Canterbury Decorative & Fine Arts Society (CADFAS)

Founded in 2001, CADFAS (Canterbury Decorative and Fine Arts Society) was the first NZ overseas member society of The Arts Society (formerly NADFAS) in the UK.

The success of the Society is built on the high quality of the monthly lectures which are given by lecturers of proven ability who are specialists in their field and are endorsed by The Arts Society.

CADFAS is twinned with both the Harrogate and Brisbane River Societies, allowing for a regular exchange of programme details between the Societies.

CADFAS Programme Details

The lectures are held in the Charles Luney Auditorium, St Margaret’s College, 12 Winchester Street, at 7.30 pm on a Monday evening. They last approximately one hour and wine and sandwiches are served afterwards.

Guests of current CADFAS members are most welcome ($25.00 per guest) and $15 for visiting members of other New Zealand DFAS Societies but we would appreciate their names in advance so name tags may be prepared. Please phone or text Jackie Watson 022 350 9547 or Libby Harrop 027 473 0028.


Members of CADFAS pay an annual subscription of $120 which enables the society to organise a programme of eight lectures a year which are chosen to inform, stimulate and entertain. Our membership is currently fully subscribed, but if you would like to join our waiting list, please email Jackie Watson ( to register your interest.

2019 Lectures

Please click on the button to the right for biographies of lecturers, topic synopses and details of the optional Half Study Day.

Steven Desmond

From Orangery to Conservatory : The Garden Under Glass

Monday 4 March 2019

Dr James Grant

The Plague – Art and the Ultimate Calamity

Monday 8 March 2019

Ian Swankie

Evening Lecture : Thomas Heatherwick – The Modern Leonardo?

Monday 20 May 2019

Special Interest Session : Pots and Frocks – the World of Grayson Perry

Tuesday 21 May 2019

Hilary Williams

A Feast for the Eyes : The Frick Collection, New York

Monday 24 June 2019

Toby Faber

Evening Lecture : Faber & Faber – 90 Years of Excellence in Cover Design

Monday 12 August 2019

Special Interest Session : Fabergé’s Imperial Easter Eggs

Tuesday 13 August 2019

Dr Mark Spencer

Plants in Art and Culture – How Plants Created Society

Monday 16 September 2019

Ghislaine Howard

The Cuisine of Art and the Art of Cuisine

Tuesday 21 October 2019

Dr Susan Whitfield

Aurel Stein & Imperial Archaeology of the Silk Road

Monday 2 December 2019

CADFAS Supporting the Arts

New Zealand’s very first DFAS, the Canterbury Society continues to support a number of arts projects in the city.

YOUTH ARTS PROGRAMME : The Christchurch Art Gallery Te Puna o Waiwhetu delivers a Youth Arts Programme and CADFAS financially supports the transport for low decile school children to attend the programme, enabling school children to enjoy what is now one of the safest and most inspiring art museums in the world.

CHRISTCHURCH ART GALLERY MASTER CLASSES : In addition to the above programme Year 9-13 students are invited to take part in Master Classes at the Christchurch Art Gallery Te Puna O Waiwhetu.  Students participate in one or more day long workshops led by an artist who features in the Gallery’s collection and exhibition programme.  Each workshop focusses on a different aspect of creating art and includes practical hands-on experience as well as looking at examples, discussions and activities to inspire ideas.

OBSERVATORY TOWER RESTORATION : CADFAS made a substantial donation in 2018 to the Christchurch Arts centre Observatory Tower Restoration Fund. Severely damaged in the 2011 earthquake, all major pieces of architectural masonry and other building materials were salvaged, documented and stored with the intention of restoration. A $10m fundraising campaign has been launched by the owners of the building, the University of Canterbury and CADFAS are pleased to contribute to the fund that will allow the complete restoration of the tower and star-gazing observatory.

Contact CADFAS


Chair : Lyn Atkinson / | Mobile: 027 601 6688 | Home 03 314 6163

Deputy Chair & Programme Secretary : Jackie Watson | Mobile 022 3509 547 | Home 03 312 6413