Peggy Cady grew up in New York and has a BA from the State University of New York with an English major and a minor in filmmaking. She studied in Spain, moved to British Columbia in 1970 and became a Canadian citizen. She took a Masters Degree programme in education and psychology at the University of British Columbia. But teaching didn’t satisfy her creative side, and she left the field to become a video artist, an art and design student, and a painter, with a continuing interest in filmmaking, photography and video. She moved to Victoria, BC, where she exhibited photography and participated in collaborative art projects at the Open Space Gallery and with Direct Media Association, pioneering in telemetry with slow-scan video performances.
She worked with the National Film Board, teaching animation, filmmaking and photography in Victoria schools. She finished her design training graduating from the Northwest Coast Institute of the Arts. She finally found her passion for design when she started a job at a weekly magazine. During this time she was mentored in typography and design by art director Robert Wilcox and artist Jim Corte, and later became the magazine's production manager. She went on to work for several other companies in Victoria, honing her design skills with tutors and courses, and later started her own business which she still runs today.
Besides being a designer/business owner, Peggy is also a graduate of both Leadership Victoria 2003-04 and The Art of Leadership at Hollyhock Institute 2003. She credits these two courses with giving her a strong base for her leadership work with the national GDC. "Personal work in these courses prepared me for some of the many challenges I faced as president of the GDC," said Cady. "I could always refer to the touchstones of leadership: reliance on the values of the organization, the support of the community, trusting the process and having the courage to act."
GDC Vancouver Island Chapter 1994-2003: Peggy joined the GDC Vancouver Island Chapter in 1993 and has been an active member ever since. She spearheaded, chaired or participated on committees for many major events for the Chapter, including the Art of Communication event/exhibit series, Strategic Connections, the Vancouver Island Creative Awards, later the Rock awards, and Breakfast with the Judges. She co-chaired the creation of the Design Cares Traveling Exhibit in 2002, assisting in winning the chapter a $10,000 Sappi Paper ‘Ideas that Matter’ award, and she continues to chair and promote the exhibit’s world tour. She served on the Chapter Executive for 10 years, first as South Island Representative and Membership chair 1994–1998, then as President of the Chapter for two terms, from 1998 to 2002. Her commitment, diplomacy and advocacy contributed to the strong growth, success, and public recognition of the VI Chapter. She was honoured by the Chapter in 2002 with a special recognition of her inspirational leadership. She served as VI Past President until January 2003.
Peggy served on the GDC National Council, first as a Chapter Representative 1998 - 2000 and then as National Vice President and Membership Chair for two terms, 2000-2004. She was the 4th female national president the GDC’s 50-year history. Under her leadership and direction on the national council and executive, GDC membership and admission procedures were standardized across the country; GDC membership was clearly defined as national rather than chapter membership, elevating the GDC professional credential; the Constitution was revised and updated to clarify language and procedures and to define membership association; an award-winning annual report was published; an historic membership agreement was signed between chapters and the national, defining the relationship of chapters to the national body. Her work at the national level has been aimed at structural improvements to build on the viability and credibility of the national GDC, and to increase GDC’s visibility across the country.
She participated in the planning of the GDC website, which has been pivotal for GDC in terms of a national presence. Financial policy and fiscal responsibility were a large part of her focus, moving the GDC out of a deficit position through control of spending, increasing membership dues, and finding new ways to finance special projects.
In the first days of her national presidency, the GDC challenged the Vancouver Olympic Organizing Committee’s logo contest. She met with the committee leaders to discuss GDC’s policy on speculative contests. Since then she a team of volunteers have successfully intervened in many contests and speculative work proposals on behalf of Canadian designers. She has worked to build a cordial relationship between the GDC and RGD Ontario, attending the Design Thinkers Conference in 2005 and meeting with RGD Board members. She has been supporting RGD Ontario on Ontario spec advocacy issues.
She has represented Canada’s graphic designers on the federal Trade Team Canada - Cultural Goods and Services Design Working Group for two years. She represented the GDC at the inauguration of Icograda’s new headquarters and the establishment of IDA in Montreal. Finally, Peggy has worked to diversify the GDC’s sources of income and negotiated partnerships which have brought annual cash donations for GDC. She is the founder and designer of the GDC Canadian Design Foundation.
Notes from her Peers presented at the 2006 AGM
“Peggy has worked tirelessly for the GDC. First at the Chapter level, then as VP Membership and then the last two years as President. As President, she has virtually put her business on hold and has made the GDC a priority. She has shown tremendous leadership and forward thinking. Under her leadership the groundwork necessary for certification has been laid. The GDC Foundation is her initiative – she even made the first donation. ... I could never match the hours and dedication that she has given to the GDC. It has been a great honour to get to know her and to have served on her executive.” Karen Brown MGDC
“Her leadership, through a period of renewal and refocusing for the society has lead us back to a place where we can be proactive about the future of design in Canada. Her commitment to helping others and to furthering design has been a model for us all. I look forward to being part of the legacy she has left us through her leadership and vision.” Paul Nishikawa MGDC
“There may have been others nominated in the past that were as deserving - but none were any more so than Peggy Cady. ... I’ve never really been surprised by what Peggy does, after watching how she embraced her first office as Chapter registrar. She welcomed every new member to the GDC family, learning and remembering their names and personal histories. No small feat as we went thorough a pronounced growth phase largely due to her efforts. She made all members feel important, urging them to participate with their voices and actions and made people feel positively guilty for not volunteering to help - a great talent and gift that she has honed over the many years that I have had the pleasure to observe her. Peggy played a huge role in making our Chapter a model of activity and accomplishment and continues to astound me with her energy and willingness to take on and complete anything asked of her. For me, one of her greatest qualities is that what she commits to do she does...and does well!
Whether it’s tackling a simple task or a complex issue, along the way she became an extremely well informed and capable leader herself - with an enviable list of supporters she molded into a dedicated volunteer work force. And not content to rest on her already ample leadership abilities, she sought out and completed a challenging Leadership course - developing even more skills that each of you on the national stage have benefited from. Her quiet demeanor belies a strong and passionate personality, with a real commitment for the GDC community and its ideals. Building on her work with our local Chapter, including holding our highest office, she has now developed a long list of National admirers - with even the most hardworking in awe of her capacity to meet a challenge head on and work diligently towards a solution. And she hasn’t done all this while an employee of a benevolent employer - rather she has had to continue to work as a self employed (and accomplished) designer to support herself and family. I’ve gone from being her coach to one of her most ardent fans - she has often delegated tasks to me as I once did to her (although I’ve become adept at hiding from her). Warm, compassionate and completely committed to our industry and Society, she is the embodiment of the very best Fellow Candidate...” Michael Marshall FGDC, Founding President, VI Chapter
“For as long as I’ve known Peggy (over a decade now), she has been an initiator and a natural leader. Andy Warhol once said the following (famously): “They say that time changes things, but I’ve always found that you have to change them yourself.” And, those words ring very true for me as regards Peggy - from her active work on the GDC’s sponsorship protocols, her co-authorship of the Design Cares initiative, to her exemplary national presidency of the GDC. Focused, inspiring, motivating, nurturing, empowering... always with the right response at the right time.” Robert L. Peters FGDC
“Peggy Cady is calmly, quietly, relentlessly, poisedly one of the greatest forces behind the GDC, and has been for as long as I can recall. Since the first time I met her, I have been touched by her brilliance, her gentle determination, her focus. As I got to know her, I was inspired by her dedication to choosing the best things to do, getting them done, and doing them well. She asks, we do, and when we’re discouraged, she writes a personal note of thanks reminding us why we must. We, the graphic designers of Canada, are so fortunate to have Peggy. The vast majority of those who will benefit from her diligence and wisdom will never meet her; most won’t ever know her name. Yet she has seen us through some of the most challenging times that graphic design in Canada has known. As we continue to choose what our young profession will be about, I hope that Peggy will continue choosing us.” David Berman FGDC, R.G.D.
“Peggy’s leadership of the GDC has given us a new voice on the national stage and created a platform for future growth.” Brenda Sanderson, Director Icograda
“I know how much time and effort it takes to do a job, and do it well. When you have to apply that amount of dedication to a volunteer position, it takes on another meaning, and it truly becomes a labour of love. That’s what Peggy has done over the years with the GDC, and I’m honoured to have been able to work with her, as a mentor, as a colleague, and as a student.” Matt Warburton FGDC
“Peggy Cady is a consummate professional with whom it has been my pleasure to work, both when she was on the GDC National Council and during her tenure as GDC President. What has consistently been in evidence in our working relationship over the years are Peggy’s passionate commitment and her unflagging efforts to promote awareness of the value of graphic design to a variety of audiences. Peggy’s interest in addressing challenges in a positive way and her skill at working towards common goals shared by other organizations has characterized her effectiveness as a leader and made her contributions to the profession all the more relevant and valuable. “
Carmen von Richthofen, Executive Director, The Association of Registered Graphic Designers of Ontario (RGD Ontario), Examination Board for Registered Graphic Designers
“One trait of true leaders is Inspiration: the ability to inspire those led to willingly rise to challenges, experience compassion, give a little more time, and act for the greater rather than the personal good. ... Whether serving on chapter committees, chapter executive or national executive, she has modeled honesty, friendship, leadership and community, and given others the belief that they, too, could make differences. Peggy Cady has shown herself a true leader, and has changed the GDC, and those who know and love her, in doing so. Miriam MacPhail MGDC
“Over the past few years she has delivered what was missing and has done it with compassion, exceptional diplomacy and integrity.” Laurie Darrah MGDC
Catherine Garden has been a cornerstone for the Alberta South Chapter since it was first initiated in 1992. She joined that same year and immediately became an active volunteer and advocate.
All these years later her commitment to the organization is still strong and we continue to rely on her experience and prudent judgement. Catherine has supported each Chapter President fully and has been the core strength of the local group for many years.
Catherine was President of the Alberta South Chapter from 1995-1996. She was National Treasurer from 1995-2000, and traveled for seven consecutive years to national planning meetings across Canada as an executive committee member. She served for eight years as the Alberta South Chapter Treasurer – 1998-2006. In 1999, she took the lead in organizing the very successful GDC national design conference "Peak '99" in Banff, Alberta.
It is impossible not to notice the overlaps and appreciate the multiple levels of responsibility she has carried for the organization.
When Catherine took on the role of National Treasurer, she inherited an inefficient record-keeping structure and she had to work very hard to create a sustainable system which would allow the organization to thrive and grow. Fiscal responsibility was a large part of Catherine’s focus as National Treasurer, and she is credited with having steered the organization through the rockiest period in its history.
When GDC plunged forward to create the Registered Society of Graphic Designers of Ontario, the first association of graphic designers to be able to offer professional accreditation to its members, GDC realized a dream of many years. Doing so, however, stretched the resources of GDC substantially. It was due to Catherine’s sound fiscal management during this period that the GDC survived. It is primarily in recognition of this achievement that she has been appointed as a Fellow of the organization.
Always eager to contribute her ideas, Catherine Garden is one of those special people who will follow up with her actions to see these ideas through to fruition. Her dedication to, and hard work for GDC over the years has been exceptional, and her volunteer spirit simply invaluable.
Catherine Garden was born and raised in Calgary, Alberta. She received her diploma from the Alberta College of Art where she was enrolled in the 4-year Visual Communications program. She graduated in 1983, then chose to further her studies at the School of Visual Arts in New York from 1989 to 1990 as a full-time Advertising student in their media arts program.
Catherine's design career began at Cooper Hayes Advertising and Hayhurst Communications in Calgary where she designed, produced and art-directed print, television and radio projects. When she moved to Parallel Strategies she became lead art director on a variety of projects for the firm’s major account.
Catherine founded Pfang Creative Inc. in January 1994, a successful design studio that specializes in corporate communications.
In 2005 Catherine and her husband, Peter Guyan, completed construction on a small building in Calgary’s trendy Inglewood District. The “Design Lab” houses several small businesses, including Pfang Creative, which are part of an industry collaboration of writers, designers, marketers and artists that form strategic alliances to be able to take on projects of any scale or creative scope.
Catherine has spent her life and career to date in Calgary, Alberta, although she has traveled extensively. She and her husband, Peter, have three bright and talented children. Between career and family and volunteer activities there is not a lot of time left for artistic pursuits, but she looks forward to the day when there will be time for painting!
Notes from her peers, presented at the 2006 AGM
David Coates FGDC: “I'm so glad Catherine's name has been put forward for fellowship. I wanted to nominate her many years ago, but got nominated myself (damn), so never got the chance. I often wonder whether what I have done to deserve my fellowship is any more significant than the contributions of any of you sitting around the table right now. What I do know is that the work Catherine Garden did for the GDC while I knew her on the National certainly did, not to mention her amazing design work, which I have always admired.
“Her dedication from Chapter level executive to the position of National Treasurer (and back to Chapter) was unsurpassed. I can't imagine having numerous children, running a business and serving on the executive board at the same time. It is testament to her perseverance and tenacity, and dedication to furthering the goals of the GDC. She single-handedly (well, with a little help from Steven Rosenberg) saved the GDC from financial ruin by negotiating with the newly formed ARGDON a reasonable dues structure. As we all know, this relationship has long since deteriorated, but this action at the AGM in Windsor and subsequent management of financial affairs over the years that followed held the GDC together through troubled times.
“All this combined with Catherine's sharp wit made her a great contributor at the National Council table and affirms her contribution to Canadian graphic design. This nomination is long overdue – congratulations Catherine.”
Steven Rosenberg FGDC: “Catherine is highly deserving of this nomination; I always meant to put her name forward myself. What comes to mind first when I think of Catherine is what she contributed to GDC on a National level in terms of good fiscal planning. Prudent, responsible management. She always made sure that money went toward the benefit of members. It was a tricky balancing act to prioritize from what was available, but she always made it work out. At the time she was doing all this she was building her career and raising a very young family. I have always admired her energy and the passion she devoted to GDC. I hope the committee chooses to award her the designation of FGDC.”
Cynthia Hoffos MGDC: “Catherine was the first person who created a real system for accounting at the National level. Her predecessors kept records in a pretty haphazard way; she inherited a very messy and incomplete collection of receipts and ledgers. She brought real energy to a difficult task and just got it all organized and working smoothly. And she kept at it for six years! What’s more, she was always really cheerful and great fun. She was balancing a lot of different things in all areas of her life while she did all this – I have no idea where she found the time to do it all! I really admire Catherine. I fully endorse this nomination!”
Matt Warburton FGDC: “It takes dedication and perseverance to deal with adversity and challenge. To do this in a volunteer position takes a special level of dedication, and in this regard Catherine Garden is a special individual. Her role as the backbone of the Alberta South chapter for so many years is one example. But to my mind, it was her role as the National Treasurer during the years following the creation of RGD Ontario that makes her worthy of acknowledgement for her contributions to the GDC and design in Canada. Without Catherine’s firm hand and guidance, the national body would not have survived the financial hardships we faced when the GDC allowed RGD Ontario to retain the national dues they collected and use it to create the managerial structures and examination board required to properly implement the accreditation legislation the GDC Chapters in Ontario had received. Catherine got us through that period intact, and by negotiating a partial transfer of dues in 1998, saved the GDC from certain financial ruin, and laid the groundwork for sound fiscal management that the current national body employs. She continues to support her local community as a mentor and a leader, but it was her tenure on the national council that makes me proud to support this nomination for Fellowship.”
- August 20, 2012Hanno Ehses
- November 07, 2011Casey Hrynkow
Ray Hrynkow (d. 2012)
- May 26, 2010Dave Mason
- December 23, 2009Susan Colberg
- May 28, 2008Stuart Ash
- January 20, 2008Jim Rimmer (d. 2010)
- November 25, 2007Peggy Cady
- November 25, 2007Georges Haroutiun (Hon. Fellow)
- November 25, 2007Matthew Warburton
- November 25, 2007Carole Charette
- November 25, 2007David Coates
- November 25, 2007Michael Marshall
- November 25, 2007David Berman
- November 25, 2007Mary Ann Maruska
Robert L. Peters
- November 25, 2007Paul Arthur (d. 2001)
Frances E.M. Johnson (Hon. Fellow, d. 1998)
- November 25, 2007Don Dickson
- November 25, 2007Frank Davies
Horst Deppe (d. 2011)
- November 25, 2007John Gibson
- January 20, 2008Jorge Frascara
Charlie Harris (Hon. Fellow)
Ernst Roch (d. 2003)
- November 25, 2007Peter Bartl
Jan van Kampen (d. 2008)
Jules LaPorte (Hon. Fellow)
Anthony Mann (d. 2013)
Chris Yaneff (d. 2004)
- November 25, 2007Giles Talbot Kelly (d.2006)
- November 25, 2007Carl Brett (d.2009),
Theo Dimson (d.2012),
Gerhard Doerrié (d.1984),
- November 14, 2007Carl Dair (d. 1967)
Allan Fleming (d. 1977)
H.L. Rous (Hon. Fellow, d. 1964)
Leslie Smart (d. 1998)