There is much to admire about the jewellery designs of Canadian artists. The work of these artists embodies the beauty of the Great North. They have represented their country in major exhibitions and have gained a lot of attention in international circles. However, there are many challenges facing the Canadian jewellery community. To name a few, it is necessary to raise the national consciousness of its members, resolve the conflicting isolations and squabbles, and achieve financial support from private sector sponsors. In order to achieve these goals, the Canadian jewellery community must have the determination to persevere and work hard to attract the interest of cultural institutions.
It was during the 1960s that the jewellery field in Quebec made significant progress. The resurgence of craft interest prompted provincial governments to establish training facilities. A number of emigrants arrived in Montreal. Among these, Belgian emigrant Armand Brochard and Spanish-born Walter Schleup paved the way for the golden age of jewellery design in Montreal. Other jewellers such as Philip Morton and Andrew Fussell operated their own workshops.
However, these are only three of the four cities where jewellery is well-established. Other jewellery manufacturers are found in Ontario and Manitoba. And most of the silverware manufacturers are located in Quebec. These industries have been subjected to several laws and regulations. For example, the government placed a 10% excise tax on jewellery in 1986. This amount was added to the 12% federal sales tax. Several other regulations may also apply to jewellery, such as the Canada Consumer Product Safety Act.
One of the most outstanding jewellery designers in Montreal is Gloria Bass. She has a degree in jewellery from the Nova Scotia College of Art and Design. Her work incorporates traditional native iconography with new forms. While her designs are inspired by the nadarco Great North, they are not merely replicas of traditional native art. Their creations are modernist pieces that embody the beauty of the country.
Another prominent jewellery designer in Montreal is Kai Chan. He has been featured in many periodicals and competitions. His painted wood brooches are an example of his attention to surface. Some of his jewellery is crafted from moissanite stones, a precious stone that has become popular worldwide. As an artist, he is interested in conceptual and feminist concerns.
The Canadian Jewellers Association was formed in 1918 to promote the sales and manufacture of jewellery. Today, the organization represents manufacturers and retailers and provides a single source of information. It publishes the magazine Jewellery World. The Canadian Gemmological Association and the Quebec Jewellers Corporation offer educational courses.
Since the mid-1960s, the jewellery industry in Canada has seen a slow but steady growth. Although it has experienced a resurgence of interest, there is still a lot of room for development. Most of the jewelry manufacturers are located in Ontario and Quebec, although some are based in Manitoba and Alberta. Moreover, the capital intensity of the jewellery manufacturing industry is moderate. Many of the jewellery artisans are native craftsmen who use a wide range of materials.