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Glass Art in Canada

>COMING FALL 2016: our new site, featuring ALBERTA and Eastern Provinces!

Sneak Preview here: glassincanada.org

Stained glass in an enormous range of styles and techniques is perhaps Canada’s most wide-spread public art. Radiant creations illuminate 160 years of public buildings in virtually every city and town of this vast country.

Canadian studios began at least as early as 1856,   founded by European-trained artists in Québec and Ontario. Windows were often commissioned from  England,  France, Germany and the United States, along with a few other European countries. Collectors have acquired windows dating as far back as 1533.

Of National significance in Vancouver are depictions of 30 key events in Canadian history,beginning with Giovanni Caboto’s arrival in 1497; at Canadian Memorial Chapel.  Conceived as a monument to the many thousands of Canadians who died in what was still called The Great War, these elaborate representations of every Province were completed in 1928.

Today, artists and crafts people in every province continue the ancient tradition in styles ranging from the medieval and Victorian, to 20th century modernism, naive and folk art, and  21st century avant-garde.
The Institute has undertaken a wide-ranging national survey of Canada’s  overlooked treasures in traditional and modern glass – your help is warmly invited.

  • Western Canada Photostream

    400 close-ups of flowers, fish,  buffalo, First Nations, kids,  rainbows, battles,  memorials and a lot more ... (bring your mouse)

  • Riel Captured
    Batoche, Saskatchewan,May 1885
    In honour of Louis David Riel (1844-1885),we celebrate Supreme Court of Canada's judgement of  March 8, 2013 recognizing Canada's failure to abide by the Manitoba Act of 1870, with devastating effect on the Métis people for 143 years.We are confident that tribute to Riel in stained glass will appear.
a glass archive:

5514 photos from canada

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Coming in 2014/2015:

  • Studios
  • Searchability
  • Social Media
  • Alberta!
  • More Canada from 9 provinces
  • New exhibitions
  • Maps

and a place for your photos

and stories...

Angels & demons

Angels and Demons slide show:  

We found only a few "real" demons  in stained glass,  including this scaly green monster made in 1170 for Troyes Cathedral in  France.  These days demons are usually symbolized by snakes and dragons.  Angels are still Angels.

As of April 2014 there are some 5500 photos on our site, mainly  from  the Western provinces of Manitoba, Saskatchewan and British Columbia.  Annotations are in place for Saskatchewan and Manitoba, and for the 107 Glimpses of Canada exhibition.

We are currently editing some 2000 new photos and hope to document at least 100  additional buildings in 2014-15. Following upon the steady progression of the Western Canada portion of the archive, we invite cities and provinces in the East to join our efforts to document this neglected aspect of Canadian history and art.