April 9, 2015, KLEINBURG ON —The McMichael Volunteer Committee (MVC) will celebrate its 30th anniversary on April 13, 2015. For three decades, the MVC has supported a wide variety of McMichael activities, including educational and exhibition programs, gallery events, appearances by guest artists, concerts, and special projects.  To celebrate volunteerism at the McMichael and the Committee’s milestone anniversary, the McMichael will dedicate one of the Ivan Eyre works in the Sculpture Garden to all the volunteers that have contributed so much to the gallery’s success. Yell, a large bronze sculpture measuring 223.5 x 152.4 x 182.9 cm, will permanently recognize the occasion of the MVC’s 30th anniversary and pay tribute to the hundreds of people that have given their time to McMichael. As well, the MVC and McMichael Canadian Art Collection will launch a very special fundraising initiative for the commemorative naming of newly designed benches on the McMichael grounds.

The McMichael Outdoor Bench Project began in the fall of 2014, when a call for design submissions was sent out widely across Ontario. The challenge was to design a unique McMichael outdoor bench to be available for commemorative naming by donors wishing to honour or pay tribute to a family member or friend who had an affiliation with or love for the McMichael. The functional outdoor bench will be installed in specific locations throughout the McMichael grounds and designed to withstand the rigours of an unsupervised public environment. In just under two years, with inspiration and support from Dr. Victoria Dickenson, Executive Director & CEO of the McMichael, and project oversight by Cindy Ball, Director, Development & Donor Relations/Vice President, McMichael Canadian Art Foundation, the McMichael Outdoor Bench Project has produced a winning design. The chosen design was submitted by Fieldhouse, Ford + Reed of Toronto, an emerging collaborative design team formed by three former Furniture Craft & Design students from Sheridan College: C.R. Fieldhouse, Simon Ford and Lauren Reed. (Honourable mentions were also awarded to the Toronto design teams of: Nihan Basak and Christian Simionescu; Dimitri Papatheodorou and Michelle Grant, and; Commute Home: Sara Parisotto and Hamid Samad.)


The MVC provided leadership and funding support for the McMichael Outdoor Bench initiative, a 30th anniversary project of the Committee. “The opportunity to work collaboratively with McMichael staff on a project that will improve the grounds, enhance visitor experience at the gallery, and raise funds has been an exciting opportunity for McMichael volunteers,” said Dr. Mary Hookey, MVC President. For additional information on the winning design and design team, visit

The McMichael Volunteer Committee is a dedicated team of McMichael members, from all walks of life, who share a passion for the arts and are committed to volunteerism. Volunteers contribute in many ways by serving on event committees, assisting with educational and public programs, providing gallery tours, and supporting various special projects, such as the refurbishment of the McMichael Theatre and the Bench Project. The MVC is especially proud to support an important gallery project developed collaboratively by the McMichael Canadian Art Collection and the York Region District School Board. The Visual Outreach Initiative Creating Empowered Students (VOICES) program is an innovative learning opportunity for young students, allowing them to build their self-confidence through creative art projects, which positively affects the lives of both the students and teachers involved.

Over the years, the committee’s fundraising activities have raised over $500,000 in support of the McMichael. The MVC’s major fundraiser is the Annual Autumn Art Sale, which will take place October 23 to 25, 2015, and will celebrate its 25th anniversary this year. Fifty painters and sculptors, selected from over 200 applicants, participate in the sale each year which helps promote both established and emerging Canadian artists.

“The McMichael Canadian Art Collection staff and boards would like to congratulate and thank the MVC for its 30 years of contribution towards the growth, success, and appreciation of Canadian art and the collection,” said Dr. Victoria Dickenson. “The volunteers are an energetic and dedicated group of individuals whose dedication and service contribute to making the McMichael gallery a very special place for all our visitors.”

About the McMichael Canadian Art Collection

The McMichael Canadian Art Collection is an agency of the Government of Ontario and acknowledges the support of the Ministry of Tourism, Culture and Sport, and the McMichael Canadian Art Foundation. It is the foremost venue in the country showcasing the Group of Seven and their contemporaries. In addition to touring exhibitions, its permanent collection consists of almost 6,000 artworks by Canadian artists, including paintings by the Group of Seven and their contemporaries, as well as First Nations, Métis and Inuit artists. The gallery is located on 100 acres of northern landscape and hiking trails at 10365 Islington Avenue, Kleinburg, north of Major Mackenzie Drive in the City of Vaughan. For more information:


For further information, contact:

Connie Febbraro

Associate Director, Marketing & Promotions

McMichael Canadian Art Collection

905.893.1121 ext. 2528