Art of “Banting & Friends” draws visitors and funding to Banting House National Historic Site

London, ON – First-time visitors to Banting House National Historic Site of Canada over the July 1st weekend were introduced to a lesser-known side of one of Canada’s legendary scientists. A special Exhibit of “Banting & Friends” celebrated the artistic work of Sir Frederick Banting, this discoverer of insulin, along with recent works of contemporary London artists who embody the great doctor’s spirit and passion.

Part art show, part history lesson and part fundraiser, the two-day event was held in Banting House National Historic Site of Canada and on the adjacent grounds (Sir Frederick G. Banting Square) in the downtown area of east London.

Robert Adeland, President of Marketing Strategies & Solutions, reports that “Banting & Friends” was a highly successful venture on all counts. Adeland sits on the Advisory Committee for Banting House, and took an active role in planning and promoting the weekend show.

“On a good Saturday, we see maybe 15 – 20 sightseers at Banting House and the Gift Shop sales might be $100 – $150. The juried show and the new exhibit of Banting’s own art drew over 250 people to the site each day and generated more than $3,000 in Gift Shop sales and another $400 in donations,” said Grant Maltman, Curator of Banting House National Historic Site of Canada.”

An outdoor display in the Global Garden surrounding Banting House helped to kick off a new a permanent installation of “From Test Tubes to Paint Tubes” featuring the world’s largest permanent installation of original Banting artwork. Maltman explained the importance of art in the life of Banting.

Painting and drawing were Banting’s way of escaping the pressures of international celebrity after he and Charles Best brought insulin to the world. Banting became a close friend of A.Y. Jackson of Canada’s Group of Seven. Jackson mentored Banting’s development as an artist, which is reflected in the 200 pieces Banting produced.

“Banting & Friends” also proved to be a financial success for the historic site. Adeland explained “The Canadian Diabetes Association owns Banting House, but our goal is to keep the Site self-sustaining, so no CDA funds are diverted from their vital research to find a cure for diabetes.” Artists who took part in the juried show agreed to contribute part of their sales to the Banting House fund, while the memorabilia shop on the site did a booming business catering to the many visitors.

The art sales also attracted many new subscribers to a special series of limited edition fine art prints The Four Seasons based on works by Banting. “Thanks to this event,” says Adeland, “the first two editions of the prints are almost fully subscribed, and we will soon be going ahead with production of the third in the series.” The Four Seasons is another fundraising project, conceived by Adeland a few years ago. To date, sales of the prints have raised close to $90,000 for Maltman and his staff to maintain the Site and expand its collection of Banting artifacts.

For information on Banting House National Historic Site and on The Four Seasonsseries, contact:

Banting House National Historic Site
442 Adelaide Street North
London, Ontario, Canada
(519) 673-1752, Ext. 226

Grant.Maltman@diabetes.ca