Canwax West June & July 2019

The formation of CanwaxWest (CWW), an umbrella organisation serving Western Canada, was founded in Penticton by the late Thea Haubrich in 2008. Shary Bartlett and Bethany Handfield worked with Thea to institute annual art shows and workshops. At that time, the local circle of artists who worked in encaustic was small, and they were striving to overcome the ‘novelty-factor’ associated with working in a medium that to many people looked like fooling around with melted crayons. Thea was their teacher and inspiration since introducing many of them to Encaustic in 2003. It was Thea’s dream that they would evolve the medium to a level of equability in the art industry, and that their association would create the right mix for making the Okanagan a hotspot nationally and globally. Thea’s wish came true, though she didn’t live to see the flowering of CanwaxWest. She did, however, supply them with all the tools to make it work. Thea Haubrich passed away on September 25, 2013 after a long and courageous battle with cancer and following several strokes. In her memory, the Thea Haubrich Legacy Fund has been established with the Community Foundation of the South Okanagan Similkameen by Thea’s husband, Peter Haubrich. The purpose of the endowment fund is to provide ongoing financial support to encaustic artists seeking to further their education. -haubrich – legacy -fund/.

CWW supports encaustic artists on their journey by providing monthly gatherings (known as the Circle), which encourages ideas, critiques and casual introduction to new techniques. They organise the annual “Waxing Poetic” art show in the Okanagan and an annual art show entitled “Brilliant Moments” in memory of Thea Haubrich. Lastly, CWW provides a yearly intensive workshop taught by world renowned artists who work in

For more information on CanwaxWest and a complete list of all our activities, please visit: