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

Mentorship in Motion will run from April to May 2014, concluding with a community exhibition in the McMichael Founders' Lounge on Sunday, June 1, 2014, from 1 to 3 pm, with remarks at 2 pm.

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 2014

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.

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

Woodland Inspired iPad® Program

Students will explore and engage in multi-sensory art activities using Apple iPad® technology designed for all abilities. The workshop will begin with an introduction to the McMichael's collection of Canadian landscape and Aboriginal art and the elements of design: colour, shape and texture, followed by an exploration through sketching. Students will then create and complete a hands-on art making activity inspired by nature. The final session will allow students to use iPads to experiment with tablet work. This new innovative program opens up untapped areas of skill and provides another route for learning.

Cost: $25 per student for a full day program

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 

Contact Education department Manager, with your specific school requests.

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 2014 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.

Not just “another WordPress blog” | EnAbling Change at the McMichael Canadian Art Collection

This blog will assist and document the process of writing a best practices guide, and is an online resource for participants and their families to witness the benefits, growth and success of McMichael programming. 

Participants are encouraged to submit their posts about their program experiences to:

Visit the Enabling Change Blog.

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