How We Got the Word Out
Many new Club members in the late 60's learned
of the Club's existence from the National Association
of Photographic Art's (NAPA) stand in the Hobbies
Building at the Canadian National Exhibition. This
stand was manned by volunteers drawn from NAPA member
clubs, and showed samples of members photographic
work, and provided information about the member clubs,
including the Don Mills Camera Club. Initially
this publicity was adequate to provide a flow of new
Despite the fact that the Club had been founded
in 1963, and habitually
advertised their programme by a posting on the community
notice board at the Don Mills Centre, it was apparent
that the residents of Don Mills and the surrounding
area knew very little about the Club's work or even
its existence. In 1972
the manager of the Black's Camera Store agreed to
display a few DMCC prints in their store window.
Pride of place went to a print titled "Pods
of Power" by Oliver Dell. The move to publicise
was off and running!
In 1973 the Club executive,
under President David Broadhurst, voted (by a margin
of one) to publicise the Club by mounting an exhibit
of the Club's work at the Don Mills Centre, before
the start of the Club season. The recently
changed management personnel at the The Don Mills
Centre were receptive to the idea. The Don Mills
Centre of those days was an open concept type plaza,
with the stores in strip malls connected by paved
areas and small courtyards, anchored by the T.Eaton
The first show, titled "Showcase"
, was of framed prints only, with the display flats
being made from residential wooden slab doors, assembled
in David Barr's garage, painted off-white on one
side, and connected together by means of hinges
with knock-out pins. "Showcase #1" was a one-day
affair, held on a particularly blustery Saturday.
It was deemed a success by it's windblown
participants. On the left (Fig.1), June Haylock
is seen admiring an exhibit.
Following the success of the prints only show, the
next version of "Showcase" included a slide projection
facility utilizing a rear screen projector and a
reel to reel tape recorder/amplifier. In Fig.2 on
the right the audio-visual equipment can be seen
at the left of the photograph.
However, rain was a definite problem, and the "flats",
now painted black on one side and off-white on the
other, were still as heavy as in the previous year.
The Show had now become a two-day stint, but as
the Centre was not enclosed, the prints had to be
removed each night and the "flats" had to be
disassembled, and reassembled the next day. This
was not a job to be tackled by the weak or feeble!
The work was not in vain, as the associated
Club membership increased, over a two year period,
to over 100. It was at that time that DMCC began
its long standing reputation of being one of the
most active and innovative clubs in Southern Ontario.
The shows continued using the same basic equipment.
The image on the left above (Fig.3)shows the flats
in the garden-like environment of the
1976 exhibit, while that on the right (Fig.4)shows
the A/V enclosure used in the
In 1978 the Don Mills
Centre was enclosed, and shortly thereafter David
Broadhurst presented the Club with a set of modular
display flats (shown in Fig.5 on the left),declared
surplus from the Royal Bank, having a cloth surface
in bank corporate colors of blue and gold and aluminum
support hardware. Prints were affixed to the flats
by Velcro tabs. As the Centre was locked after store
hours, the flats could be left erected, and the
prints removed and either stored in the Japan Camera
store, or taken home to be mounted the next day.
Also samples of the Club's slides could be shown
in a rain free environment, on a rented Kodak rear
screen projector, desk mounted adjacent to the flats.
In the early 80's when the 35mm camera was universally
popular, the Canadian photographic industry held
an annual trade show in the Automotive Building
of the Canadian National Exhibition grounds in Toronto.
Competition amongst clubs for members was fierce,
and the Club decided to advertise by renting a stand
(shown in Fig.6 at the right) at the
1983 show, "Focus '83". The stand featured
the flats described above, and a portable rear screen
carousel A/V projector was rented for the show's
duration. This was the highest profile public show
the Club participated in, but it was thought that
the return in new members recruited did not justify
the cost involved.
Subsequent shows have been held annually at the
Don Mills Centre, and remain the Club's primary
vehicle to the present, for showing the public at
large what we do and informing them where we meet.
Alas in recent years the "Royal Bank" flats began
to show their age, and were scrapped in 2001. Fortunately
the Greater Toronto Council of Camera Clubs loaned
us their flats for the 2001
"Showcase" , and the tradition continued
as shown in Fig.7 and Fig.8 below.
Now our website allows us to reach out to a greater
audience. It has been quite a journey from our early
exhibits using doors and paint to today's digital world.
and Acknowledgements Research:
David Broadhurst (Fig.1) & (Fig.2) , David Barr
(Fig.3) & (Fig.4), Vincent Sheridan (Fig.5) &
and Cheryl Powers (Fig.7) & (Fig.8).