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Faith Fyles, botanist, botanical artist (born 30 September 1875 in Cowansville, QC; died 22 October 1961 in Ottawa). Fyles was the first woman hired to the position of assistant botanist by the federal Department of Agriculture (now Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada). In 1919, she became the department’s first botanical artist, male or female.
History of Indigenous Art in Canada
The history of Indigenous art in Canada begins sometime during the last Ice Age between 80,000 and 12,000 years ago. To date, however, the oldest surviving artworks (excluding finely crafted, aesthetically significant stone tools) are datable to no earlier than 5,000 years ago.
John Christopher Pratt, CC, ONL, painter, printmaker (born 9 December 1935 in St John's, NL; died 5 June 2022 in Salmonier River, NL). Christopher Pratt is considered one of the greatest classicists of contemporary Canadian painting, alongside his mentor, Alex Colville. Pratt is well known for his meticulous and pristine studies with typically Atlantic settings. He designed Newfoundland and Labrador’s provincial flag in 1980 and was called “Canada’s most famous living painter” by the Globe and Mail in 2013. He was made a Companion of the Order of Canada in 1983 and received the Order of Newfoundland and Labrador in 2018.
Thomas John Thomson, painter (born 5 August 1877 in Claremont, ON; died 8 July 1917 in Algonquin Provincial Park, ON). Tom Thomson was the most influential and enduringly popular Canadian artist of the early 20th century. An intense, wry and gentle artist with a canny sensibility, he was an early inspiration for what became the Group of Seven. He was one of the first painters to give acute visual form to the Canadian landscape. His works portray the natural world in a way that is poetic but still informed by direct experience. Many of his paintings, such as The West Wind (1916–17) and The Jack Pine (1916–17), have become icons of Canadian culture. He produced about 50 canvases and more than 400 sketches in his short professional career. His legend only grew after his untimely death at the age of 39.
Klee Wyck (1941) is a memoir by Emily Carr, consisting of a collection of literary sketches. It is an evocative work that describes in vivid detail the influence that the Indigenous people and culture of the Northwest Coast had on Carr. Klee Wyck (“Laughing One”) is the name the Nuu-chah-nulth (Nootka) people gave her. The book won a Governor General’s Literary Award for nonfiction in 1941 and has been translated into French.
Artistic Legacy of the First World War
Canadians have inherited a tremendous cultural and artistic legacy from the First World War. This is especially so for literature, but also in the visual and performing arts. Although much of this legacy was created during or shortly after the war, the influence of that conflict on culture and art is still felt today and continues to generate new works.
Canadian Fact or Fiction
Can you tell whether these statements are true or false? Test your knowledge and learn some fun facts along the way!