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2014 Lifetime Achievement Award Recipient: Miriam Shiell

In the early fall of 2020, we began highlighting past recipients of the ADAC’s Lifetime Achievement Award to share the stories and unique paths of leaders in the Canadian arts.

Today, we are delighted to share our first highlight of 2021, award recipient (2014), Miriam Shiell.

Miriam Shiell immigrated to Canada in the mid-1970s from Cape Town, South Africa, where she was mentored by the doyen of the South African art world, Joseph Wolpe, who gave her the opportunity to travel widely in Europe and the United Kingdom before finally settling in Canada.

Because of her existing connections to the London art world, Ms. Shiell had been invited to open the new Waddington Galleries on behalf of Theo (Leslie’s brother). In the decade that followed, the gallery morphed into various entities, including Waddington and Shiell and finally Miriam Shiell Fine Art. Many important exhibitions took place at 33 Hazelton, including Henri Matisse, Raoul Dufy, Elizabeth Frink, Lynn Chadwick, and Kenneth Noland.

Robert Motherwell, Open No. 79 In Gray with Charcoal, 1969, Acrylic on Canvas, 41 1/4 x 61 1/4 x 2 inches

Ms. Shiell represented the estates of Lynn Chadwick, Jack Bush, Gershon Iskowitz, K.M. Graham, and has recently completed a project with Dean Drever, a contemporary artist of Haida origin. She also worked with Elspeth McConnell, whose North West Coast collection now resides at the Museum of Anthropology at UBC.

Established as Miriam Shiell Fine Art since 1990, she has primarily acted as a dealer, buying and selling Canadian and International art for collectors and on her own account, specializing in 20th Century modern art and maintaining contacts and partnerships internationally.

Some 44 years later in Canada, the next chapter is yet to be written, but the passion, expertise, and collector ideals are not changing anytime soon.

To learn more about Miriam Shiell Fine Art and the artists they represent, please visit

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