Fonds PR-2154 - Len Norris fonds

"You are now entering the Provincial Museum section of the Legislative Building... containin... "The Minister wishes to reassure our citizenry that he finds little cause for alarm in curre... " ...and of course, duplicate pickets... " "A Mr. Werner Gren dropped in... and, well, you know the Premier's boundless generosity... "Don't ask me what it's all about... when the Premier gives me an order I just do ... "You're not missin' a thing... it's exactly like Mr. Gaglardi did it in Kamlo... "Three women M.L.A.s elected." "Mr. Speaker! may I have the floor... " "Frankly, the Premier's theatrical pyrotechnics leave me cold." "New orders-in-council, a proper Hansard and legislative amendments are one thing... but lot... "Stop worrying... I'm sure his interpreter will clean it up." "The legislators are all agog... they've found six insulting catcalls not on the Speake... "He can't retire yet... what about the SkyTrain extension to Kelowna... Okanagan Expo 8... "Say... why don't we all go take a quick look-see right now at this South Moresby Lyell... "I remember the good old days when Social Credit just went in for things like 'funny mo...

Title and statement of responsibility area

Title proper

Len Norris fonds

General material designation

  • graphic material

Parallel title

Other title information

Title statements of responsibility

Title notes

  • Source of title proper: Title based on the contents of the fonds.

Level of description


Reference code


Edition area

Edition statement

Edition statement of responsibility

Class of material specific details area

Statement of scale (cartographic)

Statement of projection (cartographic)

Statement of coordinates (cartographic)

Statement of scale (architectural)

Issuing jurisdiction and denomination (philatelic)

Dates of creation area


  • 1953-1988 (Creation)
    Norris, Leonard Matheson, 1913-1997

Physical description area

Physical description

470 drawings

Publisher's series area

Title proper of publisher's series

Parallel titles of publisher's series

Other title information of publisher's series

Statement of responsibility relating to publisher's series

Numbering within publisher's series

Note on publisher's series

Archival description area

Name of creator

Biographical history

Leonard Matheson Norris was born December 1, 1913 in London, England and came to Canada in 1926, to Port Arthur, Ontario. He was employed as a draftsman in the offices of the Port Arthur City Engineers, and in the 1930s relocated to Toronto. After one year of night courses at the Ontario College of Art, he joined the Stanfield Advertising Agency as advertising artist and art director from 1938-1940. In 1940, he enrolled in the Canadian Army where he served as the editor, writer and illustrator for a magazine published by the Royal Canadian Electrical and Mechanical Engineers Corps.From 1945 to 1950, he worked as art director for Maclean-Hunter Publishing. In 1950 Norris moved to Vancouver and became editorial cartoonist for the Vancouver Sun newspaper. In 1951 he won the National Newspaper Award for caricature. He was elected to the Royal Canadian Academy of Arts in 1974, and to the News Hall of Fame in Toronto in 1979. His popularity was also reflected in the sales of annual books of reprints of his cartoons. Norris drew for the Vancouver Sun for 38 years, until he officially retired at the age of 75, in 1988. He died in 1997 at the age of 83.

Custodial history

Scope and content

The fonds consists of original drawings by Len Norris, created while he was employed as the political cartoonist for the Vancouver Sun newspaper. The first accession consists of 200 cartoons published in the Vancouver Sun between August 1953 and December 1988. The second accession consists of 270 rough sketches; some are undated, and the others date from May 1986 to December 1988. These sketches functioned as preliminary concept drawings for selection and editorial approval, and illustrate the artist's method of working. In some cases, these rough drawings became finished and published cartoons.

The cartoons document the career of Len Norris, and reflect political and social issues of the period. Subjects include recurring British Columbia social and political issues, and include figures from the B.C. political scene such as W.A.C. Bennett, Phil Gagliardi, Robert Strachan, Dave Barrett and Bill Vander Zalm.

Notes area

Physical condition

Immediate source of acquisition

Acquired from Len Norris through his agent (Pawluk, Johnstone, Voight), in two accessions.


Language of material

Script of material

Location of originals

Availability of other formats

Restrictions on access

No access restrictions apply.

Terms governing use, reproduction, and publication

Copyright transferred to BC Archives in 1990. See accession file 199006-001.

Finding aids

The Len Norris drawings are available with digital images through the BC Archives website catalogue under "Norris, Leonard Matheson."

Associated materials

Related materials


No further accruals are expected.

General note

Archives code(s): 198907-001, 199006-001.

General note

Accession number(s): 198907-001; 199006-001

Physical description

Ink, with applied toned laminate overlays, on art board.

Alternative identifier(s)

Standard number area

Standard number

Access points

Subject access points

Place access points

Name access points

Genre access points

Control area

Description record identifier

Accession area

Related subjects

Related people and organizations

Related places

Related genres