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CANADA HOUSE GALLERY turns 40 in 2014
My parents had a dream.
It was 1974 and they owned a little souvenir shop in Banff. Everything had BANFF plastered on the front of it in big letters while it all had “made in Taiwan” in tiny letters on the bottom.
My parents, Peter & Marika McCaffrey, knew that people came to Banff from all over the world and that they deserved better. So Mom and Dad started to dream…. They envisioned a gallery that would be a destination in itself. People who came to Banff would have an opportunity to view Canadian perspectives, culture and talent. That was the dream that started Canada House Gallery and our family’s path. Officially, Canada House Gallery opened on May 20, 1974 at 201 Bear Street in Banff, AB.
As a kid it was tough to appreciate the dream never mind the sweat, determination and hard work required to achieve the vision. Business talk seemed to dominate every moment we shared as a family. Every day mom and dad would talk about business; they would discuss news from the artists, challenges, the bills, exhibition ideas and the nitty-gritty details.
Fast-forward 40 years…… here we are.
After living and travelling overseas, earning a BA in Anthropology from UBC in 1989, I returned to the gallery with fresh ideas and drive. In 2000 my husband, Eric, and I bought the gallery and have carried on the dream. With Eric’s background as a banker, he brought a business sensibility and professional vision to the gallery. His support has allowed me to focus on artist development, and to push the gallery forward. In 2002 Canada House Gallery was accepted into ADAC. Peter & Marika are retired and enjoy watching the gallery’s continual evolution.
Today Canada House Gallery represents close to 50 Canadian painters, 15 Canadian sculptors plus a long list of Inuit artists from Cape Dorset on Baffin Island. On any given day we are surrounded by over 700 original paintings and 200 sculptures by Canadian artists.
This is our labour of love.
Days are spent dividing time between calling and emailing artists, discussing the next body of work, upcoming exhibitions/events, inspirations, or technical challenges, and supporting our trusted established team who nurture and dialogue with our clients.
2014, and our 40th Anniversary, will be celebrated with a comprehensive list of exhibitions that showcase artists with whom we have long-standing relationships, as well as introducing talented, established artists to our roster.
Being open every day, year round (closing only for Christmas Day) requires a large team; some have worked with us for many years allowing for continuity and wonderful relationships to develop. Janette Doering (20 years), Amber Wanless (16 years), Shauna Bush (6 years), Erica Gilmore and Theresa Montague (4 years each), and Joe Bembridge (3 years).
Certainly the long-term relationships with artists, staff, and collectors make Canada House Gallery truly unique. Regular exhibitions and opportunities to bring artists and collectors together, and a dynamic energetic vibe are also part of the Canada House Gallery experience. We aspire to have a pivotal role in supporting working Canadian artists by sharing their work with collectors. It is essential to us that all visitors, clients and those interested in fine art feel welcomed in our gallery. Our staff are sociable, knowledgeable, and enthusiastic to share their admiration and familiarity of our artists with visitors. We work closely with each client to choose the perfect pieces of art at prices consistent with galleries across Canada.
Located in Banff, a World UNESCO Heritage Site and Canada’s First National Park, Canada House Gallery welcomes a constant stream of new collectors as well as returning visitors. A mere hour from Calgary, Canada House Gallery offers a unique gallery experience to people escaping city life on a regular basis. We are surrounded by beauty – the majestic Rocky Mountains, stunning creations by talented Canadian artists, and appreciative clients and visitors from around the world. We truly feel fortunate and are happy to pass along our love of art and mountain culture to all.
We are proud of what we do, how we do it and we love it. My parents worked so hard, they were so determined and sweated for so many years on their labour of love… it’s our honour and our mandate to continue their dream.
Barbara Pelham, Owner
Artist List & Length of Time Exhibiting at Canada House Gallery:
Under 5 Years
Jane Ash Poitras
Hillberg & Berk
Ken Q Li
Over 10 Years
Zhong Yang Huang
K. Neil Swanson
Over 20 Years
Roger D. Arndt
Over 30 Years