Early March 2019: Our chapter’s founder, Alan Douglas Ray, wrote to the FCA to find out if there are enough current Active members in Ontario to start up a chapter here, or if anyone else has expressed an interest in doing so.
March 26 2019: The FCA sent an email out to about 80 FCA members living within 100 km of the Greater Toronto Authority (GTA) area asking them to reply if they have any interest in joining a local chapter. The 40 positive responses returned to the FCA became the basis for our first contact list.
April 28 2019: Alan drafted survey questions and the FCA sent out a short online survey to the contact list to determine if we have sufficient common interests, goals, and needs among us to make forming a chapter worthwhile. A link to survey results: https://www.surveymonkey.com/stories/SM-JCYNYXBL/
May 30 2019: Alan set up a private Facebook Group so that local FCA members could introduce themselves and communicate as a group.
June 11 and June 25: Alan hosted two meetings of local FCA members and prospective chapter affiliates. It was an opportunity for us to meet face to face. We discussed the path to becoming a chapter. We brainstormed about what our mission and objectives should be, how we can distinguish ourselves from other societies, and how we can overcome logistical issues such as where to meet, where to exhibit, and how to build our brand. We also took time to review our perceptions of barriers to forming a new chapter and incentives to get other professional artists in our network to join.
Examples of Barriers: Some artists live too far from Toronto to be able to participate in person and they do not have having convenient access to resources in Toronto. There are already established art societies in Toronto and throughout the province to compete with. The FCA is not well known in Ontario and is seen as a western organization.
Examples of Incentives: Many existing FCA members in Ontario welcome new opportunities to exhibit locally under the FCA banner. The art market is larger in the Greater Toronto Authority than Vancouver’s and, by exhibiting in the GTA, some artists may save money on shipping fees. Other perceived benefits for artists: to participate in professional development workshops and networking opportunities, to take advantage of group discounts, and to promote their work and build their reputations.
Summer and Fall 2019: Alan drafted bylaws and policies, using the set from the Calgary Chapter as a starting point. He shared them with our prospective affiliates, as well as the FCA executive director, and incorporated their feedback.
November 2019: Alan. submitted to the FCA Executive Director our final drafts, along with our prospective member list.
December 5th, 2019: FCA Board Approval was granted and FCA Toronto was launched.
Current Status: We are now in start-up mode!