If you have ever walked along the southeast end of the Enercare galleria, looking for a quiet spot to rest, you may have noticed eight large paintings hung high on the walls. These magnificent paintings, known collectively as The Settlement of Canada, were executed under the direction of artist Frederick Stanley Haines. They depict the history of exploration and trade in Canada.
Frederick S. Haines was born in Meaford, Ontario in 1879. Haines attended the Central Ontario School of Art (later to become the Ontario College of Art and Design). He was a versatile artist, equally good at portraits, figure painting (gold medal from Academie Royale des Beaux Arts in Antwerp), landscapes and animals, as well as a successful engraver and print maker. As if that were not enough, he also proved himself to be a most able educator, mentor and administrator. Haines was the president of the Ontario Society of Artists, a founding member of Canadian Society of Painters of Watercolour, a founding member of Canadian Society of Etchers and Printers, the curator of the Art Gallery of Ontario (1928-1932) and a most respected principal of the Ontario College of Art (1933-1952).
Haines was also involved in art exhibitions held at the Canadian National Exhibition in its Art Gallery (demolished in 1972) and Graphic Arts building (demolished in 1955). In 1921, Haines joined the Department of Fine Arts of the Canadian National Exhibition as the Secretary for the Graphic Arts section. He later became the CNE’s Commissioner of Fine Arts and introduced the paintings of Picasso, Salvador Dali and Matisse to CNE patrons. Haines traveled extensively for the CNE and brought the first large show of Mexican and Southwestern U.S. Arts and Crafts to Toronto. His association with the CNE lasted from 1921 to 1951.
In 1929, the Canadian National Exhibition Board of Directors recommended that Fred Haines and his assistant Herbert Palmer, together with their students, be authorized to paint four of the eight panels of the frieze of the Dominion Government Building (now Medieval Times). Under Haines’ direction and guidance, four large murals were painted for and then installed in the dome of the building. In 1930 another four murals were painted and installed to complete the eight panel frieze, The Settlement of Canada. In 1996, the paintings were removed from their original location and later re-installed in the east Galleria of the Enercare Centre.
Excerpt from the Minutes of the Meeting of the Board of Directors held June 26, 1929.
Frederick S. Haines was a contemporary and friend of the Group of Seven and was instrumental at convincing his first cousin Franklin Carmichael (from Orillia) to pursue the arts professionally. He invited Carmichael and some other members of the Group of Seven to teach at the OCA, much to the benefit of its students. Haines was instrumental in tremendously increasing student enrollment, introducing new courses of study, and establishing a much wider participation of artists in the community by promoting advertising and industrial design.
Haines’ paintings are held by the Meaford Museum, Georgian Bay Secondary School in Meaford, the National Gallery of Canada and many other public and private institutions in Canada.
Frederick Stanley Haines passed away in 1960.