Dorothy Francis | 1923-2016



Dorothy Francis was fascinated by the life-style of Canada's indigenous people since her early childhood days spent near Duck Lake in northern Saskatchewan. Her first contact being with the local Cree population as they visited her father's general store there.

Depicting Canada's aboriginal peoples, particularly the Inuit of the far north, developed into a life-long passion for Francis, resulting in more than 500 images rendered in acrylic, pastel, watercolour and oil. While her works reflect the authenticity of her subjects, it is the unique sensitivity and appreciation for the grace in day-to-day life, exhibiting a light-hearted joyfulness, that have caused her work to be widely published and sought after around the world.

Francis exhibited in many major galleries in Canada and the US and one work is on permanent display at the Smithsonian Institute. Dorothy had a number of images produced by UNICEF for their greeting card collection. The sale of these cards benefit hungry children through various projects around the world.

Moving from Saskatchewan to BC in 1952 Dorothy studied at the Vancouver School of Art. She raised her five children at North Vancouver before moving with husband, Hal, to Qualicum Beach on Vancouver Island. There, her efforts at helping revitalize The Old School House public gallery were remembered with one room of the gallery now named in her honour.

Hal died in 1996 and Dorothy returned to Vancouver in 2006 where she lived and worked in her apartment overlooking the bustling False Creek waterfront until her death in 2016 at the age of 93.

Sons, Tim and Mark, are also published painters, with Tim working out of Kamloops, BC and Mark working out of North Vancouver, BC.