Peggy Cady

As National President Peggy started the GDC Foundation in order to create a legacy fund for GDC to use to support designers, students and the development of the profession. She served as its chairperson until 2022, when she retired from the committee after helping to raise $100,000 for scholarship and grant programs, as well as a benevolent fund.

Peggy Cady was born 1948, just outside of Niagara Falls, New York. She immigrated to Canada in 1970 and became a Canadian citizen in 2006. She graduated with a BA in English from State University of New York at Albany in 1970, where she also studied filmmaking and Spanish. She attended the University of British Columbia in a Master’s Degree programme in 1973, and also received a BC Teachers licence. She taught elementary school on Vancouver Island for two years, then moved to Victoria BC to attend a two-year diploma program in fine art and design at Northwest Institute of the Arts, where she was also a teaching assistant. 

Her’s was an eclectic path to graphic design. She was avid photographer from an early age. Her education in English literature and creative writing contributed to an expertise in writing and editing. Teaching, and writing event grants later on, helped develop organizational and administrative capabilities.

She made TV programs with community television in Campbell River BC, later taught filmmaking, photography and animation in Victoria schools on contract with the National Film Board. 

She worked at Open Space Gallery designing creative workshops, and collaborations with musicians, painters, photographers and video artists, and helped create the gallery’s Video Studio program. She exhibited her own drawings and paintings, photography, multimedia and video works.  She was an associate of Direct Media Association for new media explorations, and a pioneer artist in using Slow-Scan Video. 

She moved into graphic design, working at local newspapers, the University of Victoria print shop, and a local weekly magazine, learning graphic design production from the ground up, and eventually becoming Production Manager. She took private training, classes and workshops in computer design, software and web. She started Cady Graphics in 1984, having found her niche.

As a designer she worked solo, and with teams of writers, illustrators, photographers and facilitators. She worked for government ministries, and had a particular interest in health and education, designing a variety of print materials, reports, posters, manuals, and advertising. She did contract work for the Royal BC Museum, producing exhibits, logos, displays, newsletters, ads, brochures and other promotional material. She worked with many non-profits with a focus on literacy, women’s health, and local culture. She designed books, corporate identities and web-sites. She also designed election material for the City of Vancouver in several languages, as well as materials for the District of Saanich elections. 

Peggy was accepted as a Professional Member of the Society of Graphic Designers of Canada in 1993. She became Membership Chair and President of the Vancouver Island Chapter. She worked on many events with an enthusiastic crew of volunteers, including the successful Creative Award shows, and The Art of Communication events in collaboration with the Art Gallery of Victoria. She helped the Chapter win a $10,000 Sappi “Ideas that Matter” grant for the Design Cares events in 2001, and oversaw the creation of the printed exhibit and its world tour. 

Peggy was GDC National Vice-President and Membership chair for two terms and worked closely with the national executive, updating the website, gathering articles and developing membership benefits, policies, and educational materials. She was in the 2003-04 cohort of Leadership Victoria. 

She was GDC National President 2004-06. In this role, she focused on building financial stability for the Society. Peggy started the GDC Foundation to create a fund for GDC for support designers, students and the development of the profession. She dedicated herself to fundraising and building the scholarship program. While President, she was also a member of Trade Team Canada and participated in the opening of Icograda’s Montreal headquarters.  She wrote about design and was contributor to and editor of the Graphic Designers of Canada eNews and website, and had articles published by Applied ArtOnline, Design Edge Canada, University and Colleges Design Association, Dezigner Magazine, Design Institute of Australia, and Society for Environmental Graphic Design.

She lives in Victoria and is married, with two sons.

Awarded Fellowship 2006