The jewellery industry in Canada is a multifaceted and highly volatile business

The jewellery industry in Canada is a multifaceted and highly volatile business. It includes the manufacturing of precious metals, jewellers and jewellery stores, stamping of coins, and the sale of silverware and other forms of jewellery. A major trade association, the Canadian Jewellers Association, represents the jewellery industry. Members of the CJA pledge to uphold a 10-point Code of Ethics. In addition, the Canadian Jewellers Association publishes a magazine, Jewellery World, and sponsors an annual exhibition.

During the nineteenth century, approximately 2000 jewellery firms existed in Canada. Most were based in Quebec, Ontario and Manitoba. In the 1920s, the Canadian government began to intervene in the industry. They imposed a 10% excise tax on jewellery and a 12% sales tax. The government also introduced the Precious Metals Marking Act, which set the quality of the precious metals used in jewellery.

"Jewellery, 71" was the first international exhibition of contemporary jewellery in Canada. The exhibition was curated by Renee Neu of New York and was held in the Art Gallery of Ontario. International artists were invited to Canada to demonstrate new technologies in jewellery. These included electroforming, refractory metal colouration, die-forming, and incorporation of acrylic materials. Several Canadian artists participated in the exhibition.

Many of the Canadian artists were sculptors. Their work adapted traditional native iconography and style to the new mediums. Others were professional jewellery makers. Some of these were Reeve Perkins, Orland Larson, Lois Betteridge, and Bill Reid.

Canadian artists exhibited at jewellery shows in the United States and Europe. These were also the years when many of the craftsman commonly referred to themselves as jewellers. Despite this, the jewellery community was still fragmented. As a result, exchanges of ideas and personalities were often lacking.

During the 1970s, Toronto became Canada's cultural center. Many of theĀ discover Canadian artists participated in the annual Toronto Art Fair. Other cities were affected as well. Montreal, for example, was the leading fashion center in Canada. Although the city's population was primarily French-speaking, a large number of emigrants from Belgium and Spain arrived in the city. This exodus, as well as a puritanical Presbyterian culture, affected the city.

Since then, the Canadian jewellery community has been fractured. Most of the jewellery manufacturers and retailers are located in Quebec and Ontario, although a small portion is in Manitoba. However, the industry is still strongly rooted in international trade. For instance, in the early 1980s, the British emigrant Christian Gaudernack established a jewellery studio in Nova Scotia.

Some academic programs in jewelry were discontinued. Seneca College, Humber College and Sheridan College all closed their jewellery programs. Academic jewellery programs were then axed by the colleges that were left. Consequently, most contemporary Canadian jewellery designers have not received much attention. However, Dutch contemporary jewellery has been given careful promotion.

The jewellery industry in Canada is an increasingly important part of the economy. In 1997, the jewellery industry accounted for $400 million in exports. Demand for precious metals is closely tied to consumer sentiment.

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