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.

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.

Saturday, May 23, 10 am to 5 pm: DOORS OPEN

The Heliconian Club will be participating in Doors Open Toronto. Free event. All are welcome.

Sentient Light, a photography exhibit featuring eight women photographers will be on display. On the hour, starting at 11 am, musicians, poets, artists,
dancers and writers, all members of the Heliconian Club, will offer short performances and presentations, some of which will engage directly with
the photographs on the walls. Last performance will be at 4 pm. Click here to see out our page on Doors Open Toronto’s website:

Saturday, May 2, 1 to 4 pm: SENTIENT LIGHT, a photography exhibit featuring eight Heliconian artists, and poetry, dance, and music.

Please join us for the opening reception of this year’s photography show. Performances by two poets, two dancers and one musician (all Heliconian members ) will engage with the spirit of selected photographs, and thereby enhance the artistic impact of the images, a delightful form of synergy. This interaction of art disciplines is called ‘ekphrasis’. Performances will take place at 2 pm and 2:40 pm.


Application for 2015-2016 Writer-in-Residence

The Literature Section of the Toronto Heliconian club seeks to appoint a writer- in-residence for a one-year period for the 2015-2016 season. Desirable applicants are women at the beginning or mid-point of a career in writing (fiction, non-fiction, poetry, drama), editing, or journalism. A woman interested in applying for the post of non-paying writer-in-residence should submit a resume of her work experience with a complete list of published works (where and when) as well as some examples of her writing. Short excerpts of longer works, not to exceed 2000 words, are acceptable.

As well, an applicant should explain why she is interested in the position, of what benefit the post would be to her and how she, in turn, could benefit the Toronto Heliconian Club and its members. A writer-in-residence is expected to attend several events over the year, and to present her work to an audience at one or more readings and/or workshops. She may have the opportunity to work on a project or workshop with other writers, musicians, and artists from the Club. Details of the residency will be discussed on an individual basis upon acceptance.

The Toronto Heliconian Club 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, the Club holds to its original purpose while responding to the changes of contemporary life. Founded by professional women in music, writing, painting, and drama who later were joined by those in dance, sculpture, architecture, and other professions related to the humanities, the members range in age and experience from women who have earned great distinction to those in the early stages of their careers.

The Club is currently composed of six sections: music, art, literature, dance, drama, and humanities. The latter section is composed of women who, while not professional practitioners of the above categories, have a keen interest in and knowledge of the arts. Each section meets monthly. The Club holds events on a regular basis. Several times a year members are invited to speak about their lives and careers. As well guests are invited to talk about their work. Members pay for lunch or dinner when they attend an event. Regular art exhibits, music concerts, and literary events are held and trips are occasionally arranged.

Although there is no remuneration for the position, the writer-in-residence will become a member for the current year and should she wish to become a permanent member, no initiation fee would be charged but the annual fee would be payable. The current fee is $325.

Letters of application should be sent to The Literature Section, Toronto Heliconian Club, 35 Hazelton Avenue, Toronto, M5R 2E3 or by email to info@heliconianclub.org. The deadline for applications is April 15, 2015.

March 28, 1 to 4 pm: VIEWPOINT OF THREE, The Art of Angela Huntington, Ann Bald-Bloom and Marjut Nousiainen

Toronto Heliconian Club is pleased to host the art of three talented artists in this show which runs from March 5 until April 1. Viewings by appointment by calling 416-922-3618. There will also be a reception open to the public on Saturday March 28 from 1 pm – 4 pm. The artists will be present and light refreshments will be served. Location is 35 Hazelton Avenue, Toronto. For more information, please contact Ann Bald-Bloom at annbbloom@rogers.com or call Toronto Heliconian Club at 416-922-3618.

Monday, March 2, 6:30 for 7 pm: Art Jam Inspiration and Techniques in Multimedia Art by Simone Creed

Simone Creed is an example of an extremely creative artist who uses several types of media in her art, including photographs, paint and encaustic wax.  In her presentation, Simone will describe the thought process behind her inspirations, and will lead us through the processes in her work by showing examples of art at various stages of preparation. All welcome, members $10, non-members $15.