Fonds PR-2154 - Len Norris fonds

"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... "Lucky You Called...He Doesn'T Have An Office To Give At The Office At." Undated rough sketch, no caption. "Well...Here Comes The Neighborhood." "Well, No... He's Not Actually Listed on the Program as a Prinicipal Speaker..." "No Ma'Am, She's Federal, I'M Municipal, He's Provincial...He Must Be Po... "I Say...Happen To Know If Maggie Thatcher Or Ron Reagan Put In A Good Word For Any Of Our P... "George...You Stop Your Celebrating Democracy This Minute!" "Albert Says If I Like What I See Tomorrow He May Put In A Bid To Buy The Franchise For Me F... "In My Day We Knew The Value Of A Dollar...Now You Have To Look It Up In The Paper Every Day... "Have A Nice Day, Dear, But Keep In Mind That The Premier Is Holier Than Thou." "...Is It My Fault Of Running The Motor Drowns Out Their Singing?" "Little They Seem To Care That Canada's Winemakers Are This Very Moment Over In Brussel... "Until I See One Actual Blind Word Of It...A Tentative Eureka." "You'Ve Heard Of Our Recent Generous Severence Initiatives...Well You Participated And ... "I Understand There Are Places You Can Be Prosecuted For Using Your Own Language.  Only In .... "How About Those Labour Negotiation Bulletins" "He's Right...He Does Have An Appointment For A Filling At This Time..." "Go Home You Silly Little Boy...By September I'Ll Have Forgotten I Ever Gave You The St... "Frankly I'M Not Interested In Them Changing The University's Name - Just Mine." "I Was Afraid Of This...Trudeaumania Strikes Again "Everyone Is A Calamitus Disaster Except Thee And Me...And I Have My Doubts About Thee."
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Len Norris fonds

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  • graphic material

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

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Statement of scale (cartographic)

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

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Physical description

470 drawings

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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.

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Physical condition

Immediate source of acquisition

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


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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."

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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.

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