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December 31, 1925.
J.S. Gordon, Esq.,
The school opened on the 1st October, 1925 for day work and one week later for evening work. The enrolment was beyond all expectations, there being some 268 students attending the various classes; of these 117 were day students. While this large enrolment shows the need of such work and justifies the action of the Board in opening the school, it has greatly increased the difficulty of organizing and handling the students in the many different fields to be taken up. A definite course has, however, been mapped out, and in nearly every case the needs of the students have been met.
The great need at the present stage, is of course, training along the general lines of drawing and design on paper, which is the basis of all artistic craftsmanship - the full time course covers this. It will be necessary to gradually introduce more actual craft work. To make a commencement of this, a studio workshop should be provided. This does not need to be any fancy shop, but rather a room in which students would be able to experiment and carry out the various designs made in the draughting room.
In regard to the students, many show marked ability and have made great progress in the short time the school has been in existence. There are one or two who do not appear to have special ability in this direction and these will be advised not to continue, as it would be unfair to themselves and to their fellow students, to entertain false hopes.
There were a number of students on the waiting list, but these have been taken care of with the added accommodation.
While there is a fair percentage of the students attending the night classes who are already employed in work of a similar nature during the day, this number should be increased. These are the students who should be encouraged, and the addition of a studio workshop would help in this direction. The number of evening students will, no doubt, increase as the work of the school becomes better known to the public and to employers. The attendance has been up to the average.
Classes are now being carried on in drawing, colour work, modelling, commercial art and lettering, costume designing and china painting. The teachers' class and the Saturday morning classes for school students, are both well attended.
An efficient body of teachers is being built up and these are entering into the spirit of the work, and will do better as conditions improve. They are to be congratulated upon the way they have carried on under considerable difficulty, and in many cases, with classes larger than they should be expected to handle. Mr. C.H. Scott, Headmaster, has had a particularly difficult task.
The Education Department has promised to give financial assistance to both the day and the night classes.
It is hoped that there will be sufficient funds to enable some prizes or scholarships to be given, and for experimental work to be undertaken. The school should be well represented at the Vancouver Exhibition and elsewhere where work may be shown, which should go far in advertising the school and what is being done there.
I would recommend that at the end of the year diplomas be given to those whose works merits such recognition.
In conclusion I would like to thank the Board, school officials and the Advisory Committee for the assistance that has been so readily forthcoming; also the teaching staff who have so conscientiously carried out their work.
I have the honour to be, Sir,