ICAN Free Sessions

All conference attendees (and the general public) are invited to attend the free sessions listed below. These have been scheduled to allow everyone to attend, even if you are also attending a full day or half day session on the same day, as they take place during the lunch hour (12:00 p.m. – 1:00 p.m.) or after sessions end (after 4:00 p.m.) Only the first session (pastel making) requires you to bring any supplies. No registration is required for any of the free sessions, but do note them on your Planner so you don’t miss out!

Neilson Park Creative Centre
56 Neilson Drive, Etobicoke, ON M9C 1V7

Upcoming Events

Pastel Making Session

Studio B
Wednesday, May 31, 2023
12:00 p.m. to 1:00 p.m.

This free session will ‘magically’ make new pastels from old! No need to preregister, just turn up with the following supplies:

  1. All the broken bits of pastel lurking in your pastel box, organized into separate colour groups in small baggies (reds/oranges/yellows/greens/blues/purples/neutrals);
  2. A small china bowl and a heavy-duty tablespoon, or a mortar and pestle if you have one and can transport it (for grinding the bits into fine dust);
  3. Some thin gloves if you wish to protect your hands from the pigments (optional).

We’ll pool our ‘bits’ and work to grind them into dust. Rubbing alcohol will be provided to moisten the resulting dust into ‘mud’ to be rolled/shaped into new pastels. Paper plates will be provided so you can take your share of the new pastels away to dry out (they’ll be touch-dry by the end of the day and can go back into one of your baggies to transport home).

Please note: only those who contribute materials are allowed to participate.

Material List

  • Broken bits of pastel organized by colour group in small baggies
  • Small bowl
  • Heavy duty tablespoon/mortar and pestle
  • Thin gloves (optional)

Exhibition Walkabouts

Gallery Area
Thursday, June 1, 2023 & Saturday, June 3, 2023
12:30 p.m. to 1:00 p.m.

Gobble your lunch and come to the gallery at 12:30 to enjoy and learn from a walkabout with two PAC Presidents (former and current). Each facilitator will select outstanding works that illustrate significant learning points and engage the participants in a discussion of the finer points of critiquing/appreciating fine pastel paintings.

Antarctic Adventure

Studio A – East
Wednesday, May 31, 2023
4:30 p.m. to 6:00 p.m.

Join Karin for an inspiring presentation as she takes you through time, from the first artist explorers to the realization of her own dream to travel to & work in Antarctica.

A professional artist of 30 years, Karin is an elected member of Canada’s most prestigious art societies, proficient in all mediums. Her award-winning work and dedication to the arts community earned her the 2010 Immigrant of Distinction Award. She is a passionate teacher and conducts painting holidays on land and at sea in Canada and abroad.

PAC Purely Pastel Show Opening and Reception

and Supply Sale

Gallery Area
Thursday, June 1, 2023
6:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m.
Neilson Park Creative Centre
56 Neilson Drive, Etobicoke, ON M9C 1V7

Come enjoy the beautiful Purely Pastel exhibition and celebrate the award winners and new signature status holders. Light snacks will be provided. We will also be selling art supplies generously donated by Heather Laws’ and Ann Kelly Walsh’s estates. 

Heather Laws was a distinguished pastel artist who sadly left us in 2021 after a tough battle with cancer. Heather’s animal portraits were outstanding and admired by all, and she was also a dedicated volunteer for many PAC activities, including show coordination for our Eastern region for some years. Her many pastel supplies will be bundled and priced competitively, as it was Heather’s wish to support novice pastel artists with affordable materials. 

Ann Kelly Walsh was one of the very early members of the original Pastel Artists of Ontario and served multiple times in volunteer roles as the organization grew over the years. A gifted painter, she is fondly remembered as an equally gifted teacher, one who provided a first introduction to pastels for many current members. She was also among our first group of Eminent Pastelists. Ann passed away peacefully in Burlington in 2020 following a courageous battle with ALS. The art magazines she left behind have now been donated to this sale.

Paint-Around Event

Gallery Area
Friday, June 2, 2023
12:00 p.m. to 1:00 p.m.

Everyone’s favourite event! Watch four talented PAC artists (Margaret Ferraro, Fred Fielding, Clarence Porter, and Gail Sibley) collaborate to create four delightful new works! Every 10 minutes, the artists will rotate through each other’s works and add another layer to the developing work. At the end, all four artists will sign all four works. These will be up for silent auction until the close of the conference on Sunday (June 4th) and go to the lucky highest bidder at that time. Come see four unique works of art develop before your very eyes!