The Journey Begins…

Once upon a time, on an island far, far away from the cold of winter, there lived a Creative. This young woman’s spirit longed for the encouragement and companionship of like Creatives…so she thought and thought of how to find these special people from among the population, and bring them together.

Disa Marie Hale looked and looked throughout the mid-island section of Vancouver Island, and at last was able to hold a meeting with the Creatives she had found…8 in total at the meeting, with 8 more committed to being a part of a group. Disa was so very happy!

It was decided at that meeting that Disa should contact the Federation of Canadian Artists in Vancouver, and ask what the process might be to form an official chapter of the FCA. This was going to take great effort because the year was 1995 when there was very little in the way of modernization and technology!

The work and obstacles did not deter Disa! She was a Creative after all. She used a typewriter and something called a Carbon Copy sheet between pieces of paper to write a letter to the Federation of Canadian Artists in Vancouver – a city on the mainland of British Columbia. In the letter, she told the FCA that there had been a meeting of Creatives on June 3, 1995. Eight like-minded people had attended, and 8 more were committed to begin a mid-island chapter of artists. The area the Creatives envisioned members coming from included Parksville, Qualicum Beach, Nanoose Bay, Qualicum Bay, Errington, Coombs, Whiskey Creek, Lasqueti Island, Port Alberni, Ucluelet, Tofino, Bamfield and Bowser…a great expanse of the mid-section of Vancouver Island for sure!

Disa placed her typed letter into an envelope, pressed a freshly-dampened postage stamp on the upper right corner, and pushed the letter through the slot of a bright red mailbox. She returned home to await a reply, working out her excited anticipation by painting and painting and painting.

Not very many days later, she received the hoped-for response from Vancouver FCA, encouraging Disa and her fellow Creatives to proceed with the steps necessary to form a vibrant and lively chapter of artists under the banner of the Federation of Canadian Artists. So Disa went to work again…

By July 14th, 1995, another meeting was held where it was discovered that there were now 22 people eager to form this group. At the meeting Disa and the others came up with many purposes for being an official chapter of the FCA, but it was decided that only five would be expressed in the official documentation:

1.  To enable access to workshops to further enhance their present skills

2.  For fellowship

3.  For the exchange of ideas

4.  To promote both their own and each other’s works

5.  To cooperatively be able to allay the costs of sending work to Vancouver for

shows, jurying, etc.


Disa and the other Creatives were ecstatic when, in September of 1995, a newspaper article was published in The News, officially announcing the formation of the Arrowsmith Chapter of the Federation of Canadian Artists! All her dreams of encouragement, companionship, sharing of ideas and just enjoying the company of other Creatives was coming true!!! Her hard work had paid off, and she couldn’t have been happier.

More work ensued, and the very first workshop of the Arrowsmith Chapter was held on October 29th at Rogue’s Gallery, with the featured artist being Henk VanDyke, a Dutch acrylic painter.

By December 11th, of the year 1995, the membership of the Chapter had grown to 43 members, and Disa, as president, again got out her typewriter to create a letter which she sent to The Old School House in Qualicum Beach, requesting a date for an Arrowsmith Chapter show in the 1996 calendar year.

Disa’s group was thriving – and within only six months! Disa knew that her life as a painter would never be the same again. She had found her tribe, her Creatives, who understood what it meant to be expressive in the visual arts. The Arrowsmith Chapter of the FCA was well on its way. Disa knew she would never be alone again. She now believed that dreams do come true, and there can be a happy ending to the story if you do much more than “wish upon a star”!


8 replies on “The Journey Begins…”

How wonderful to be a part of this amazing group of Creatives! Thank you so much for this wonderful start to our Blog and the tribute to our beginning and our founding members.


So nice to have the history of the chapter presented! I had actually forgotten that I attended the VanDyke workshop! Thank you for sharing!


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