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   History
 

 
Historical Background (updated January 19, 2014) 

The Canadian Iris Society (CIS) has existed for sixty years promoting the genus iris within Canada. It is a non-profit organization with the objective to encourage, improve and extend the cultivation of the genus iris and to collaborate with other societies for this purpose as well as to regulate the nomenclature and colour classification. 

The CIS was founded in 1946 under the leadership of W.J. Moffat of Hamilton, Ontario who became the first president until 1956. The society functioned as a region of the American Iris Society until 1958 when the Canadian Iris Society was reorganized independently to promote irises to the gardening public throughout Canada. The society is concerned with the whole realm of garden irises, culture, trials of newer varieties and the encouraging of hybridizers to produce varieties that are adapted to climatic conditions as they exist in our country. 

 The Royal Botanical Gardens in Burlington, Ontario was the focus of a continuing CIS iris acquisition project/program from 1964 until 2004. Re-organization of the RBG closed out this program with the CIS. Specifically, the Laking Garden with its huge collection of irises, was each year complimented by the addition of newer acquisition irises judged to be of high caliber by the CIS. The absolutely spectacular showing of irises in the Laking Garden is well worth a trip to visit. 

Regional Groups  
Provision is made in the CIS Constitution (available below) for the formation of regional groups in geographical areas where there exists enough interest. The CIS will foster and assist such groups but their functions within the framework of the society depends on the initiative of local members of that particular region. 

Organization  
The governing body of the CIS is comprised of a Board of Directors. The principal officers include the president, two vice-presidents, a secretary, a treasurer, an editor of the newsletter and the membership chairman. 

CIS Constitution
These documents outline how the CIS should function as an organization/society. The new CIS Constitution was ratified at the November 2007 CIS AGM. To download a readable/printable copy of the new CIS Constitution and the Standing Rules please follow these links: 
CIS Constitution  (Adobe Acrobat PDF file) | Standing Rules (Adobe Acrobat PDF file)  

*Adobe Acrobat Reader is free software for viewing and printing Adobe Portable Document Format (PDF) files on all major hardware and operating system platforms. If you need or want to get the Adobe Acrobat Reader program go to www.adobe.com  It is a very useful add on program that many people already have installed on their computer.

Activity Highlights 
Iris Shows - During the main flowering season for tall bearded irises the CIS and its affiliates may hold annual iris shows at various locations. Members and the public are invited to attend and enjoy these shows. 

Iris Sales and Auctions - Iris sales and auctions are held annually in August making available to the membership and the general public newer and quality varieties of iris at very reasonable prices. Other iris acquisition programs are also organized to enable CIS members that live in all parts of the country to obtain newer and rarer cultivars of iris from the society. 

Annual General Meeting - The final major event of the year, the Annual General Meeting (AGM), is usually held in the autumn and combines a business meeting with a guest speaker presentation, a luncheon or dinner, the election of new officers, the presentation of awards and an opportunity to get together and enjoy a program of interest about irises to all attending members. 

Newsletter - The CIS publishes a newsletter four times a year (Winter-Spring-Summer-Autumn) to accommodate the needs of Canadian iris enthusiasts. Each issue contains informative articles about all types of iris.  CIS membership provides a subscription to the CIS Newsletter.

Website - The CIS produces and supports an informative website to further the needs of its members and the general public.


Milestones (item posted January 2003)
Bruce Richardson:
We note with sadness the passing of longtime CIS member Bruce Richardson in the early Spring of 2002.  We would like to provide more information in the near future on Bruce and his involvement and many contributions to the CIS and the iris world. Please look for more in a following issue of the CIS Newsletter.

Irene Moore: This notice may be of interest to some of the surviving “older” members of the CIS. Irene Moore passed away October 23, 2001 Port Perry, Ontario. Irene was the person who introduced myself (Margaret Davis) and Florence Ashton to the society. Picking us up and driving us to the Toronto Auctions and to the Annual meetings in Burlington. Florence and I still attend the auctions.

Many will remember her as an avid grower and knowledgeable lover of iris. She often judged at our local Brooklin, Ontario Horticultural Society shows. Irene and her husband Sandy Moore had a farm near Prince Albert, Ontario (south of Port Perry) where she grew over 350 different iris. On retirement, they moved to lovely spot in prince Albert and Irene continued to grow iris. She had all the current catalogues and brought them to the auctions which really assisted our choices. She later donated her catalogue collection to the RBG.

As well, Irene was a talented needlewoman, crocheting and quilting. Many of her pieces were on display at the memorial service. We shall miss her as she was a bright and happy lady who helped many of us to learn the beauty of our favorite flower.

Information item kindly written and provided by Margaret J. Davis of Ashburn, Ontario (north of the town of Whitby).