Special Exhibition Programming

Previous Events

Sunday, November 4Download Symposium Timetable
With the generous support of the A.K. Prakash Foundation
Painting Canada: Tom Thomson and the Group of Seven Panel and Symposium
10:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m.

Curators, scholars and experts on the Group of Seven from across Canada and Europe explore the significance of Tom Thomson and the Group of Seven.

Discussion Panel, 10:00 a.m. to 11:15 a.m.
This unique discussion panel is offered by the exhibition’s curatorial team: from London, UK, Ian Dejardin, Director of Dulwich Picture Gallery; Dr. Anna Hudson, Associate Professor at York University; and Katerina Atanassova, McMichael’s Chief Curator.  

Painting Canada Symposium, 11:30 a.m. to 4:00 p.m.
The Symposium brings together curators, scholars and experts on the Group of Seven from across Canada and Europe to explore the works of Tom Thomson and members of the Group of Seven, looking at their significance in Canada and in a global context, at the beginning of the 20th century and today. (note: timetable subject to change)

Katerina Atanassova, McMichael Canadian Art Collection
Ian Dejardin, Dulwich Picture Gallery, London
Jacques Des Rochers, Musée des Beaux-arts de Montréal
Anna Hudson, York University
Marietta Jansen, Groninger Museum, Netherlands
James King, McMaster University
Virginia Eichhorn, Tom Thomson Gallery
Sarah Milroy, Toronto
Roald Nasgaard, Toronto
Georgiana Uhlyarik, Art Gallery of Ontario

Plus a chance to hear from the creators of the film West Wind:The Vision of Tom Thomson about their research for the film and surprising discoveries.

Download the Painting Canada Symposium timetable (pdf)

Downloadspeaker biographies (pdf)

General Public, $25, lunch included, registration required; 
McMichael members, morning session only - free, full day $20, lunch included, registration required for both; 
Free for students (with ID), registration required.

Sunday, November 11

Spirit of the Land, Celebrating Tom Thomson and the Group of Seven with the Mississauga Choral Society
Mississauga Choral Society (MCS) presents Gallery of Song: Spirit of the Land, featuring a group of nine choral vignettes for women’s voices by Canadian composer Dr. James Wright. The lyrics are based on poems written by Ontario elementary school students reflecting upon Group of Seven paintings.

Wednesday and Thursday, November 14 and 15

Afternoon Tea with J.E.H. MacDonald  
J.E.H. MacDonald, a painter, poet, and writer, who assumed a mentoring position within the Group of Seven and influenced a whole generation of Canadian artists. Come and learn his story with Anna Stanisz, Assistant Curator of Education and Programs.

Saturday, November 17

With the generous support of the A.K. Prakash Foundation

William Blair Bruce and the Impressionist Artist Colonies of Giverny and Grèz-sur-Loing, presented by William H. Gerdts
Among artistic colonies operating in France around the turn of the twentieth century, Giverny was definitely the best-known, thanks to the presence of Claude Monet, a venerated Impressionist painter. Come hear about the importance of this picturesque village as well as Grèz-sur-Loing, another popular anglophone destination in the development of Canadian modern art, as illustrated by experiences of Hamilton, Ontario-born painter William Blair Bruce. This lecture by William H. Gerdts, author of Monet’s Giverny: An Impressionist Colony and Professor Emeritus of City University at New York, is an opportunity not-to-be-missed!

Saturday, November 24

Inward Journey: The Life of Lawren Harris by Dr. James King

Born to great wealth, Lawren Harris spent much of his existence selflessly promoting Canadian painting and the interests of his fellow artists. But Harris's own personal struggle to become an artist was long and complex. Please join author Dr. James King as he discusses Lawren Harris, Group of Seven artist and spokesperson. James King is the author of four previous novels: Faking (1999), Blue Moon (2000), Transformations (2003), and Pure Inventions (2006). He is also the author of eight works of biography, the subjects of which include William Blake, Margaret Laurence, Jack McClelland, and Farley Mowat. His biography of Herbert Read, The Last Modern, was nominated for a Governor General's Literary Award. James King lives in Hamilton, Ontario, and teaches at McMaster University in the Department of English.

Sunday, November 25

The Group of Seven’s International Legacy Art Chat
During the British Empire Exhibition (Wembley, 1924), Tom Thomson and his contemporaries were chosen to represent a new Canadian approach to landscape painting in the Palace of Arts. Trace this trajectory to our current show, Painting Canada, to see how Canadian painters were making a mark in Europe’s art scene.

Saturday, December 8

Treasures Revealed: Tom Thomson and the Group of Seven in Private Collections, presented by Katerina Atanassova
Throughout her career as a Canadian historical art curator, Katerina Atanassova, McMichael Chief Curator, has had the opportunity to work with some of the most reputable art collectors in Canada. Highlighting the importance of private collections to the preservation of our national culture, Atanassova will focus this talk specifically on the role private collections had in establishing Tom Thomson and the Group of Seven’s international legacy.

Saturday and Sunday, December 8 and 9
Contemporary Landscape Painting with John Leonard
With the best Tom Thomson and Group of Seven works currently on view at the McMichael, John Leonard proposes to re-examine these artists’ distinctive personal painting styles in order to inspire your own painting technique through a combination of gallery discussions and studio activities.

Sunday, December 30
Tom Thomson’s Pines Art Chat
Does “a symbol of romantic solitude” refer to the artist or one of his favoured subjects, the lone pine? Why did Thomson often return to this iconic image and how did he make it synonymous with his style? Utilizing works rarely seen together, come join in discussion on one of Canada’s most cherished legends. (Registration not required)

Visit the McMichael.com Programs Page for detailed program and registration information.
Download a PDF version of our Painting Canada special programs


We acknowledge the support of the Government of Canada through the Department of Canadian Heritage for the special exhibition programs. Nous reconnaissons l’appui du gouvernement du Canada par l’entremise du ministère du Patrimoine canadien pour les programmes d'exposition spéciale. Canadian Heritage