The National Diploma Collection

The CSPWC/SCPA National Diploma Collection established in 1991 by Rudolf Stussi, then president of the CSPWC/SCPA, documents the evolution of watercolour painting in Canada for future generations. The aim of the collection is to have one painting by each of our members, past and present, available for the use of students, educators, curators and historians. Since then it has been a condition of election into membership that artists contribute one work to the collection. Artists who were elected before 1991 were invited to contribute a painting as well.The first gallery to house the collection was Rodman Hall Art Gallery in St. Catharines, Ontario, and they held the inaugural exhibition in 1992. To start the collection, donations were solicited from current members. From then on it became a condition of membership that each new member donate one of their paintings. In 1993 the CSPWC/SCPA began to acquire by donations the works of its early members to enhance the depth of the collection. It is an expanding collection with 82 paintings in 1992 at the first exhibition, 154 paintings in 1997, 260 paintings in 2002, to 309 in Jan. 2006. Currently the Collection holds A dynamic and evolving history of the art of watercolour painting in Canada.The CSPWC/SCPA National Diploma Collection, housed at the Peel Art Gallery, Museum + Archives (PAMA) since 1995 in Brampton (Peel), currently contains over 388 watercolour paintings (May 2015). In 2002, when there were 260 watercolour paintings, the collections’ estimated value was $ 350,000 to $ 375,000, Sept. 30, 2002. The current value is estimated to be over $500,000. (May 2015)

The Peel Art Gallery, Museum + Archives holds an exhibition from the collection at least once every five to ten years. An exhibition is planned in 2016 to celebrate the 90th Anniversary of the CSPWC/SCPA. Past exhibitions include:

  • New Works from the CSPWC Diploma Collection, 1997-2000 (2003)
  • a selection (2001)
  • and its’ inaugural exhibit (1997).

“I am constantly impressed by the ability of CSPWC members to push the boundaries of the medium’s potential.”
David Somers, Curator, PAMA

PAMA is part of the Peel Heritage Complex in Brampton, Ontario. The complex is built around the former Peel County Courthouse, the Registry Office and the Jail. The Courthouse, recognized as a provincial heritage structure, was the home of the County government for 100 years, and still provides meeting and office space. The County Jail, an imposing structure of limestone walls and barred windows, was used as a jail as recently as 1977. Today clanking cell doors have given way to innovative exhibits, and the adjoining new art gallery exhibits contemporary Canadian art and showcases local artists.

The Gallery has a growing collection, of modern and historic Canadian art and houses the National Diploma Collection of the Canadian Society of Painters in Water Colour. The Gallery is located at 9 Wellington St. East in downtown Brampton, 40 minutes northwest of Toronto. A full-colour brochure was printed in the summer of 2000, by gift-in-kind donation, to promote the collection. A slide show of the early portion of the collection is available for rent. To arrange for an exhibition at your gallery, contact: E-mail:

Exhibitions curated from the collection have been seen at:

  • PAMA, Brampton: Nov 5, 2003 to Jan 18, 2004.
  • University of Waterloo: Feb. 1999
  • PAMA, Brampton: Mar/Apr. 1997
  • Lindsay Art Gallery, Victoria, 1997
  • Brockville Art Center, Brockville, 1995
  • Cornwall Regional Art Gallery, Cornwall, 1995
  • Rodman Hall Art Gallery, St. Catharines: Mar. 1992

The CSPWC/SCPA has selected paintings from the collection for its own exhibitions:

  • Canadian Waters, John B. Aird Gallery, Toronto, Ontario (2002)
  • A Brush with History, 75th Anniversary Exhibit, PAMA (Peel), Ontario (2000)
  • and as our submission to the IV Biennial Internacional de la Acuarela (4th International Watercolor Biennial Exhibition), Museo Nacional de la Acuarela, Coyoacán, Mexico (2000).

Paintings from the Collection

Ona Alisauskas
Chuck Burns
Brent Laycock
Tom Ward


peel gallery

Comments are closed