Gary attended York University from 1979 – 1983 where he received his Bachelor of Fine Arts Honours Degree, with majors in painting and sculpture. His professors included Canadian artists, Ron Bloore, Paul Sloggett and Claude Breeze.
After University, Gary worked as a graphic artist at Southam Inc. while he pursued his painting. He had his first one man show in 1986 at Nancy Poole’s Studio in Yorkville, followed by another show in Yorkville at Gallery Hittite. He showed in numerous group shows in Toronto and is represented in private and public collections.
We Are not Alone, pastel on paper, 10x10in, 1996
As a practicing artist with a BFA degree from York University, Gary Crawford has brought a unique perspective and vision to Toronto City Council on the importance of arts and creativity in building a vibrant and world class city. Gary has an impressive scope of experience supporting the arts, sitting on numerous Boards, including the Toronto Arts Council, Vice Chair, TOLive, Vice Chair of the Film Board, Young People’s Theatre, Artscape, the Gardiner Museum, Canadian Stage, Harbourfront Centre for the Arts and the PAIS Board of Directors, Toronto Alliance for the Performing Arts. Gary has also chaired the Mayor’s Task Force on the Arts and Theatres, the Theaters Working Group and was Chair of the Exhibition Board of Governors.
During his tenure as City Councillor, including being Chair of the Mayor’s Task Force on the Arts and Theatres, member of the Economic Development and Culture Committee and as Budget Chair, Gary successfully brought forward recommendations to support historic increases to arts funding over many years.
As a practicing artist and politician Gary Crawford has brought a unique and important perspective to the important role the arts and artists play in a creative world class city like Toronto.
Gary retired from Toronto City Council in 2023 and is now pursuing his art full time.