Christopher Pratt

December 9, 1935 to June 5, 2022


To view the funeral service for Christopher Pratt from Wesley United Church on Friday, June 10, 2022 at 10:30 a.m., please follow the link below:

John Christopher Maxwell Pratt, was born in St. John’s on December 9, 1935. Predeceased by infant son David (1975), father John Kerr Pratt (1980) and Emily Christina (Dawe) Pratt (2001), best friend and sometime wife Mary West Pratt (2018). Leaving to mourn, brother Philip (Kitty); children: John (Tracy), Anne (Dean), Barbara, Ned (Andrée); grandchildren: Katherine (Adam), Elizabeth (Scott), Christopher (Sarita), Keir (Kate), Christina (Kyle), Alexander (Jessica), Jacob (Sarah), Claire (Dan), Phillip (Laura), Isabel, and Nathan; great-grandchildren: Thomas, Henry and Natalie; and his most cherished and loyal assistant, Brenda Kielley.

Lauded from an early age as one of Canada’s finest painters and printmakers, he was faithful to his art all of his life. Until the day he could no longer get there under his own steam, he headed to his studio every morning without fail. In addition to his work, he had two great loves: his family and his province. He was proud to agree when asked to design a new, modern flag for Newfoundland and Labrador; he knew the dangers. While he seldom admitted it, he was always delighted to see his design flying above private properties across the province, or held triumphantly aloft by Newfoundlanders and Labradorians around the world. He was never bothered by what politicians thought, but he was flattered and proud when the people of Newfoundland and Labrador embraced the flag as their own. 

He was not religious in the traditional sense of the word; while he could, and did, quote the bible and spent time thinking about those ancient observations, his real spiritual attachment was to Newfoundland and Labrador. He traveled the island extensively on personal pilgrimages, often revisiting specific locations. Some, like the Argentia Naval Base and the southeast Placentia river, had particular importance in his life. Others were resonant with symbolic, artistic and political reactions to the world. He had a particular attachment to Bay Roberts where he’d spent childhood summers with his cousins Peter Dawe, Janet (Dawe) Gardiner and Sonia (Dawe) Ryan. 

He taught us that anything that was worth doing, was worth doing well. It was true for him in his work and obvious to anyone who ever raced against him in one of his prized sailboats. He had a keen sense of the absurd and was equally annoyed and amused by the ridiculous in life. He was unexpectedly humble, always more impressed by others than he was by himself.

He was a Companion of the Order of Canada (1983) and recipient of the Order of Newfoundland and Labrador (2018). He wore both pins regularly, alongside either his Mount Allison Class of ‘57 or Prince of Wales College (PWC) Class of ‘52 badges. Despite his many accomplishments as an artist, he was probably more proud of his brief time as a member of the victorious PWC men’s hockey team (‘52). The Class of ‘52 was never far from his heart; a reunion photo hangs in his dining room, second only to a portrait of our mother, Mary West Pratt. 

For many years beginning in the late 1970’s he pursued excellence in another forum – sailboat racing. Although he did not at first intend to race his sailboats, he quickly grew to love the competition, the opportunity to refine and perfect his skills, and the camaraderie of fellow sailors. As with everything else, he sought perfection on the water. He made major contributions to the sport of sailing in Newfoundland and was made a lifetime member of the Royal Newfoundland Yacht Club in 2017, an award for which he was justifiably proud.

His list of professional accomplishments is long and illustrious. His first solo show, in 1965, was organized by Memorial University Art Gallery. In 1982 his work appeared in an exhibition at Canada House in London, England, and was subsequently shown in galleries in Paris, Brussels, and Dublin. By 1985, when he was only 50 years old, he had produced sufficient significant work to justify a major retrospective of paintings, prints and drawings at the Vancouver Art Gallery. 

He was known for the power of his serigraph prints, which he hand-produced in his studio at Salmonier. Major exhibitions of his prints were staged at the American Associated Artist Gallery in New York in 1986, and at the Canadian Embassy in Washington in 1992, and in 2003 at the National Gallery of Canada.

In 2005 the National Gallery of Canada organized a major retrospective of his work, which included 65 paintings spanning four decades.

His last major show was a print retrospective organized by the Mira Godard Gallery in Toronto. His work has also appeared in many group shows across Canada and around the world.

His work is featured in a great many major public, corporate and private collections including the Art Gallery of Newfoundland and Labrador, the Art Gallery of Ontario, the Beaverbrook Art Gallery, the Canada Council Art Bank, Mt. Allison University, the Montreal Museum of Fine Arts, the National Gallery of Canada, the Rooms Provincial Art Gallery, and the Vancouver Art Gallery.

To each of you who came to visit, called, and wrote to say hello and wish him well in the past year – thank you from the bottom of our hearts. We felt your kindness. 

We extend deep thanks to his caregivers Cathy Reid, Jean Smith, Samantha Didham, Tracey Williams, and Jennifer Lewis; Nurse Practitioner Cheryl Goulding; Dr Khalid Jat; Nurse Jaclyn O’Reilly; Julie Luffman, Meghan Dunphy and the staff at Eastern Health St Mary’s and Holyrood Clinics. We needed you, and you were always there. 

We also wish to thank the many, many people who have contacted us in one way or another over the past days to share their memories of our father, and to express their own sense of loss. We are touched and humbled by your thoughtfulness. In so saying we wish to acknowledge, in particular, the people of St. Mary’s Bay who have been our friends and neighbours for all these years. 

He enriched our lives in countless ways. He was a patient and effective teacher, an insightful counselor, generous to a fault and deeply proud of his family, all those who went before and all those who follow. He was strong and steady, loving and kind. 

He taught us how to look, and how to see. We will miss him every day. 

The family will receive visitors at Carnell’s Funeral Home, 329 Freshwater Road, on Tuesday, June 7 from 5-9 p.m. and Wednesday, June 8 from 10am-12pm, 2-4 and 7-9 p.m. A celebration of the life of Christopher Pratt will be held at Wesley United Church, 101 Patrick Street, St. John’s, on Friday, June 10 at 10:30 a.m.  The funeral service will be livestreamed with the link available above.

In lieu of flowers, the family respectfully asks that you consider making a donation in his memory to The Alzheimer’s Society of Newfoundland and Labrador, The Gathering Place, or a charity of your choice. 



5-9 p.m. on June 7, 2022

10 a.m.-12 p.m. on June 8, 2022

2-4 p.m. on June 8, 2022

7-9 p.m. on June 8, 2022

Carnell’s Funeral Home
329 Freshwater Road
View on Map


10:30am, Friday June 10th

Wesley United Church, 101 Patrick Street

Private interment to follow in Mt. Pleasant Cemetery.


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Deepest sympathies to the Pratt family from Gerry and me, on the loss of your father. He was one of a kind. It was an honour to work with him professionally and have the opportunity to get to know him a little in the process. Best wishes, Caroline Stone

Sorry to hear of Christopher’s passing. Deepest sympathy to his family. I have many fond memories of Christopher as he sat behind me in class at Prince of Wales Collegiate.
We always enjoyed the gatherings that we had every year. Rest in peace Christopher.

A bright light in our lives has been extinguished. We will miss it’s glow but remember it’s illumination. Thank you Christopher for being who you were, proud Newfoundlander, incredible artist, humble man and good friend. Our sincerest sympathy to your family.
E.J.Kearley [PWC ’52] and Marlo Winter Kearley

To John, Ned, Anne and Barb:
Those of us blessed to have been friends of Christopher and Mary can celebrate that they will live on in you, their family, in all the work they left behind, and in our memory.
Fond memories of their wrmth and generosity in helping us create our Class Project at Mt. A.: the Class of ’57 ‘Mary (West) Pratt and Christopher Pratt Visiting Artist Project’
It was always a joy to talk to him …until we could not….
Dawn (Reid) MacNutt (’57) and Merle Pratt (’58)

To the Pratt family, my deepest condolences on the passing of your father. My Dad did some work with Christopher in the late 60’s and 70’s and we would come down to see your family and have supper sometimes. At the age of 11 or 12, whilst attending the now United Junior High, I recall his extreme reaction of some “famous” icons such as Phyllis Diller and Herb Albert. I’ve never seen eyebrows raised so high, when I mentioned their names. I wished he knew how profound an effect that had on my future consumption of popular media. I think he would have been pleased and relieved to know he had such an effect. I’m sure you have many memories of him and they will bring you pride, joy and teachable moments. Of all the provincial, national and international recognition he received for his work, I will still remember his forthright sense of humour and honesty.

On behalf of the family of the late David B. Russell of Bay Roberts, I would like to express our sincere condolences to the family of Christopher Pratt, a brilliant, talented man who left a huge footprint in the world .

Donna Russell DesRoches

My sincere condolences and deepest sympathy to the Pratt family on the passing and loss of Christopher. It is a loss we all share. He will be missed but well remember by all who had the privilege of knowing him in person or through his remarkable contribution to the art world.. Indeed anytime we see our Flag of Newfoundland & Labrador proudly fllying we will think of Christopher, his life and the Newfoundland and Labrador he loved so much.
Bob MacLeod(PWC 51)

To the Pratt family, We wish to express our sincere condolences on Christoper’s passing . He was a wonderful person for us to have met and known. During my working years my day always started well as VP of RBC Royal Bank by admiring his painting of the old Concrete Newfoundland bridge crossing the Salmonier River hanging behind my office chair. He often commented on it when he occasionally visited me. Our most memorable time was a very pleasant after dinner conversation on the Northern Peninsula at Barb Genges’ Tuckamore Lodge when we happened to meet there when he was on one of his painting visits to that area of the Province. We will forever remember it! Rest In Peace friend! Your legacy will always be remembered thru your wonderful paintings. God Bless, Sam & Eleanor Walters

Condolences to Dr. Pratt’s family and friends. I vividly remember my very first art purchase back in the ’80s. It was a Christopher Pratt print and it was a gift for my fiancee for his new office. It has moved around the City to his different offices and resides there still. Well travelled (locally) and well loved. The artist will be remembered by all for his talent and skill as an artist. The man will be remembered by his family and friends for the wonderful human being I’m sure he was. Hugs!

Clare and Daniel. We were so sorry to hear about the passing of Clare’s grandfather’. You are in our thoughts and prayers at this sad time. Pat and Sharen

My condolences to Ned,Anne and the entire Pratt family on the passing of your father.May he rest in peace!

Norma and I would like to express our deepest sympathy to Christopher’s family. Over the years, I have been very fortunate to have spent many cherished hours with Christopher up in Salmonier, so many treasured chats about painting, poetry and, of course, trout fishing.. He was truly one of our greats. His passing leaves a profound emptiness. To echo Robert Frost, never again will bird song be the same.

My kindest thoughts to the Pratt family in their loss and all of ours, of a great Newfoundlander, a keen and evocative painter, a treasurer of words, and a messenger of insight. I shall never forget the film produced about Christopher and Mary; they are walking on a NL beach and he’s picked up a smooth stone, purple and still wet from being washed by a wave. He remarks on its beauty and Mary says, ‘but it won’t be as beautiful once it dries,” to which Christopher says, “I’ll keep spitting on it to keep it beautiful.” I loved this and while visiting Middle Cove Beach a week ago with my father (who has long admired Christopher’s work from Ontario), I thought of his reply to Mary, his equally talented friend and wife, and fellow painter.
Christopher Pratt’s humour and fascination in and with the natural and human-made world – so evidenced in his paintings – are a gift to all of us here in his beloved province and to all in Canada. How lucky we are that he shared and interacted with us – without knowing all of us – through his mind and heart on canvas and paper!

So very sorry to hear of Christopher ‘s passing. . As a member of the last class to graduate from Prince of Wales on LeMarchant Road, we had many assemblies and other occasions on which we sang our Alma mater which Christopher wrote….(Ours forever Prince of Wales) .A very talented man. May he rest in peace.

Sincere condolences John, Anne, Barbie, Ned and families on the passing of your dad/Tiff. R.I.P. Christopher

Deepest condolences to the Pratt family. Our thoughts are with you during this difficult time..

Sending condolences to the family and friends.

I was so saddend to hear this news Sunday.I only met Christopher 4 years ago but in that short time we had many chats..
My condolences to the family

RIP Christopher

We are so very sorry to hear of the passing of Christopher. We always had great conversations, as he had a fantastic intellect, and was always quick with a joke. He will be heartfully missed by everyone here at Art Cansel Gallery. Our thoughts and prayers are with his friends and family, as well as all who knew him.

Bev, Lisa, Ron, Kayla, and Olivia.

To Phillip, John, Anne, Barbara, Ned and the Pratt Family:
Marie and I are very saddened to hear of Chris’s passing. Newfoundland, Canada and the World has lost a great artist, and a true example of the best of humanity. We were fortunate to have spent personal time with him and listening to his many wonderful stories and tall tales. He was a very skillful Raconteur. He will be greatly missed.
We extend to the whole Pratt Family our most sincere condolences.

John, Anne, Barb, Ned and All Your Family Members – Sending my Deepest Sympathy to all during this very sad and very difficult time on the loss of your dear beloved, the Late Christopher Pratt. Our Dad, Steve Butland, was instrumental in finding your Dad a job on the Argentina Base upon arrival to St Catherine’s. From that time, both families became the greatest of friends. I babysat for your family on a few occasions when your full time sitter wasn’t feeling well – needless to say, I enjoyed these times immensely! And to see your Mom’s and Dad’s phenomenal art work was empowerment! All of you are in my thoughts and prayers – I pray God will bestow strength and courage as you grieve the passing of your Dad, Granddad and Great Granddad. God Bless!

My thoughts are with his family and friends. His legacy will live on forever. What a true artist who made Newfoundland well received everywhere. His works will always be cherished. Irreplaceable.

THANK YOU CHRIS for your historic contribution to our culture and future. As yet another denizen of the (in)famous “Class of ’52” , I shared the fun and troubles of that special camaraderie as well as our deeper discussions in later life.. I treasure your books of art and poetry with your kind personal inscriptions.. It has been an honor and joy for me to be one of your friends. Farewell , and bon voyage in your exploration of eternity..

Philip, John, Anne, Barbie and Ned,
I was saddened by the news of Christophe’s death. Newfoundland and Canada have lost one of the finest. I have many pleasant memories of sailing during the seventies and eighties, and of the Prince of Wales Reunions of the Class of ’52.
In sympathy,
Frank O’Connor

My sincere condolences to Barbara, Ned, and the Pratt family. You are in my thoughts as I reflect on the timeless imagery your father created. It will continue always to uplift and inspire.

I met Mr. Pratt & Ms. Kielly quite by accident last spring while on a motorcycle ride on the Irish Loop, both stopping to look for whales in Bear Cove. Upon being summoned to his vehicle, I recognized him immediately, and an informal chat about family, art & NL roots ensued, which I was privileged to have enjoyed and shared when I returned home.

Rest in peace Mr. Pratt

Our heartfelt condolence to all who were close to Christopher. May you find comfort in the many fond memories of your father, grandfather, brother, or dear friend. He was a man generous in spirit, whose intellect and good humour enriched the lives of so many others. As did his art. It deepened our emotions and our appreciation of place and time as few images ever do. We took great pleasure in our encounters with Christopher and are so very saddened by his passing.

So sorry to hear of Christopher’s passing. Our thoughts are with you at this sad time.

I was deeply saddened to hear that Chris, a life long friend, had passed away. Chris and I have known each other since grade 7 at Prince of Wales. We also attended Mount Allison together. During our second year we shared accommodations. Over the years we always kept in touch. lately by phone. two or three times a year and especially around Christmas time. I will always remember fondly our experiences together and our conversations. I extend my deepest condolences to his family.
Graham Frampton class of ’52 PWC

I was proud to have been the publisher of some of Christopher’s work. I learned sadly of his passing. Please accept my condolences.

We were saddened to hear of Christopher’s passing. Deepest condolences to the Pratt family.

Deepest condolences to the Pratt family. Christopher was, uniquely, one of a kind. He will be missed.

Received a sad piece of news today, a person that was in my class at Holloway School and Prince of Wales College had passed away, Christopher Pratt.
As school “chums” we had fun every day as young boys are prone to do. Kept in touch over time as distance of employment separated us. In recent years we were able to have closer contact on visits to St,John’s , school reunions and the exchange of Christmas cards.. I shall miss calling him on my visits to St.John’s,
On behalf of my wife , Gladys and myself I extend to the family our sincere condolences. Memories will sustain you. Christopher’s comments and sayings will flood your mind and cause a smile or even an outright laugh when you least expect it. Cherish it.
Christopher’s memory will live on in the Province he loved, Newfoundland and Labrador. He left the evidence.
Rest in peace friend, you have earned it
Reg and Gladys

John, Anne, Barbie & Ned,
The world has lost an incredible man. You have our sincere condolences and deepest sympathy.
He was respected and admired by all.
As young children growing up together in St. Catherines, numerous hours were spent with your family. Your mom and dad were always welcoming to the Dean clan.
Good memories indeed.
May Mr. Pratt rest in external peace.

Condolences to the Pratt family on the sad loss of a kind and generous man.We had the privilege of meeting Mr.Pratt on several occasions.
May he rest in peace!

Sincere condolences to the Pratt family.
I had the honour of working with him on the flag committee. A brilliant person in his own right!

Sincere and heart felt condolences to the family on the passing of a Canadian legend. Christopher was a friend and inspiration he will be missed by many.

Dear Philip, John, Anne, Barbie, Ned and family,
Please accept my wishes of deepest condolences on your family’s enormous loss. I had the thrill of collaborating with brilliant Christopher in an interdisciplinary project entitled: Landscapes of Memory (with his composer friend, Jack Behrens). Christopher was an extraordinary man and kindest soul; I will never forget his generous heart and fabulous sense of humour. My thoughts and prayers are with you during this sad time—Jane Leibel

Barbie ,Anne ,Ned and John

My sincere heartfelt condolences on the passing of your Dad .
I have so many wonderful memories of him and all the family from my working at the RNYC ..
Thank you Sir for kindness through the years .
Hugs and prayers to all his family .

Muriel Lawlor

Barby , Anne, Ned and John

We were so sorry to hear about your father’s passing.. We know and understand this is a very sad and difficult time for you and your families. You have our deepest sympathy. RIP Mr. Pratt

Sincerest condolences to the Pratt Families.

June 1, 2022
Dear Chistopher,
I have to tell you how you have impacted all of us. We are your grow up family, your cousins etc., not your beautiful main family.
When I first heard from Ann a few days ago, I was very sad.
Thinking of how much I could have learned from you, how much I did learn from you that time Brian and I visited Salmonier and you had all the Dawe photos for us to browse through. So much understanding and an awakening for me.
When Ann called I kept it secret. Then yesterday I contacted all your extra Dawe’s. Your Waterford Bridge Rd Dawe’s, and their children and more. I call us the Waterford Bridge Rd Dawe’s, because I wasn’t born when they all lived in Bay Roberts.
Well, Christopher, so many are sad. We have Seattle, Manitoba, Montreal, Connecticut, Florida and Portugal Cove all thinking
about you, and how you influenced our lives. What your Dad once tried to do for me with your Aunt Elizabeth; what friends Christine and I became at Aunt Phil’s.
So, we are scattered everywhere but today our hearts around the countries are all breaking over the same reason. Thank-you Christopher, from all of us. We’ll be seeing you…
Libby Earle Depiero

Philip, John, Anne, Barbie, Ned and family,

My deepest condolences. I have many fond memories of Christopher. He was a great friend and incredible artist — I will miss him.


My condolences on the passing of Christopher Pratt……I wish to say to him “Thank you for our flag” !!
As a fellow Newfoundlander it has meant a great deal to me during my wanderings within Canada as a source of pride and identity……Thank you and to his family I am sorry for your loss.

Ned and family. My sincere condolences on the passing of your Dad. You must be so proud of what he accomplished in his life and the legacy he has left. You have many memories, no doubt, to help you through this difficult time. I will keep you all in prayer.

Gaye Broderick

Philip, John, Anne, Barbara and Ned:

I have such strong and vivid memories today of your brother/father, of his wit and wisdom and of the camaraderie from sharing adjacent wharves with your family for a number of years at RNYC . Never one at a loss for words, Christopher could always find an expression to fit the circumstances perfectly. When describing a politician whose erratic decisions were simply unexplainable, he proclaimed: “Who can tell the mind of a squid!” I quote that gem often.

Many years ago, Christopher gifted me with a copy of one of the retrospective books on his artistic life. Having been his legal advisor for a period of time, with often trivial advice been given freely, he inscribed the following notation of his gratitude. “To my lawyer, in lieu of a brace of rabbits, which is in itself, in lieu of legal fess earned but unpaid.” I happily donated that book to the Art Gallery in Bay Roberts that bears his name so that others could enjoy that insight into the clever mind of Christopher Pratt.

My sincere condolences to you all on his passing. While time and life have distanced us in more recent years, I join you now in remembering his wonderfully productive life and legacy.. A life well lived, indeed.

Rest in peace, Christopher, my friend.

John Roil

Barbie, our thoughts are with you and all your family at this time. May great memories of both your parents and childhood help you though the days and weeks ahead.

John,Anne, Barbie and Ned and all your children, my deepest condolences on the loss of your dad and great Newfoundlander.
Jeanette Meehan

Sorry to hear about the passing of Mr.Pratt,condolences to all his family.R.I.P. Mr Pratt.

Sincere sympathy to the Pratt family on the loss of a great artist and generous man. I had the pleasure of many chats with him at different fundraising events that he generously donated a piece of his work for auction especially the Jimmy Pratt Soup Kitchen. Being from the Salmonier area myself it was interesting to get his perspective on issues of the area and my daughter is the proud owner of a framed poster he did for the PC rally in Mt. Carmel in 1972. Rest in Peace Christopher.
Sincerely, Anna Gough Power