The Canadian Society of Decorative Arts comes to Kingston for its 37th Annual Symposium

Get ready to be inspired!

Symposium mascot

The Canadian Society of Decorative Arts/ Cercle canadien des arts décoratifs (CSDA/CCAD) will be hosting its 37th annual symposium and general meeting in Kingston this year from September 26th – 29th, 2019.

This year’s theme will be “Trends and Traditions – Decorative Arts in Kingston”

It will feature an exciting lineup of lectures, a private tour of the Agnes Etherington Art Centre, exclusive visits to private collections, as well as a Gala Dinner, and much, much more…

Its Beginnings

CSDA/CCAD was created by Marian Hahn Bradshaw in 1981, a founding member and founding editor/publisher of The Canadian Antique Collector. Marian was a collector, teacher and enthusiastic ambassador of all forms of decorative arts. With the support of the Macdonald Stewart Foundation and Marian’s initiative, the CSDA initiated holding a symposium in a different province each year, bringing together people from across the country to share their enthusiasm for the decorative arts.

Its Mandate

  • Promote a broader awareness and appreciation of the decorative arts in Canada
  • Provide an educational forum for the decorative arts through programming and publications
  • Foster a community through membership and social events
  • Inspire and promote excellence in the field of decorative arts

Why this Year’s Theme of “Trends and Traditions”?

The CSDA Annual Symposium and AGM returns to Ontario after last year in Calgary and Charlottetown in 2017. The theme Trends and Traditions reflects the broad-range of speakers and topics from the historic to the contemporary.

Why “Decorative Arts in Kingston”?

” Kingston is itself a worthy destination. Perched on the shores of Lake Ontario, the “Limestone City” has a rich heritage and possesses a wealth of architectural graces befitting a city that once was the capital of colonial Canada. Today it is also a vibrant cultural hub of many multidisciplinary artists and institutions. Indeed the city motto is, “Where history and innovation thrive.”

– Henry Wiercinski, Chair, CSDA/CCAD – Susan Golets, Chair, Programming Committee

Lecture Highlights


  • Bringing the Empire Home: Canadian Objects and Imagery within British Country HousesSTEVEN McNEIL, Assistant Curator, University Art Collection, Victoria College, University of Toronto
  • Woodwork in Historic Buildings of Kingston RegionJENNIFER McKENDRY, architectural historian
  • The Meissen FallacyDR. ROSS RAMSAY AND GAEL RAMSAY – Bow and English porcelain scholars
  • Sifting and SortingDENNIS MILLS – Early Canadian textiles
  • The Potter, the Merchant and the Dairymaid MAURICE “MOE” JOHNSON – Scholar and collector of early Ontario pottery


  • Never Stop Exploring, Never Stop MakingBRAD COPPING – Leading Canadian glass blower
  • Grace and Whimsy in PorcelainMARNEY MCDIARMID – Leading contemporary ceramist
  • At Home in the SwampLAURA MURRAY – Queen’s University professor and director of Swamp Ward and Inner Harbour History Project
  • Contemporary Practice of Curating Indigenous-Settler Histories in Public Museums and Heritage SitesTIM FORAN – Curator, British North America, at the Canadian Museum of History

Private & Guided Tours

  • Private tour led by ALICIA BOUTILIER, Chief Curator and Curator of Canadian Historical Art at the Agnes Etherington Art Centre, of the exhibition Clothes for a Gallery Goer, with a behind-the-scenes look at Queen’s Art Conservation Department
  • Choose between a reception at the country home of TONI and JOHN ANGUS to see their eclectic collections of antique Quebec furniture and folk art, or a visit to the period home of JENNIFER McKENDRY, furnished with early 19th-century Canadian antiques, to see her collection of antique and vintage doll houses
  • Barriefield Heritage Tour
  • Guided Tour of Fort Henry
  • Self-guided Walking Tours

To Register

For event details and to register online visit: WWW.CSDA-CCAD.ORG
Travel discount and CSDA preferred accommodation with: VIA Rail, Delta Hotel Kingston, Holiday Inn Kingston Waterfront (before August 26, 2019. Details available on the CSDA website)

Ask about volunteer opportunities at CSDA/CCAD.

Join the Canadian Society of Decorative Arts today

All memberships include two issues of Ornamentum magazine per year.

“The decorative arts offers a fluid grace to our lives…”


The Beaver, Illustrated by Doublenaut Design Co., Toronto from the Canadianist Series of letterpress prints by Everlovin’ Press, Kingston.
Ornamentum cover images: courtesy of

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