Miniature Club of British Columbia

West Coast Dollhouse & Miniature Show & Sale

A brief history of MCBC as written by Tamara B June 1994

In The Beginning

      The MCBC first saw the light of day in 1979 when a small group of miniaturists came together at a house building workshop put on by Ellen and the late John Hargreaves.  As one of the members was already a member of NAME she convinced  Ellen and John, Mary and Rick T, Norma Z and Isobel S. that forming a NAME chartered club was a good idea.  The club would meet monthly in members' home.  MCBC was born.

The Show Scene

     Through word of mouth the club grew until in 1981 there were enough members to make a show possible.  A couple of people spoke to the mall managers and a space in the lower mall was made available for the first MCBC show.  What a great show it was.  For many people both miniaturists and the general public, it was the first time they had the opportunity to see miniatures presented as an art form and not just toys.  There were no commercial sales tables and no admission fees. Just a wonderful display of the art, craftsmanship and talent possessed by the members.  The response from the public was tremendous and the mall merchants felt we had brought in a great deal of added customers and wanted us back the next year.  As as result the membership grew.  It needed to.  The show was held for three full days which takes an incredible commitment by every member to not only display their treasures by to set up and supply security.  The following year found us back at the mall.  Another success!  However, regardless of the generosity of the mall management and merchants there are expenses that obviously weren't being covered by free admission and supplying three days of security staffing in an open setting like the mall was a strain.  After much deliberation it was decided that a three day show and sale in an auditorium was the direction we should take.  

     The fall of 1983 saw us at the Mcpherson Center and in 1984 and 1985 we used the Sunset Community Center.  As always success!   Past minutes of the club meetings show that at least one year two thousand dollars was raised and donated to the Children's Hospital.  Over two thousand people attended the 1985 show.  Probably the most successful ever from the point of view of measured attendance. We'll never know how many saw us at the mall.

     Back in 1982 the club had outgrown meeting in members' homes and club member was able to find us a meeting space at the Hastings Community Center.  In 1986 the Hastings Community Center was able to provide the auditorium for our next shows held in 1986, 87, 88, 90 and 92.

NAME

     The MCBC started as chartered member of the National Association of Miniature Enthusiasts.In 1985 NAME held a national house party in Seattle, Washington.  We were invited by that area's member clubs to participate in the house party preparations.  We did so by making all the center pieces and in two different styles.  One a lighthouse with a working light and the other a picnic scene on a rocky island.  As there are over 400 attendees more than forty centerpieces were required.  It was a huge undertaking and the resulting centerpieces were very well received.  They were fun to do and required many work parties to make and assemble all the components

Membership

     Over the first 15 years the membership fluctuated in numbers.  At one point there were over 80 members but the norm seems to have been between 40 to 60.  The age of the members being from 10 to 90.  There were many members who just wish they had the energy  and enthusiasm that characterized the then 90 year old member.  (At the time this history was written in 1994).

Newsletter

     The first few years saw only sporadic publishing of a newsletter.  Twice editors were lost to career moves to other cities.  Each new editor brought more and more expertise and right up to now the Club produces a multi-page newsletter under the able direction of Terry P.

     In 2014 MCBC moved to an electronic newsletter under the capable hands of Fatima D, and Zina K with contributions by our members. This has enabled us to produce a newsletter in full colour that can easily be viewed by members or forwarded on to other clubs to share with their members. We wish to thank Terry P. for her many years providing us with a paper newsletter which was filled with information for our own members and kept us in touch with other clubs.

 Library

    The MCBC now has a truly enviable collection of books, CD's and magazines available for members to borrow.  This endeavor has also taken may people much time and energy to put together.  

Workshops

     The workshops are really our reason for being.  The list of workshops that have been provided would fill a book.  Everything from making apples to painting Zebras.  What?  No Zebras?  Give us time someone will put it together.

Sharing

     Several years ago one of the clubs in Washington State invited us to a lunch and workshop get-together near Port Orchard.  It was a wonderful day and since then we continue to have trans-border mini gatherings albeit not every year as travel has become increasingly expensive and border experiences are not always fun.  The next meeting will be hosted by MCBC in 2014.  It is just one more way to share our treasures and our expertise.

In the End

     It is very difficult to write a "brief" history of the club and mention every name that should be mentioned. It takes a great deal of dedicated time and energy on the part of many people to keep a club running successfully and we are extremely proud of the long time members who continue to provide their knowledge and support for the newbie mini members.  

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 Note:  some language and people's names have been modified from the original document to both make sense in this context and to provide privacy to those requesting it. If any information needs clarification and if anyone reading this knows more which can be shared for archival purpose please contact:        [email protected]