McMichael - Canadian Art | Collection d'art Canadien

Accessible Programs

Mentorship in Motion

Created in 2012 by Art Cures Inc., the Mentorship in Motion project is a community based program engaging youth living with mental health issues and/or exceptionalities into a mentored visual art project.

In May 2013, the McMichael Canadian Art Collection (MCAC) agreed to further manage and coordinate the program within the gallery Creative Learning department.  Focusing on the power of art to express, evaluate, and heal, the project consists of collaborative art making activities and concludes with an exhibition of works.

Project Description

The program connects four established local artists with five student artists in order to engage them into a collaborative two-dimensional art project. The works produced during the mentorship sessions at the McMichael will be exhibited in the McMichael Community Gallery.

This Project is designed to help students express, evaluate and heal themselves through a mentored relationship with local artists. In addition to this, it is part of a broader strategy to position the McMichael as a place to foster creativity, healing, and growth.

Read more about Mentorship in Motion

Family Programs

Accessible family art programs cater to the families of children living with disabilities and offer an opportunity to spend time together while engaging in activities designed specifically for participants with various skill levels. Some programs take full advantage of the McMichael natural environment by integrating an outdoor experience with studio art activities, inspired by the gallery collections, others concentrate on a guided exploration of the McMichael’s galleries.

Family Programs require registration. Register early, as space is limited.

ArtVenture 2015 Accessible Programs:

Register Now for All ProgramsCost for each program:

general public: $18 ($14 per additional sibling)
McMichael members: $15 ($11 per additional sibling)

Reservation: Required

Members of Autism Ontario are free; please provide your Autism Ontario, York Chapter, membership number at time of booking. Attendants do not pay.

Saturday, November 21, 2015

Kool Creations

Be inspired by the season! Search the grounds at the gallery for fun colours and shapes, then make a cool sculpture creation. The various needs of participants will be accommodated.

The McMichael's accessible family workshops take full advantage of the grounds and combine an outdoor discovery walk, studio activities, dramatic play, and social enjoyment created to accommodate the various skill and ability levels of participants. Registration must be completed at least one week prior to the start of the program. Parents and/or caregivers must accompany the child for the duration of the program.


general public: $18 ($14 per additional sibling)
McMichael members: $15 ($11 per additional sibling)

Reservation Required

Members of Autism Ontario are free; please provide your Autism Ontario, York Chapter, membership number at time of booking. Attendants do not pay.

Four Ways to Register

  1. Call the Bookings Department at 905.893.1121 ext. 2209.
  2. Fax registration form to 905.893.2588. Include your credit card number, expiry date, and signature.
  3. Mail registration form with cheque payable to McMichael Canadian Art Collection or credit card information to:
    Bookings Department, McMichael Canadian Art Collection, 10365 Islington Avenue, Kleinburg, Ontario L0J 1C0
  4. Drop off registration form with cash, cheque, or credit card information at the Admissions Desk.

Adult Programs

LIFE Academy Program at the McMichael, Ages 18 and Up

The LIFE (Learning Independence through Facilitated Education) Academy Program is designed for individuals living with Autism Spectrum Disorders (Asperger’s), to develop life skills for post-secondary education, employment and independent living. The program will be taught by instructors from the McMichael Gallery and KPAS who are experienced in the specialized instruction and support that is valued by people with ASD. The McMichael and its facilities will be used to inspire creative assignments with specialized adaptations suited to the needs of people with Asperger Disorder.


The McMichael Alzheimer’s Project
That Reminds Me: Making Art Accessible for People with Dementia

As part of the EnAbling Change Project, programs at the McMichael Canadian Art Collection are being developed to meet the needs of individuals living with Alzheimer’s disease, dementia and other forms of memory loss. It has been recognized that engagement with art offers significant benefits for individuals living with dementia. This is true, whether the experience involves looking at art, talking about art, or creating art.

In each example, engagement with art offers participants the opportunity to experience intellectual stimulation, to connect personal stories with the world at large, and to access personal experiences and long-term memories. These meaningful activities increase confidence, preserve self esteem and support dignity. Involvement with art allows the individual to focus on capability rather than disability. In addition, family caregivers receive some respite, as they are able to recognize less anxiety, agitation and aggression within the person in care.

Scheduled programs will be available to meet the needs of groups from Alzheimer’s/dementia care facilities and for individuals who are still supported at home by a family member, usually a spouse or child. The McMichael will also offer outreach programs to the facilities, where members can produce art in a familiar, comfortable environment.

The McMichael offers a specially designed tour in the gallery for groups of up to eight participants with caregivers or family members. Multiple groups may be accommodated upon request at time of booking. Subsidies for programs can be made possible in consultation with gallery administration. Tours may be scheduled in the morning or afternoon and are conducted by Educators and Docents.

Visits may be customized to meet the specific needs of groups. Other programs offered include art making, sensory stimulation and outdoor exploration throughout the McMichael’s unique setting. Tours are 100 minutes in length, including time for introductions, orientation and a relaxed closure of the program.


Educational Programs

Programs at the McMichael are accessible to all learners, including students with exceptionalities. McMichael Education staff will work with you to modify tours and studios to address your students’ unique needs. Three small-group workshops have been specifically designed to accommodate various functionality needs and incorporate artworks, the outdoors, and a studio experience.

Arctic Adventure

Grade 4 (or equivalent) and up

In this flexible, process-oriented program, students learn at their own pace. The handling of objects and other multisensory teaching tools introduces students with special learning needs to Inuit culture and the Arctic. Students examine the grounds, view outdoor sculptures, and create soap carvings and mixed-media reliefs. For up to 8 participants, plus educational assistants.

Touch of Nature

Grade 4 (or equivalent) and up

Students explore both the gallery and grounds, view examples of Canadian landscape art, and interact with the natural environment. Handson activities, such as creating a felt landscape, appeal to their senses. This program can be adapted to meet each student’s individual level of engagement, interest, and ability. For up to 6 participants, plus educational assistants.

Woodland Inspired iPad® Program

Grade 4 (or equivalent) and up

Learning about Woodland-style art in the gallery and recreating the shapes, colours, and textures using iPad® technology with its various art applications are the focus of this program. Hands-on art-making activities provide students with a tactile art experience.

For more information and to register, call the McMichael Canadian Art Collection 905.893.1121 ext. 2209 and a McMichael instructor will be happy to plan and discuss your trip with you!

All current education programs can be modified to accommodate student needs. For more information, view our school visits brochure.
We are pleased to modify school programs for students with disabilities 

Art Venture

Summer Camp

Please note that the McMichael Summer ArtVenture Camp is inclusive of all campers, and welcomes individuals with disabilities. Please provide information with respect to individual abilities at time of booking.

Download the 2015 ArtVenture
Children's Art Programs Brochure


EnAbling Change Program

Special EventsIn 2012, the McMichael gallery introduced the EnAblingChange Program, in partnership with the Government of Ontario. The EnAbling Change Program supports our Education and Programs department in the development of gallery and public programming for children, youth, adults, and seniors with cognitive disabilities. Each program provides participants the opportunity to reflect and relate to art in an environment as natural as the McMichael’s.

On Friday, August 8, 2014, the McMichael released The Art of Inclusion: Seven Steps – A Guide to Developing and Delivering Accessible and Inclusive Programs within Arts and Cultural Organizations. The McMichael is sharing guidelines for the programs delivered to help other cultural institutions in their development of accessible programming for special needs. By summarizing its process and results, the McMichael’s goal is to support art, educational, and public organizations in implementing programs that serve individuals with special needs.

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