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Welcome to the Oakville Art Society

The Oakville Art Society was founded in 1965 and is a unique Canadian art institution.

The Oakville Art Society exists with a charitable purpose to provide facilities and an environment where artistic skills can be developed and to encourage art appreciation throughout the community. We facilitate presentation of local artwork through major art events each year by providing venues for artists to display and sell work.

We offer a wide variety of visual art related programs during the fall, winter, and spring which appeal to artists of all skill levels. Over the course of a year, hundreds of adults and children discover the tremendous joy and excitement found in artistic expression. All the instructors at the OAS are well qualified in their field and medium.

Members are professional and emerging artists and art lovers who help support and promote the arts. There is space available for members to work on their creations and opportunities to socialize. Our gallery displays and sells members’ work.

The Society is administered by a dedicated, volunteer Board of Directors elected each year at the Annual General Meeting. They take an active role in creating a Society that meets the needs of our members and works with community partners to increase opportunities for visual art to be a positive influence in our community.

Our Mission Statement

The Oakville Art Society was incorporated:

  • to create a forum where persons interested in art may meet to share ideas and enjoy mutual encouragement in art and art appreciation
  • to provide the environment and facilities wherein artistic skills may be more fully developed
  • to promote and encourage art appreciation within the community
  • to provide bursaries and other assistance as, and when possible and desirable to the encouragement of suitable students

OAS Directors

Barbara Chapman
Past President:
Maggie Sims
Cheryl Rodo
Roy MacDonnell
Director of Gallery:
Susan Cameron
Director of Membership
and Volunteers:

Emma Carter
Diane McEntee
Pramod Gopalakrishna

OAS Coordinators

Program Coordinator
Mary Driussi
COAP Coordinator:
Karlene Bland
Ron Van Zutphen
Art in the Park:
Student Show:
Susan Cameron
Plein Air Painting:
Gerda Wolker
Gallery Assistant:
Judy McAuley
Susan Cameron
Leslie Sutherland
Friday Painting Studio:
Carol Palmer-Spall
Paul Shemilt
Juried Show:
Susan Cameron
External Venues -
Displays and Liaison:

Judy McAuley
Art Auction:
Christmas Market:
Diane McEntee

The OAS year runs from September 1st to the end of the following August.
Our AGM is held in November.

OAS History

This Society began in the autumn of 1965 and a Mrs. Esther Demeny was considered the driving force behind this new local Society. She had taught art, painting and drawing in her Oakville home and felt the need for a place where artists could meet.

The first home was in an old unused cottage in Coronation Park,on Town property. It was leased to the members for a nominal fee. In 1967 membership rapidly expanded to165 members when OAS began workshops and classes in the renovated cottage.

In the first year, these included a demonstration of batiks by Ester Demeny, a weekend of oil painting instruction by Tom Chatfield, a watercolour weekend by Donald Johnson, and an indoor demonstration and class on acrylics by Tom Mathews. By1970,the membership had grown to over 300 and the Oakville Art Society expanded and moved into the adjacent century- old farmhouse, formerly used by the Parks and Recreation commission as office space.

By 1980 the facilities in Coronation, with help from Lake Ontario and Mother Nature deteriorated and the Society needed to find a new location thus purchasing the current home at 560 Bronte Rd.

Today we are still best known to locals as the place to go for classes and workshops in visual arts. We offer proven instructors for beginners to the experienced artist.The OAS has offered a wide range of classes covering different media, styles and expertise. Trends have been followed including traditional, impressionistic, abstract and others which all play a role in the development of the artist. Drawing classes, considered by many, the basic for success in painting, have always been included.

Workshops also provide inspiration for the more accomplished artist who is looking to grow and experiment with a new approach or just looking for a fun way to spend some time with other artists.Children and young people have been introduced to the visual arts by many dedicated teachers.

Professional artists through to keen amateurs have all contributed to the ongoing success of the OAS.

Some members meet regularly to share ideas, learn and enjoy other artists company. Over the years many friendships and shared experiences have enriched the lives of members. We also provide opportunities for artists to show and sell their original work to the wider community.

The August Civic holiday is our annual Art in the Park, our key fund raiser. It is an event looked forward to by so many, the vendors, the community, local businesses and art lovers. Over 175 artists came to Bronte Heritage Park to sell their original art works. Each year thousands of folks make the trip to Bronte to enjoy this day with great art by the lake.

In 1966 the first OAS auction took place in the Chamber of Commerce Quarters, 231 Lakeshore East. Down through the years, many of the members who went on to form their own careers have continued to support the Society by participating in our auctions, donating quality art work.

Our Outreach Program began in 2014 as a way to engage with and give back to the community, something we have always tried to accomplish as part of our mission. We have partnered with a number of Oakville/Halton charitable organizations to bring the gift of creativity to those who are most in need. We supply, without fees the instructors and materials for these groups.

Interested in more information on the History of the Oakville Art Society?

Oakville Art Society - Halinet 

Thanks to: Karly Boileau and Heather Martyn of the Oakville Public Library for putting together this beautiful display

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