History

The Violin Makers Association of British Columbia was established 21 Mar 1957 in Vancouver, with the assistance of the Rev George Wright.  The founding members included Wright, George Friess (first president), Ragnar Helin, Martha Kozak, and Pete Swindsay (all from Vancouver) and Clarence Cooper (from Victoria). The object of the association has been ‘to encourage the development of the art of making violins and the violin family’ and bows. The group has expanded over the years and in 1990 had 66 members, including persons from the USA (Washington, Oregon, and Idaho) as well as from British Columbia.  The association possesses a substantial library on the history and art of violin and bow making, and also published monthly (1957-64) The Violin Makers’ Journal.

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City of Vancouver Archive: Violin Makers Association of B.C. display in 1957 P.N.E. Hobby Show

In 1957 the Association sponsored an exhibit at the Pacific National Exhibition Hobby Show.  The exhibit received much favorable comment and was one of the hgiliights of the Hobby Show.  The display was awarded a bronze medal by the P.N.E.  It was agreed that all instruments put on display would be in competition and thirty five instruments were shown.  This show marked the beginning of the competitions which the Association held annually for over 30 years following.  Competitions continued into the early 1990’s.

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