Fonds RBSC-ARC-1828 - Charles Mayrs fonds

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Charles Mayrs fonds

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  • Textual record
  • Multiple media

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  • Source of title proper: Title based on the provenance and contents of the fonds.

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Statement of scale (cartographic)

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Physical description

60 cm of textual records and other material

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Name of creator


Biographical history

Charles Mayrs was born in 1940 in Winnipeg, Manitoba, and moved with his family moved to Vancouver in 1947. Mayrs attended Magee High School from 1955 to 1957 and was awarded the Sir Ernest MacMIllan Fine Arts Scholarship upon his graduation, a scholarship that enabled him to attended the Vancouver School of Art starting that year. Mayrs completed his program with Honours in 1961.

Following his graduation, Mayrs worked in the advertising trade as a graphic designer, art director, writer, and executive. From 1961 to 1975, Mayrs worked for the advertising agency James Lovick Limited (later Baker Lovick BBDO), serving as their Vice President-Creative Director from 1975 to 1986. In this role, Mayrs led the pre-event advertising campaign for the 1986 World Exposition on Transportation and Communication (EXPO 86), which was held in Vancouver from May until October.

Mayrs left Baker Lovick BBDO in 1986 to form his own agency and PR firm, Dome Advertising, with his business partner Douglas Heal. Mayrs served as the President-Creative Director of Dome from 1986 until 1997, when he and Heal sold the company to Foote, Cone and Belting (FCB). During this period, Mayrs acted as an advertising consultant for a variety of political campaigns, including for former Mayor of Vancouver and BC premier Gordon Campbell as well as former Mayor of Vancouver Philip Owen. He also created campaigns in the forestry, engineering, and tourism sectors.

Following his tenure in advertising, Mayrs worked as a political cartoonist for the North Shore Outlook and Business in Vancouver from 1999 to 2004.
Mayrs has been a lifelong artist and writer. He has exhibited art in galleries since the 1960s, including several juried shows in Vancouver and Hawaii; three solo exhibitions in 1999 (Diane Farris Gallery, Vancouver), 2014 (West Vancouver Memorial Library), and 2015 (Visual Space Gallery); and two four-person shows that featured the art of Mayrs and his brothers Bill, Frank, and David in 1991 (Diane Farris Gallery, Vancouver) and 2017 (West Vancouver Art Museum).

Since the early 2000s, Mayrs has worked extensively in the writing and design of fine press limited edition books. These books feature Mayrs’ own words and art such as his drawings, paintings, and photography and have been collected by a variety of institutions across Canada, including the University of British Columbia. He was awarded the Alcuin Society’s inaugural Award for Excellence in Limited Edition Book Design for his book British Columbia. In Light and Dark in 2009.

In addition to his artistic practices, Mayrs is an avid runner and political advocate.

Custodial history

Scope and content

Fonds illustrates Mayrs’s work in visual arts, limited edition book design and publishing, and advertising and PR. It also contains records relating to his personal interests and family history.
The materials are arranged into three series, reflecting his different careers and personal life. Visual art and literary project records include: exhibition ephemera; photographic reproductions of Mayrs’s work; mockups, drafts, and unused material from projects; concepts and designs of unpublished and in-progress works; and correspondence related to his art practice. Advertising and PR project records include ads designed by Mayrs; administrative and ephemeral materials associated with Dome Advertising; and a small number of textual records relating to Mayrs’ work at Lovick BBDO. Personal records include Mayrs’ documentation of his family history; press clippings that profile Mayrs; and other photographs and ephemera that relate to his personal and aggregate professional life.

Notes area

Physical condition

Immediate source of acquisition

The fonds was acquired by RBSC from Charles Mayrs in 2021.


The fonds was arranged by the student archivist based on notes from the creator.

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Physical description

Includes: 229 photographs: col., 3 graphic works, 1 button

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Collection arranged and described by Mya Ballin in November 2021.

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