With an architecture
described as both "San Francisco Victorian" and "English
Gingerbread," all agree that the heritage Emily Carr House
is on the must-see list of attractions in Victoria.
Centrally located only four blocks from Victoria's Inner Harbour
and the Provincial Legislature buildings, Emily Carr House offers
its visitors a chance to gain an insight into Canada's first, and
best known, independent artist and writer.
Emily Carr was born here in 1871, a scant six months after British
Columbia moved from British colonial status to becoming a province
of the world's newest nation. She used her brushes and pens to proclaim
her pride in this part of Canada for the rest of her life.
a passion for nature, animals and art, and at age seventeen studied
painting first in San Francisco and later in Paris and London. After
teaching art to children in Vancouver, she returned to Victoria
in 1913 and built the "House of All Sorts", a boarding
house for anyone who needed shelter. She undertook a series of ambitious
journeys into the remote wilderness, visited isolated native villages,
and drew inspiration from the hundreds of sketches and water-colours
she brought back from these journeys.
Millie, as she
was known to her family and friends, started writing in her later
years as her health failed. In 1941 she published her novel Klee
Wyck which won the Governor's General's Award. She wrote several
other best sellers, including The Book of Small and The Heart of
a Peacock. Emily Carr died on March 2 1945 and was buried on the
Carr Family plot at the Ross Bay Cemetery in Victoria.
In the restored
rooms of the house, built in 1864, you'll enter into the same Victorian
ambiance the Carr family would have known in the 1870s, and upstairs
are several of their actual possessions, including some of Emily's
pottery and sculpture.
One room is
now used as the "People's Gallery" to present the work
of Canadian artists, and at the rear of the house a small gift shop
offers a remarkably varied selection of items produced by Victoria
artists and potters.
Emily Carr House
is near the Inner Harbour of Victoria,
at 207 Government Street, only a 10-minute walk south from the Royal
B.C. Museum and the Legislative Buildings. The house is open to
the general public from May to September; Tuesday to Saturday from 10 am to 4 pm. Admission fees are in effect. Special openings are scheduled
at other times of the year, especially in December.
Emily Carr House
207 Government Street
B.C. V8V 2K3
Fax: (250) 356-7796