E-mail us: amdb@ucalgary.ca

Screen capture from Self-Portrait, courtesy narcissepelletier.ca

Narcisse Pelletier

Dates active:


Club Affiliation

Amateur Cinema League

Toronto Amateur Movie Club




[Amateur Cinema League in Toronto] (1942)

Camera Clippings (1940)

Highwayman, The (1938)


Worked for Canadian Kodak Company

Biographical Notes:

"Joseph Narcisse Albert Pelletier (1902-1981) was a French Canadian Artist, Photographer and Filmmaker. He was born in Penetaguishene, Simcoe County, Ontario and resided in Toronto, Ontario where he worked for many years for Kodak. Narcisse took lessons at OCA for a decade (starting in 1921) and received instruction from various members of the Group Of Seven, notably Arthur Lismer, J.E.H MacDonald and Frederick Varley -- and also by C.M. Manley. By the 1930s Pelletier was a staple of the Toronto Art Scene. His correspondences with prominent figures of the community such as historical illustrator Charles W. Jefferys and members of the Group of Seven are preserved at the Library & Archives Canada along with his sketches, films and photography.

Narcisse found himself at the centre of the burgeoning amateur film movement as a founding member of the Toronto Amateur Movie Club and the editor of their bulletin “Shots and Angles”. He made a collection of short art films based around his observations of nature and the changing of the seasons. He was also a writer, director and actor in his own film "The Tired Traveller".

 Narcisse was also an award winning photographer and won the Kodak International Salon medal in the late 1930s. He was a war photographer with the RAF during WWII. His regiment was among the first Canadians to respond to a distress call from British troops who first liberated the Belsen Concentration Camp. In 1978 Narcisse’s nephew brought a collection of his paintings to Robert McMichael of the McMichael Canadian Art Collection. The paintings were met with immediate enthusiasm and McMichael offered to have the paintings professionally cleaned, varnished and framed. Shortly after The McMichael Canadian Art Collection Gallery hosted a solo exhibition of Narcisse’s work. The show would go on to tour at 15 other locations and eventually all 17 paintings were donated to McMichael by the artist." - narcissepelletier.ca

Editor of Shots and Angles: The Bulletin of The Toronto Amateur Movie Club for several years in the 1930s.

Bibliographic Resources:

The Narcisse Pelletier collection is held by Library and Archives Canada (Accession number 1987-0042)

More information about Pelletier's life and creative career as a painter and filmmaker, as well as several of his films, can be found at https://www.narcissepelletier.ca