Women supporting, championing and providing inspiration in the arts

The Toronto Heliconian Club, a non-profit organization, is the oldest association of its kind in Canada, founded in 1909 to give women in the arts and letters an opportunity to meet socially and intellectually. Members range from women who have earned great distinction to those in the early stages of their careers.

In addition the Club offers many activities for members and the public, including a Concert Series, a weekly Sketch Group and monthly Art Jams.  Heliconian Hall serves as an art gallery with Exhibits by Club members changing monthly. The Club also hosts a popular Literary Lecture Series featuring Canadian writers talking about their latest work.

Part of rural Toronto when it was built in 1875, Heliconian Hall–designated a National Historic Site in 2011–is situated among leading art galleries in today’s Yorkville. Original elements of the Carpenter’s Gothic board-and-batten church and its rose window have been restored to their former glory. The air-conditioned hall with vaulted ceiling provides stellar acoustics, making the club ideal for musical and dramatic presentations. For information on renting and availability, contact the General Manager.

Saturday, February 13, 1 – 4 pm: Life Drawing Show Reception

Please mark your calendars for the the Heliconian Club’s Sketch Group show of Life Drawings and Paintings. The show runs from Monday, Feb. 8 until Wednesday, Mar. 9. The opening reception is Saturday, Feb. 13 from 1 to 4 pm. at Heliconian Hall, 35 Hazelton Avenue in the heart of Yorkville.

The Sketch Group holds life drawing sessions every Monday (except for holidays) from September until mid-June. Models pose in Heliconian Hall: quick poses are from 10 am-12 noon, a long pose is from 1-3 pm. Sketch Group is open to everyone (Club member or not, and any level of experience) for a fee of $10 per session ($8 for Club members) or $15 for the full day ($12 for Club members). A 12-month pass is also available.

An annual on-site group exhibit enables participants to showcase their work. The group is led by a Club artist who ensures that all enjoy a quiet respectful atmosphere.

Monday, February 1 at 7 pm: ART JAM “Marketing Art – Why and How” by Maura Cowan

Join artist and marketing professional Maura Cowan who provides insights into marketing strategies for artists at various stages of their careers. This Art Jam takes place at Heliconian Hall, 35 Hazelton Avenue in the heart of Yorkville on Monday, February 1, 2016. Doors open at 6:30 pm with light refreshments provided. The event runs from 7 – 9 pm. Tickets are $20 (non-members) or $15 (Club members).

Saturday, Nov. 28, 11 am to 4 pm: GIFTS FROM THE MUSUS, Art, gift and craft sale

Join us for our second annual art and gist sale. This holiday sale of hand-made items by Club members will be held on Saturday, Nov. 28, 11 to 4 pm. There will be hourly entertainment starting at 12 noon. A variety of things made by members will be displayed on tables or hung on the wall; for example, CDs, books, paintings, weavings, jams, etc. We will have one complete wall of small art works, all priced at $100. Hope to see you there!

Monday, November 2 at 7 pm: ART JAM “Creativity and Aging” by Victoria Cowan

Print and bookmaker Victoria Cowan shares her award-winning presentation, “Creativity and Aging.” She explains how we gain creative insights with the passage of time that can be channelled into amazing artistic initiatives. A graduate of Concordia University and the Ontario College of Art & Design, Victoria Cowan is a widely-travelled, award-winning artist and gifted instructor. Perception, cognition and memory are her particular areas of interest.

The Monday Night Art Jams at Heliconian Hall, 35 Hazelton Ave. in Yorkville are open to all, so bring your friends! Doors open at 6:30 pm, and each Jam runs from 7:00 – 9:00 pm. Tickets are $20 (non-members) and $15 (members). Series passes are also available.

October 24, 2015, 10 am to noon: Self-Publishing Workshop

Authors will be giving a self-publishing workshop at the Toronto Heliconian Hall (35 Hazelton Avenue) on Saturday October 24 from 10 am to 12 noon. The cost is $20, cash only, at the door. You’ll learn the latest about e-publishing and print publishing options and what you need to do to self-publish. Books produced through a variety of self-publishing service providers will be on display (and for sale). Chat with authors about their experiences with some of those providers.

October 23, 2015, 7:30 pm: Dueling Divas Present . . . “A Night at the Opera”


Allison Cecilia Arends, soprano

Allison Cecilia Arends

Join Heliconian member, soprano Allison Cecilia Arends, mezzo-soprano Kathleen Promane, and pianist Maika’i Nash for an evening of the most beautiful opera arias and duets.

The ladies will be accessorised by French artist and haute couturière Catherine Sequalino-Poititer, owner of Toronto’s own CSP Arts Embroidery.

Reception to follow, along with a presentation outlining our Mini Mozarts Music Camp initiative, a camp for underprivileged children in one of Jamaica’s most destitute neighbourhoods.

October 23 at 7:30pm Heliconian Hall 35 Hazelton Avenue, Toronto Tickets: $25 at the door, $20 if pre-ordered by calling 647-833-5400 or emailing allison[at]allisonarends[dot]com

Application for 2015-2016 Dancer-in-Residence


photo credit: Aria Evans

The Dance Section of the Heliconian Club is once again seeking a Dance Artist in Residence for the upcoming season, from September 2015 to August 2016.  The Dancer-in-Residence will have regular access to rehearsal space, subject to availability,  in the Club’s large, unobstructed and well-lit heritage building in the heart of Yorkville in downtown Toronto.  For more extensive use of the space, there is a nominal hourly fee.

Sarah Hopkin_photo by Aria Evans

Sarah Hopkin photo by Aria Evans

We seek an emerging female dancer/choreographer;  applicants will submit two video pieces (through YouTube) of original choreography, with an artistic statement describing their work (one page maximum).  Candidates will prepare a brief biography and a letter of intent concerning the creation of new work during the coming year (one page maximum), and submit a letter of recommendation which includes contact details of the referee.

photo of Sarah Hopkin_Sarah Jones_Candice Irwin_photo by Aria Evans

photo credit: Aria Evans

Heliconian Club members look forward to observing a dance rehearsal-in-progress midway through the year as well as an informal production in June.  Collaboration with Club members from other sections is encouraged and opportunities will arise with access to Club concerts, workshops and events, as full membership privileges are included for the season.  If the candidate chooses to become a member in the following year, the one-time initiation fee will be waived.

Deadline for email applications is Tuesday 21 July 2015 to the Heliconian Club office:  info@heliconianclub.org, with an August announcement of the newly appointed Dance Artist in Residence.