The Canadian Doll Artist Association
and its humble beginnings.

A SHORT HISTORY  by your host Jannie van Eijk
One of the original founders of the CDAA
 (as published in Canadian Creations Jan. 2001)
On a cold January evening in 1998, six doll artists got together and decided to join in a support group, to share supplies, suppliers, to exchange ideas, pick each other's brains and to learn from each other.  We also decided that we could definitely save money by placing orders for doll supplies as a group and order in bulk.  Within a few months there were seven of us.
Along the way we discovered that there was a definite need for doll artists in Canada to have an organization of their own dedicated to the advancements of Art Dolls.
"The Seven Founding Members of CDAA"  Dec 1998
L-R Back Row:  Francine Mongeon, President; Jannie van Eijk, Newsletter Editor-in-Chief; Maria Saracino, Vice-Pesident.  Front Row: Liz Ciezluk, Mary Deorksen, Membership Chair; Denise Desautels, Treasurer; Debra Armstrong.
At the end of September 1998, after a very hot summer and more get-togethers hosted at each of the member's homes, the CDAA was introduced to the public at the Doll Show in Nepean/Ottawa. We all showed a piece of our work and split the caretaking of the table at the two day show.  A lot of people asked a multitude of questions which we attampted to answer to the best of our ability.  Many of our brand new brochures were handed out for them to read or add to their brochure collection (LOL)
By then we had a logo and a mandate. "SUPPORTING ORIGINAL ART DOLLS AS
On Dec. 28th, 1998, we tried to get the original group together to introduce our new members, Anne-Marie Brombal and Judith Crichton.  The first two people to put their faith (and membership fee) into our brand new organization.  Everyone brought a piece of their work with them, including "Anniebee" from Plano, Texas.  The talent gathered together that night was mind boggling. The atmosphere was charged with excitement, hopes and plans for the future of the Canadian Doll Artist Association. 
With a great deal of bravado and just a little trepidation, the CDAA was officially launched on January 1, 1999.  After a slow but determined start, with email, the internet and eventually word of mouth, we started to increase our membership monthly.  By the end of December 1999, we had almost 40 members and had also decided to start putting plans into place for the very first CDAA Conference.
Left to Right: Judith Crichton, Maria Saracino,
Anne-Marie Brombal,
Francine Mongeon, Liz Ciesluk, Denise Desautels
(in front) Jannie van Eijk 
MIssing: Mary Deorksen and Debra Armstrong
The Canadian Doll Artist Association held its First Annual Conference May 12-14, 2000 at the Travelodge West Hotel, in beautiful downtown Ottawa, Canada's Capital.  Their were 68 registered attendees.  Well over 90 attended the banquet.  Members came from as far west as Red Deer, as far east as Newfoundland,and as far South as Texas.  The Conference paid for itself, with funds left over to pass on to the new Conference Committee for the 2001 Conference.

The 2000 conference started with a get acquainted reception on Friday evening with drinks, snacks and most people meeting face to face for the very first time.  Courses started bright and early on Saturday morning.  There were sculpting classes offered in cloth and polymer, a photography class, slide shows, and instructional seminars.  Seventeen seminars and workshops in total, some free and some for nominal fees.  There were also visits arranged to view the Timeless Treasures Doll Exhibit at the Museum of Civilization.

The conference included a doll competition with the winners announced at the banquet on Sat. evening.  More demonstrations on Sunday morning and a show and sale, open to the public on Sunday afternoon.

According to the artists in attendance who have attended shows like Santa Fe and NIADA, the competition, show and sale rivaled those prestigeous international shows.  It was a very exciting time and attendees left looking forward to next year's conference.

A secondary show of a limited number of pieces was held in conjunction with the Conference at the Carlen Gallery in Ottawa, for most of the month of May.
In the summer of 2000 we held our first general elections.  A five member executive was duly elected and announced at the end of September.

President..............Lynne Porter, Wiarton  ON
Vice-President.......Katharine Hockney, Airdrie  AB
Secretary..............Ginette Rae, Grande Prairie AB
Treasurer..............Jaine Lamb, Orillia  ON
Membership..........Lena Breijer, Mt. Uniacke  NS

At the time this article was first written in October of 2000, there were over 100 members and we were represented from "Sea to Shining Sea" by a multitude of varied doll artists.

These talented, dedicated artists create in cloth (fibre artists), polymer, porcelain, wood, earth clays (paper mache, stone clay, paper clay), resin, duct tape, leather, wax, etc.