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PineRidge Arts Council's President's Message

Cathy Schnippering

Heather White, Cathy Schnippering and Lynda Meredith

Robert Hinves and lucky wiinner Helen Harkin
~ lucky winner of the Artful Draw painting Hard Times

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2019 President’s Message

Over the past 29 years our dedicated volunteer-administrated organization has truly blossomed and fulfilled our mandate to develop widespread appreciation and support for the arts in our community.

Our PRAC team is the best team ever and I am honoured to be a part of this fun and productive group. Here is a brief synopsis of what we have been up to over the past year.
Newspaper: ArtScene is now celebrating its 24th year and although we are still printing over 1,000 hard copies in full colour for hand distribution (thanks to coordinator Elsie Hetherman), in 2019 we discontinued our individual mailout with Canada Post. ArtScene can now be enjoyed (thanks to Mary Cook) by countless readers on-line at

Social Media: Webmistress Mary Cook does a fabulous job keeping our sites up to date and our members informed. Memberships, and Juried Art and Photography Show entries can be made on-line with Jotform with payments through PayPal and E-transfer. Members may also send us events info this way for posting and ArtScene.
Check us out at and

We are also in the process of using Instagram.
Dave Reid is working to bring our website into the 21st century so we can keep our members and their events easy to find and help promote them. We plan to continue with our MailChimp eBlasts to help keep you up to date with what is happening on the arts scene. We currently have over 500 subscribers.

Activities During the Past Year:
• Organized our 19th Annual Juried Art Show at the McLean Community Centre in Ajax resulting in 187 entries. Our Juried Show Chairs, Susan Brown and Brian Smallman were instrumental in making this show another brilliant success. Our placer Gwen Williams expertly positioned the artwork, our juror Angie Littlefield chose 65 works to exhibit and on Opening Night we proudly awarded $4,800 in awards to 15 winning artists in both adult and youth categories.
Our 2018 Juried Art Show Opening will be November 1st.
• Held our 5th Juried Photography Exhibition and CONTACT Photograph Festival event at the McLean Community Centre with Juror Katrina Jennifer Bedford and Chairs Susan Brown and Brian Smallman. Once again we were excited by the keen response of our
photographic artists and we were thrilled to give away over $3,000 in awards to 10 winners, again in the adult and youth categories.
Our 2019 Juried Photo Show will open on May 2nd.
• In addition, we were able to sponsor many of our member’s events in the community, both financially and with in-kind-donations, for example:
* Ajax Creative Arts Spring & Fall Shows * Allan’s Artists * Artfest on the Esplanade * Durham West Arts Studio Tour * Durham Notables * Durham Philharmonic Choir * Espressivo Singers * Esther Forde Scholarship Auction * Pickering Concert Band * Pickering Library Indie Authors * Pickering Rotary Music Festival * SPARK Pickering
Children’s Juried Art Show * SPARK Ajax Children’s Juried Art Show * Station Gallery
• Partnered with the City of Pickering for the 21st annual Artfest on the Esplanade where thanks to the generosity of an Enbridge Pipelines grant and the expertise of organizers Mary Cook and our Youth Coordinator Rola Jaber, we were able to present for the sixth year, our “Mask Magic” and Michael Jack and his students introduced visitors to cartooning. Once again these proved to be so popular we are going to repeat them on May 25, 2019.
• Art in Public Places exhibitions were regularly maintained at:
* McLean Community Centre and * Ontario Power Generation Information Centre. Sadly in 2019, due to lack of volunteer help, we had to discontinue our exhibitions at * Reeds Florists * Dentistry on Liverpool and * Debbie’s Cafe (business sold).
• Held another successful AGM/Arts Event at the Info Centre of Ontario Power Generation in Pickering, where our Silent Auction, our Artful Draw raffle (thanks to artwork donated by Gary Faulkner), our art exhibition and our featured performers, musicians Frances
Townend and Kevin Dashney, made a fun and artful evening for all.

Celebrating 30 years of serving the arts in Durham
• I was honoured and delighted to receive a “Lifetime Achievement Award” from the City of Pickering.

We Wish to Thank:
• Ontario Power Generation, Pickering Nuclear for their generous hospitality for once again hosting our AGM and for their continual support of the arts.
• Eastside Harmony Chorus, our featured AGM performers this year.
• The City of Pickering for our monthly meeting space at the Recreation Complex and ongoing work to build a Performing Centre in Pickering.
• The Town of Ajax for the use of the McLean Community Centre for all our Art Exhibitions and choosing ArtScene to promote St. Francis Centre’s events.
• Gwen Williams for expertly placing all our artwork for every show.
• Mary Cook for her unceasing efforts in publicity, photography, graphic artistry and organization.
• Our Art in Public Places exhibition venues and facilitator Gwen Williams.
• Allan O’Marra for continuing to produce Allan’s Artists, an excellent art exhibition, now in its eight year and being a featured columnist in ArtScene.
• Our special donors, advertisers and sponsors who support PRAC throughout the year.
• Artist Robert Hinves for donating his painting Hard Times for our Artful Draw and Sandy Hinves for making her Square available.
• Our loyal executive, committee people and volunteers whose aforementioned dedication and passion make our Arts Council flourish.
~ and on a personal note: I wish to thank all the PRAC executive and friends for their love and support. I am truly blessed.

Respectfully submitted,

Catherine Schnippering, President


Since 1989 PineRidge Arts Council Inc., a not-for-profit volunteer organization has been dedicated to enhance the quality of life within the community by developing widespread appreciation, support and involvement in the arts.

PineRidge Arts Council
650 Kingston Road
P.O. Box 18258 Steeple Hill Postal Outlet
Pickering, Ontario L1V 1A0

PRAC PresidentArtScene EditorWebmistress • Phone 905.509.3855

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