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PineRidge Arts Council's Presidents' Messages

Cathy Schnippering

Cathy Schnippering

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2014 President’s Message

I’m delighted to report that our membership is holding at about 400. Over the past 25 years our totally volunteer administrated organization through dedication, passion and expansive communication, has truly blossomed and fulfilled our mandate to develop widespread appreciation and support for the arts in our community.

After a happy and successful two and a half years, we closed the SilverStone Gallery on Liverpool Road last July. We are very thankful for the patronage of the Peterkin family, Director Gary Faulkner and Publicist Mary Cook for giving us this opportunity to showcase our talented members.

It is always an honour and lots of fun to be a part of the PRAC team and I look forward to even more exciting developments in the future. Here is a brief synopsis of what we have been up to over the past year.

Newspaper: Our ArtScene run is 2700 and every two months we mail out approximately 1700 and the remainder are distributed by hand at various locations in Durham Region and beyond.

Website: Webmistress Mary Cook does a fabulous job keeping our sites up to date and our members informed. Memberships and Juried Art Show entries can be made on-line with payments through PayPal. Check us out at and

Activities During the Past Year:
Organized our 14th Annual Juried Art Show at the McLean Community Centre in Ajax resulting in 156 entries. Our juror Peter Marsh chose 64 works to exhibit and we were able to present $4,775 in awards to 16 winning artists in both adult and youth categories. I was thrilled and honoured when the Council created the Lou Schnippering Award and was even more delighted when my children could be present to bestow the Award.

In addition, we also gave over three thousand dollars back to the community by sponsoring member’s projects and events ~ to name a few:
• Ajax Youth Juried Art Show • Ajax Creative Arts Spring & Fall Shows
• Artfest on the Esplanade • Backwoods Players • Durham Philharmonic Choir • Durham Community Choir • Espressivo Singers • Latcham Gallery • Mosaic Madness with Ruth Smith • Music by the Bay • Oshawa Art Association Fall Festival • Pickering Museum Village Spring Opening
• Pickering Rotary Music Festival • Pickering Teen Art Show • SilverStone Gallery • Station Gallery • Visual Arts Centre, Clarington
SilverStone Gallery wins the City of Pickering Arts Civic Award.
Partnered with the City of Pickering for the 15th annual Artfest on the Esplanade where thanks to the generosity of an Enbridge Pipelines grant and the expertise of our Youth Coordinator Janice McHaffie, we were able to initiate our Mask Magic youth event. This proved to be so popular we are going to repeat it on May 24, 2014.
Art in Public Places exhibitions were regularly maintained at:
• McLean Community Centre • Ontario Power Generation Information Centre • Reeds Florists • Dentistry on Liverpool • Body and Wellness Family Chiropractic Centre • Debbie’s Cafe

Dorsey James instructed workshops at Ontario Power Generation’s summer family program Tuesdays on the Trail

Gwen Williams, Anja Knuuttila and Bob Hinves juried Pickering’s In Your Words and Expressions contest for youth.

Partnered with OPG for their Staff Art Show ~ Fusion 2. Gwen Williams and Bob Hinves coordinated and juried the show.

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 Cheryl Ingram), our art exhibition and our featured performers the always entertaining Backwoods Players, made a fun and artful evening for all.

Janice McHaffie juried the Pickering Teen Art Exhibition and coordinated Ajax SPARK Children’s Juried Art Show. Helping her jury the Ajax show was Esther Forde and Don Hightower.

Janice McHaffie also wove her magic with children again at OPG’s two-day March Madness Event.

Gary Faulkner, Bob Hinves and Dorsey James juried and presented awards at the Jazz It Up juried art show at Ontario Shores Gallery.

Initiated plans for our first Juried Photography Exhibition on April 17, 2014 with chairs Ann Hilborn and Peter Clute .

We Wish to Thank:
Ontario Power Generation, Pickering Nuclear for their generous hospitality in hosting our AGM venue and refreshments.
The Senior Moments for being our featured AGM performers this year.
The City of Pickering for our monthly meeting space at the Recreation Complex.
The Town of Ajax for the use of the McLean Community Centre for all our Art Exhibitions.
The Peterkin family and the Silverstone Paddle Company for their patronage of our SilverStone Gallery.
Gary Faulkner for curating and administration of the SilverStone Gallery
Mary Cook for her unceasing efforts in publicity and organization, both for PRAC and the SilverStone Gallery
Our Art in Public Places exhibition venues.
Our special donors, advertisers and sponsors who support PRAC throughout the year.
Artist Robert Hinves for donating his pen, ink and watercolour Herongate Barn Theatre for our Artful Draw
Our hardworking executive, committee people and volunteers whose aforementioned dedication and passion make our Arts Council flourish.

~ and on a personal note: I wish to thank the PRAC executive and all my friends for their love and support since I lost Lou last June. They are priceless blessings and I am honoured to be in their midst.

Respectfully submitted,

Catherine Schnippering, President


PineRidge Arts Council Inc., is a not-for-profit (Public Benefit Corporation) volunteer organization established in 1989.

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

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Vision: We envision a world where the arts are valued and accessible to all,
and where we inspire others to embrace the arts as an essential part of their lives.

Mission: Our mission is to build a vibrant and inclusive arts community that celebrates
and supports visual, audio and new media art. We strive to connect and engage
diverse audiences while providing resources and opportunities for artists to thrive
and create impactful work.

Indigenous Land Acknowledgement
We are currently located on land, which has long served as a site of meeting and exchange among the
Mississauga Peoples, and is the traditional and treaty territory of the Mississaugas of Scugog Island First Nation.
We honour, recognize, and respect this nation and Indigenous Peoples as the traditional stewards of the lands
and waters on which we meet today.

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