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Club History

History of DMCC  | Spreading The Word   | Outings 1972 to 1990  | Queen Street 2001 

Spreading The Word

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 members.

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!
Early Don Mills Centre Show Image1
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 Store.

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.
'Showcase' Display Showing A/V Equipment
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.

Display Flats in Garden-like Environment

A/V Equipment Enclosure

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 1974 "Showcase".
Display Flats in Enclosed
    Don Mills Centre
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.
DMCC Stand at 'Focus'83' Show

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.

Showcase 2001

A Closer Look

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.


Credits and Acknowledgements

Research: Vincent Sheridan
Photographs: David Broadhurst (Fig.1) & (Fig.2) , David Barr (Fig.3) & (Fig.4), Vincent Sheridan (Fig.5) & (Fig.6),
and Cheryl Powers (Fig.7) & (Fig.8).


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