National Spiritualist Association of Canada (NSA)

The National Spiritualist Association of Canada (NSA) was one of two Canadian parent organizations that provided leadership to spiritualists and the ordination of ministers across Canada.

The National Spiritualist Association of Canada was at its most active from 1928 to 1974. In British Columbia, before 1940, the NSA obtained full ministerial rights and privileges for its ministers, including the right to solemnize marriages.

Ministerial rights were granted to NSA ministers in Alberta, Saskatchewan, and Manitoba in 1957, and the board worked on obtaining the same recognition in the other provinces. It was anticipated that, with this recognition, spiritualism would grow and gain strength throughout Canada.

During the 1950s, under the charismatic leadership of Reverend Beatrice Gaulton Bishop, more churches sought affiliation. During late 1957, NSA discussed increased cooperation with the Spiritualist Church of Canada in order to give the spiritualist movement added strength and fuller representation throughout Canada.

Based apparently upon the ambitious spirit plan given to Bishop, the proposed “Assembly of Canadian Spiritualist Churches” would provide a single umbrella organization to host an annual convention, to publish a directory of the churches and ministers affiliated with each organization, and to facilitate visits by spiritualist missionaries.

However, the practicalities proved to be insurmountable. Just over a year later, at a Séance held in January 1959, the spirit communicators outlined to Bishop’s group a program for the formation of an international organization instead. In September 1959, the International Spiritualist Alliance was formed in Vancouver. Bishop was a founding member.

The NSA went into decline and was formally dissolved on December 16, 1980.



  • Lowe, Joy, and Walter Meyer zu Erpen. “The Canadian Spiritualist Movement and Sources for Its Study.” Archivaria 30, edited by Debra Barr (Summer 1990): 71–84.
  • Partridge, William C. “History of Canadian Spiritualism.” Copy of 1975 manuscript in possession of Survival Research Institute of Canada.

The Encyclopedia of Ghosts and Spirits– Written by Rosemary Ellen Guiley – September 1, 2007