2012 Annual Report ARLIS/NA Canada Chapter

Submitted by:  Daniel Payne, Canadian Member-at-Large, ARLIS/NA Executive Board

 Executive Committee

Although the new Chapter Chair position changes biannually at the annual conference while the executive committee follows the calendar year, the incoming Canadian Member-at-Large (CMAL) revised many of the committee positions as—according to the chapter’s web site—the positions have not been updated since 2010.

Based on the by-laws for the group, the following members have accepted executive roles for the upcoming 2013 calendar year:

  •  Canadian Representative of ARLIS/NA: Daniel Payne, Head, Instructional Services, Dorothy H. Hoover Library, OCAD University
  • Secretary/Treasurer:  Vanessa Kam,Head, Art + Architecture + Planning, Irving K. Barber Learning Centre, University of British Columbia
  • ARLIS/Ontario Representative:  Victoria Sigurdson, Head, Visual Resources & Special Collections, OCAD University
  • ARLIS/MOQ Representative: Élise Lassonde, Bibliothécaire, spécialiste de collections; Livres d’artistes, estampes et reliures d’art; Direction de la recherche et de l’édition, Bibliothèque et Archives nationales du Québec
  •  ARLIS/Northwest Representative: Cheryl Siegel, Librarian/Archivist, Vancouver Art Gallery,
  • Atlantic Region Representative: Rebecca Young, Visual Resources Librarian, Nova Scotia College of Art & Design University Libraries
  •  Prairie Region Representative:  Liv Valmestad, Art Librarian, University of Manitoba Libraries

2012 Melva J. Dwyer Award 

The 2012 Melva J. Dwyer Award was presented to Francois-Marc Gagnon, Nancy Senior, and Réal Ouellet, for The Codex Canadensis, published by McGill-Queen’s University Press.

The 2012 award was administered by James Rout, Chair of ARLIS/NA Canada, and a jury that consisted of Vanessa Kam, University of British Columbia, Daniel Payne, OCAD University, and John Latour, Artexte. 12 nominations were received for the award.

In the words of the jury:

The Codex Canadensis is a remarkable publication through and through. The image reproductions are exemplary and the overall contribution to our knowledge of the visual and material culture of the early colonial mindset is invaluable. The rigorous and meticulous detail of their notations and descriptions of the document demonstrate their authority in an unquestionable manner.

2013 Melva J. Dwyer Award Preparations

Three jurors were selected by the CMAL to represent distinctive regions in Canada:

  • Adrienne Connelly, Librarian, Alberta College of Art + Design, Calgary, AB
  • Élise Lassonde, Bibliothécaire, spécialiste de collections; Livres d’artistes, estampes et reliures d’art; Direction de la recherche et de l’édition, Bibliothèque et Archives nationales du Québec, Montréal, QC
  • Linda Morita, Librarian/Archivist, McMichael Canadian Art Collection, Vaughan, ON

In submitting the call for nominations, the CMAL did include the press offices of major Canadian publication firms and university presses.  As of the 31 December 2012 deadline, 15 titles were nominated.  To ensure wider promotion and knowledge of the these publications, a page was created on the ARLIS/NA Canada web site and distributed to both the CARLIS-L and ARLIS-L listservs (http://www.arliscanada.ca/en/node/614)

The CMAL, when in dialogue with various Canadian publishers’ press contacts, expressed an interest in partnering to offer greater promotion to the award.  Ideas presented include:

  • creating stickers to affix on the award winning title (to be distributed at the annual conference and possibly by the publisher)
  • ensuring that the distinction is included on reviews from major book vending sites (such as Amazon, Chapters/Indigo, Barnes & Noble, etc.)
  • working on developing press-releases or other notifications to develop connections with news media outlets

To support inclusive bilingual diversity, jurors were encouraged to make written evaluation notes on each title that would be distributed by the CMAL moderator.  As an added support for the decision-making teleconference, a GoToMeeting session will be set-up to offer visual aids and the capability of displaying juror’s written texts.

Publications: History of Art Libraries in Canada, Part 2

To continue the tradition of excellence in academic research into Canadian art and design libraries as set by the 2006 publication of the History of Art Libraries in Canada (http://www.arliscanada.ca/hal/arlis-hal.pdf) plans were made to produce a second volume to offer more comprehensive coverage of all regional institutions in Canada.

Librarians from the National Gallery of Canada Library & Archives, fronted by Jo Beglo, presented a proposal at the Fall 2012 ARLIS/NA MOQ meeting in Ottawa.  Issues under discussion included: format of publication, hosting platform and whether the document might apply for ARLIS/NA Online Publication or Occasional Paper status.

Regional Chapter Meetings

The CMAL attended the following regional chapter meetings:


  • Spring 2012: Friday 8 June 2012, Art Actuel 2-22, Montréal (CMAL was unable to attend in person but offered a written introduction statement)
  • Fall 2012: Friday 26 October  2012, National Gallery of Canada

 ARLIS/NA Ontario

  • Spring 2012: Thursday 29 March: OCAD University
  • Fall 2012: Friday 19 October:  Faculty of Information, Univ. of Toronto

In Memoriam

It is with great sadness that the passing of esteemed librarian and long-standing ARLIS/NA supporter Brenda MacEachern 1948-2012 is announced.   She led a life dedicated to excellence in librarianship, serving as Visual Resources Librarian at Western University’s visual art department for over 40 years.

In 1998, in recognition of a lifetime of service, she was awarded the Distinguished Service Award at the 1998 VRC Annual Conference. Her institutional contributions were recognized in 2007 when she was recipient of the Western Award of Excellence.

A tribute to Brenda was posted by Adam Lauder on VRA Forum Canada: http://vracanadaforum.blogspot.ca/2012/10/brenda-maceachern-1948-2012.html

All ARLIS/NA Canada members will remember and honour her lasting contributions to our profession.