In 1941 the National Gallery organized a Conference on the Arts at Kingston, Ontario. The Federation of Canadian Artists was born, with a National Executive, Regional Executives and local Branches. Ernest Lindner of Saskatoon, regional Chairman for this province, visited Regina early in 1942 to organize a Regina Branch. A number of artists and those interested in the arts attended a meeting at the Hotel Saskatchewan. Elected as the first Chairman of the Regina Branch was Mr. J.H. Lee-Grayson, and as Executive Secretary was Mr. Frank Portnall. An active and enthusiastic club was soon organized including Mrs. W.W. Martin, Mrs. Laura Lamont, Mrs. Jean Bell, Mrs. C.T. Warren, Mrs. F. Barber, Mrs. L.J. D. Fasker, F. Barry, Mrs. F. N. Darke, Mrs. G. H. Barr, Mrs. A.A. Brown, D. Webster, J.D. Leman, G. Kenderdine, and Mrs. F.C. Harwood. Other branches were formed in Saskatoon, Prince Albert, Swift Current and Moose Jaw, establishing an art circuit whereby the groups exchanged exhibits and displays and also arranged art exhibits with the East and British Columbia.
In 1944 Lawren Harris, one of the Group of Seven, who was the National President of the Federation of Canadian Artists, visited Regina and addressed a public meeting in Regina College. Because its original aims were nearly all achieved and it became more expensive to run a Dominion-wide organization, the national set-up was discontinued in 1949. In May the local branch set up its own organization under the name of "The Regina Federation of Artists". The first President of the Federation was Mr. Alph Davey.
Since 1962 the Regina Federation of Artists has donated annual bursaries to worthy graduating high school students to pursue their art studies. In 2005 the annual bursary became the Regina Federation of Artists Scholarship at the University of Regina presented to a deserving student in the Arts Education program. In 1967 on the Silver Anniversary of the Federation, the title "Honored Founders" was given to Mr. F. H, Portnall, Mrs. W. W. Martin, Mrs. Laura Lamont and Mrs. Jean Bell, who were still active members at that time.
Many well known artists have belonged to the Regina Federation of Artists since 1942. Ruth Pawson exhibited in the First Annual Exhibition of the Federation of Canadian Artists in Saskatoon in 1944; Kay Bould exhibited in 1948 in the Provincial Exhibition of the Federation of Canadian Artists in Prince Albert.
After over 75 years of uniting Regina artists, sponsoring exhibitions to promote the Arts in Regina, and encouraging young artists, the Regina Federation of Artists looks forward to an exciting future.
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