Fonds PR-2154 - Len Norris fonds

"...Thought So...Phil Drivin'." "But Boss..." "You'D Think A Cartoonist Would Find A Tidier Way To Plug The Red Feather Drive When I Have ... "Watch It, Constable Finnegan...Think A Ghost Truck From Station Six Is Following Us..." "Grownup Smokers Are Lucky...All They'Ve Got To Worry About Is Lung Cancer..." "Mr. Gaglardi, A Provincial Government Minister, Says Its Perfectly Alright To Take His Fami... "...Now Theyre [Sic] Carping About Some Alleged Potholes In The Roads..." "...Take A Heated Denial..." "Don't ask me what it's all about... when the Premier gives me an order I just do as I'm tol... "Come In...Let's Clear Up These Silly Rumors On The Government's Financial Condition..." "You're not missin' a thing... it's exactly like Mr. Gaglardi did it in Kamloops a few weeks... "...Too Bad There's No Way For A Whole District To Keep Its Secret Ballot A Secret..." Centennial bonfire. "...and what did mother's little boy learn on his first day of school.. ?" "D'You Realize, When We Unload This Lot We Can Afford The Ones In The Cans?" "Three women M.L.A.s elected." "...Bit Tough...But Good." "Ray, Who's This Guy 'Toll' They'Re Going To Name All Our BC Roads And Bridges After...?" "Trouble With These Carping Critics...They'Re Confusing Population With People..." "...We Know You'Re There Lucky Lil, Ticket Ou28140 ...Better Come Out Peaceful Like..." "Any Truth To This Rumour About A Bridge Accross (Sic) The Straits Of Juan De Fuca..?" "Next Breath They'Ll Be Complaining About Our Bright Young Men Heading South Of The Border..... "Now Me...I Like Epstein..." "Filbert...Did You, Or Did You Not, Apply For A Cocktail Bar Licence..?" "I Say Let's Get The 'L' Our Of Here..." "Blessed Are The Meek For They Shall Inherit The Earth..." "...Our Dining Lounge Licence, Our BC Liquor Commission Inspection Certificate, Our Music.... "To Commemorate This Beastly Summer, Let's Have Another Vote Of Over-Confidence In Drew, Sem... Mother's Day. "...Watch Out If They Legalize Sweepstakes...Sales Tax On Tickets, Amusement Tax On Results,...
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Title and statement of responsibility area

Title proper

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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Class of material specific details area

Statement of scale (cartographic)

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Issuing jurisdiction and denomination (philatelic)

Dates of creation area


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

Physical description area

Physical description

470 drawings

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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.

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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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