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En Plein Air Competition

Organized by McMichael Canadian Art Collection

Competition Dates
Saturday July 30 to Monday October 10, 2022

Art Submission Deadline
Wednesday, October 12, 2022, by 5 pm EST

Project Description

The McMichael is thrilled to announce the return of the annual En Plein Air Competition. During the course of the competition, between July 30 and October 10, artists are invited to work en plein air anywhere on the McMichael grounds, in and around the charming Village of Kleinburg and in the historic Humber River Valley along the Toronto Carrying Place Trail, one of the most historically important Indigenous trading routes in North America. 

New in 2022 is the addition of two categories for young artists. We can’t wait to see Canada’s finest young talents!

Finally, any artwork created within and depicting the Village of Kleinburg will be considered for the special Kleinburg Village Prize. It’s time to get out there and create your masterpiece. Best of luck to all!  

Competition Process

Between Saturday, July 30, and Monday, October 10, 2022, any artists who are interested in participating are invited to set up their canvases on the McMichael grounds, in Kleinburg Village and along the shores of the Humber River.   

Please note that the artists are responsible for bringing their own art supplies including materials, easels, seating etc.   

The artworks produced during the competition will belong to the artists. The McMichael reserves the right to use image(s) for a virtual exhibition and for promotional purposes.  

Competition Categories

NEW! Children & Youth Artists 

This year, children and youth are welcome to submit their works in two age-based categories

  • Children: 6 to 12 years old
  • Youth: 13 to 18 years old

Please note that only one work per participant may be submitted in either of the following categories:

  • Works on canvas/panel (format 16 x 20 inches only)
  • Works on paper (format 11 x 14, 14 x 18 or 22 x 28 inches)

Adult Artists  

Artists 18+ years old are invited to produce and submit one work per participant in any of the two medium categories:  

  • Works on canvas/panel (format 16 x 20 inches only)
  • Works on paper (format 11 x 14 or 14 x 18 inches) 

Any size variation must be authorized by our staff. If you prefer a different size, please contact: programs@mcmichael.com 

Deadline: Wednesday October 12, 2022, by 5 pm

Please submit entries for consideration using the online form: ARTWORK SUBMISSION.

Information required when submitting an entry:

  • Google account (image upload requires sign-in)
  • Artist’s full name
  • Artist’s age range
  • Artwork title
  • Artwork dimensions
  • Artwork medium
  • Artist’s statement (100 words max.)
  • JPG image, 72 dpi, 1024 x 768 pixels; label all image files in the following format: Number_Category_Artist-Name_Artwork-Title.jpg (ex. 01_Work-on-Canvas_John-Smith_Birch-Trees.jpg)


Please note that McMichael’s permanent, part-time and contracted staff are not eligible for this competition. 


The selection/advisory committee is comprised of practicing artists, McMichael Educators and members of the Gallery’s curatorial team.  

The committee will review applications in two rounds:  

  • First round ending with the announcement of the shortlisted artists on Wednesday, October 26, 2022  
  • Second round ending with the announcement of awards at the celebratory event on Sunday February 19, 2023 at 1 pm

Selections will be made based on the artistic merit of presented artworks and how well they reflect the character of the competition. 


In the first round of jurying, up to 10 artists in each category will be shortlisted. The shortlisted artists will be announced on Wednesday, October 26, 2022.  

All selected works will be displayed at the Community Gallery on and online from mid-December 2022 to April 2023. 

The shortlisted artists will be responsible for providing high-resolution photography of their artwork to be displayed in an online virtual exhibition on the McMichael’s website and to deliver the physical work to the McMichael for the on-site exhibition.  

The dates of the drop-off will be provided at the time of the shortlist announcement.  

In the second round of jurying, up to three artists will be named the First, Second, and Third Prize winners in each category through a jury comprised of the Gallery’s curators, educators, and artists from the community.  

An additional Kleinburg Village Prize will be awarded to the best artwork depicting the Village. Please note that no specific submission for this last award is required. 

A People’s Choice Award will be awarded based on QR code polling of gallery visitors during the exhibition of the shortlisted works.  

The award winners will be announced at a special in-person celebration of this competition on Sunday February 19, 2023. 

The selected applicants will be required to sign a release form permitting the use of their images in the virtual exhibition hosted on the McMichael’s website, as well as other marketing materials and platforms promoting the McMichael En Plein Air Competition.  

Program Dates & Highlights

COMPETITION DATES July 30 - October 10, 2022
SELECTION PROCESS October 26, 2022
WINNERS ANNOUNCED February 19, 2023


July 30, 2022
October 12, 2022
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10365 Islington Ave.
Kleinburg, Ontario L0J 1C0 Canada
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+1 (905) 893-1121