Society of Western Canadian Artists (SWCA)
The purpose of the Society of Western Canadian Artists is:
- To unite artists, critics and persons interested in art, and allied and related subjects, for fellowship and mutual support in promoting common aims.
- To promote an improvement in the recognition and professional standing of practicing artists in the community.
- To provide educational activities, programs and instructionfor the members; provide a meeting place for discussions and the opportunity for social activities.
SWCA's mandate is expressed well in its motto "Artists helping artists". The Society works toward creating an environment that allows artists to learn from one another in a joint artistic journey. Community is important to SWCA – many friendships are enjoyed among our members.
There are approximately 100 - 150 members mostly from Edmonton and surrounding areas. Monthly meetings are held in Edmonton. The Society represents a diverse cross-section of the artist population ranging from novice artists at the beginning of their journey, to hobby artist who just enjoy painting, to the professional artist who sells his or her work or has representation in a gallery. There are even some members who are not artists but simply enjoy art. Everyone is welcome!
A Brief History
The Society of Western Canadian Artist (SWCA – pronounced swe'-ka) originally began as the Edmonton Chapter of the Federation of Canadian Artists (FCA). The national federation had its beginnings in Kingston, Ontario in the early 1940s. Chapters were formed in many of the major cities across Canada including Edmonton.
In 1954, the national Federation was disbanded and chapters were forced to close as well. In 1960, the B.C. Region of the Federation of Canadian Artists was incorporated. The Edmonton Chapter of the FCA was resurrected in 1982 with founding members Edith Miller, Meredith Evans, Margaret Chappelle, Isabel Levesque, Ken Brown, Jerry Heine and George Weber. The Chapter was incorporated under the Societies Act in 1985.
In January 1998, the possibility arose to become self-supporting and no longer be affiliated with the FCA. The membership voted in favour of this, resulting in changes to the name and the bylaws. The Society of Western Canadian Artists officially came into being.