the West: Decorative Arts In Calgary, Alberta 
September 27th to September 30, 2018
Calgary, Alberta


35th Annual Symposium & Annual General Meeting


September 28 - October 1, 2017, Charlottetown, PEI 

“Hat’s off” to Martha Deacon,Harriet Meacher,Linda Berko and Paula Kenny for organizing such a wonderful 35th Canadian Society of Decorative Arts Symposium, celebrating Canada’s 150th year!

Above is a photo of our distinguished Symposium participants posing as the Fathers of Confederation in front of Government House, known as Fanningbank in Charlottetown PEI.



34th Annual Symposium:

Tradition Redefined - The Decorative Arts in Contemporary Urban Context

September 29th - October 2nd, 2016

Toronto, Ontario



33rd Annual CSDA Symposium and General Meeting

We organize an annual symposium featuring contributions from Canadian and International experts. We explore a different Canadian city each year and visit local heritage sites, artisan studios, cultural institutions and private collections.

 ‘St. Andrew’s, NB: Canada’s First Seaside Resort’ took place in St. Andrew’s-by-the-sea, October 1 - 4, 2015.


32nd Annual CSDA Symposium and General Meeting

Scenic Views: Exploring the Historic, Cultural and Artistic Landscape of Niagara-on-the-Lake

Thursday, October 2 - Sunday, October 5, 2014

Image information: View of Fort Niagara by John Herbert Caddy, courtesy of the Niagara Historical Society & Museum

     






      A selection of images from the 2014 Annual Symposium,
      Scenic Views: Exploring the Historic, Cultural and Artistic
      Landscape of Niagara-on-the-Lake
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The Canadian Society of Decorative Arts/ Cercle canadien des arts décoratifs was formed, with the generous support
of the Macdonald Stewart Foundation, to provide a forum for all those interested in the decorative arts.
© 2022 Canadian Society of Decorative Arts / Cercle canadien des arts décoratifs