September 20, 2011, Kleinburg, ON…Not only will the McMichael doors be open Saturday and Sunday, October 1st and 2nd, it won’t cost anything to walk through them! For two days the gallery will offer free admission and parking. The McMichael Canadian Art Collection will mark Culture Days and Doors Open Vaughan with complimentary admission all weekend; visitors will enjoy family programming and kids’ activities, Sculpture Garden tours, Aboriginal storytelling, behind-the-scenes gallery tours, art lectures, and a Jack Chambers Film Festival.

All across Canada galleries and museums are marking Culture Days with special programming and events. It is a national movement initiated by the Canadian Arts Summit to celebrate and promote citizen involvement in cultural diversity. The date for Culture Days coincides with the City of Vaughan’s Open Doors Vaughan—a two-day opportunity for people to gain free access to historical, architectural, cultural and environmentally significant buildings. The McMichael is one of fourteen locations in the city that can be toured for free.

“We are delighted to be actively participating in Culture Days and Doors Open Vaughan, two great initiatives to encourage everyone to get involved with culture in their communities,” said Dr. Victoria Dickenson, CEO and Executive Director of the McMichael Canadian Art Collection. “The gallery is opening a major exhibition of works by the well-known London artist Jack Chambers on that weekend, so we are welcoming people not only to tour the McMichael and its wonderful grounds and new Sculpture Garden, but also to see three new shows—Jack Chambers, plus two excellent exhibitions of historic photographs of the North and the Canadian West, from the Glenbow Museum in Calgary.  We hope you can join us! ”

Jack Chambers: the light from the darkness, silver paintings and film work, comes to the McMichael from Museum London. Opening on October 1 and running to January 15, 2012, this exhibition offers a rare opportunity to see a selection of works from a specific period in the late artist’s oeuvre. A majority of the pieces in this show were made in the late 1960s when the artist painted works with a silver film-like quality, while at the same time was deeply involved in filmmaking. This exhibition is the first time in decades that Chambers’ films have been shown together with his silver paintings of the period in an exhibition critics have called “sublime”.

Over the opening weekend there will be guided tours of the Chambers exhibition, the permanent galleries, and the grounds. As well, the movies of the internationally renowned artist-filmmaker will be played non-stop in the McMichael Theatre.

There are many other free special programs that will take place during the Culture Days and Doors Open Vaughan weekend. On Saturday, October 1, there will be four different art talks by the gallery’s curators; topics include Inuit art, Modernity in Canadian art, and Norval Morrisseau and his fellow Woodland Artists.

On Sunday, October 2, visitors will have the opportunity to meet Ryszard Litwiniuk, a Polish-Canadian artist who has been artist-in-residence this summer at the McMichael, using trees  harvested from the McMichael grounds as the basis for his fanciful wooden sculptures. As well, John Keeshig, a First Nations storyteller from the Midewiwin Lodge will also be outdoors at 2:30 pm recounting the Aboriginal past of the Humber River Valley. Indoors there will be a two-hour free performance of 1940s jazz classics by Toronto’s Satin Dolls.


For further information or to receive exhibition images, contact:

Michelle Kortinen, Communications Coordinator

905.893.1121 ext. 2210