PRAC header

PRAC logo

facebook | Instagram | EVENTS CALENDAR PAGES
January | February | March | April | May | June | July | August | September | October | November | December

HomeAbout PRACAGMArtfestAuditions | Juried Shows Contact PRAC • Membership Forms (PDF) On-Line Presidents' Reports Workshops

PRAC: Juried Art Show JPE | Pic of the Month SupportersCommunity | Heritage | LiteraryIndie AuthorsPerformingTeachingVisual Artists


PineRidge Arts Council's Presidents' Messages

Cathy Schnippering


Brian SMALLMAN, Susan REED, Lynda MEREDITH and CathySchnippering

President's Reports

2017 | 2016

2015 | 2014 pdf | 2013 pdf | 2012 | 2011 | 2010
2009 | 2008

2016 President’s Message

I’m delighted to report that our membership is holding at about 400. Over the past 26 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.

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 by Elsie Hetherman 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 and Photography Show entries can be made on-line with payments through PayPal. Check us out at and

Activities During the Past Year:
Organized our 16th Annual Juried Art Show at the McLean Community Centre in Ajax resulting in 160 entries. We welcomed new Chairs of this show Susan Brown and Brian Smallman who exceeded our organizational expectations. The Atrium of the McLean Centre was under construction and our space last year was limited so our juror Phil Richards could only choose 51 works to exhibit. However, our placer Gwen Williams rose to this challenge and we received many compliments on the show. We were proud to present $4,850 in awards to 17 winning artists in both adult and youth categories. Our 2016 Juried Art Show Opening will be October 28th.
Held our second Juried Photography Exhibition at the McLean Centre with Juror Allan O’Marra 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 $1,800 in awards. Our 2016 Juried Photo Show, a CONTACT Photography Festival venue will open on May 5th.
In the past year we gave over $9,000 back to the community by sponsoring member’s projects and events – namely:
* A Gift of Art Gallery * Ajax Creative Arts Spring & Fall Shows * Artfest on the Esplanade * Durham West Arts Centre Studio Tour * Art Guild of Scarborough * Culture Days * DeSerres PRAC Day * Dunbarton Fairport United Church Artwork * Durham Community Choir * Durham Philharmonic Choir * Durham Sustain Ability * Latcham Gallery * Pickering Rotary Music
Festival * Pickering Teen Art Show * Oshawa Opera * SPARK Ajax Children’s Juried Art Show
Partnered with the City of Pickering for the 17th annual Artfest on the Esplanade where thanks to the generosity of an Enbridge Pipelines grant and the expertise of organizer Mary Cook and our Youth Coordinator Janice McHaffie, we were able to present for the third year, our Mask Magic youth event. Once again this proved to be so popular we are going to repeat it on May 28, 2016.
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 and * Debbie’s Café
As part of Culture Days, we held our first PRAC Day and combined this with the opening of DeSerres Art Supply Store’s Studio 235 in Pickering. Fourteen PRAC artists were exhibited, Gwen Williams, Dorsey James, Michael Jack and Heather Toswell demonstrated their skills and Daryl Williams entertained us on the steel pans. Thanks to Kristine Dandavino we were able to be a sponsor Oshawa Opera’s first Culture Days programme – Suor Angelica Open Dress Rehearsal.
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 Bannister), our art exhibition and our featured performers, musicians Donna Bennett and Brian Finley from the Westben Arts Festival Theatre, made a fun and artful evening for all.
As they have done for many years, Janice McHaffie and Dorsey James participated in Ontario Power Generation’s Tuesdays on the Trail, free fun and educational event, where they taught many enthusiastic kids techniques in artwork and wood carving.
Janice McHaffie, Dorsey James and Pam Edmonds juried the Pickering Teen Art Exhibition and Janice also coordinated the Ajax SPARK Children’s Juried Art Show. Helping her jury this show was Esther Forde and Don Hightower.

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.
Will Taylor and Glenda Varty for joining Gary and I as our featured AGM performers this year and Production Manager Susan Reed.
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.
Mary Cook for her unceasing efforts in publicity, photography, graphic artistry and organization.
Our Art in Public Places exhibition venues and facilitators Gwen Williams, Robert Hinves, Anja Knuuttila, Penny Parkman and Gary Faulkner.
Our special donors, advertisers and sponsors who support PRAC throughout the year.
Artist Hal Bilz for donating his watercolour “The Rapids” for our Artful Draw.
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 the PRAC executive and friends for their love and support. I am truly blessed.

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

PRAC PresidentArtScene Editor

facebook facebook group page


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.

Layout and Design by Mary Cook © 2003 ~ 2023

Performing artists Visual artists Artists with words and history PRAC Instructors
Contact page Contact webmistress Contact ArtScene Editor