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 and a weekly Sketch Group.  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.

Tuesday, February 28, 7 pm: Drama Salon – “Maud of Leaskdale”

Lucy Maud MontgomeryThe Drama Section presents Maud of Leaskdale on Tuesday, February 28th.  Maud of Leaskdale describes Lucy Maud Montgomery’s life, in the small Ontario town of Leaskdale where her husband was the Presbyterian minister for fifteen years.  It was here that she raised her two children and wrote the majority of her novels after she published Anne of Green Gables.

Jennifer Carroll’s one-woman show, composed of Montgomery’s letters and diaries, captures the happy and sad moments of Lucy’s life.  Scenes involving her stillborn child and her husband’s bouts of depression are very moving and the audience marvels at Montgomery’s strength of character in the face of these tragedies. Anne shares many of her creator’s qualities.

Perhaps Montgomery looked no further than her own life when creating the spunky and outspoken Anne who confesses “there are such a lot of different Annes in me and I sometimes think that is why I am such a troublesome person. If I was just the one Anne it would be ever so much more comfortable, but then it wouldn’t be half so interesting.”

The event begins at 6:15 pm with refreshments and a cash bar. The performance starts at 7 pm with an intermission. Cost is $25. For more information, please contact Jocelyn Paul at 416.708.7668.

Purchase Maud of Leaskdale tickets here

Saturday, March 4, 1 – 4 pm: “Remembering the Women of Beaver Hall” Art Show Reception

Coinciding with the Visual Arts Salon on March 21: “Women of Beaver Hall”, we celebrate and respond to the works of the women of the Beaver Hall Group and their contemporaries in the 1920s Montreal arts scene. Enjoy tributes from our own artists as we celebrate landscape, portraiture, still life and abstraction in paintings and photography. The reception takes place on Saturday, March 4 from 1 – 4 pm. The show runs until March 29. Admission is free.

For information on the March 21 Visual Arts Salon and to order tickets for that event, please refer to the previous post.

Tuesday, March 21, 7 pm: Visual Arts Salon “Women of Beaver Hall”

On Tuesday, March 21, beginning at 7 pm, the Visual Arts Section is hosting its salon featuring the Women of Beaver Hall.

“A very simple group of a few people with no means and big ideas.” That modest yet romantic summation was made in 1966 by Montreal painter Anne Savage, about a group of young women and men who shared studio space on Beaver Hall Hill in Montreal in the early 1920s. They showed work together as the Beaver Hall Group. Savage and the other Beaver Hall painters were celebrated in their time, and were sufficiently modernist to rile a few prominent critics. The Beaver Hall group exhibited together with the Group of Seven and even shared members, including A.Y. Jackson and Edwin Holgate.

The acclaimed exhibition, “1920s Modernism in Montreal: The Beaver Hall Group” has been shown at the Montreal Museum of Fine Arts, the Art Gallery of Hamilton, the Art Gallery of Windsor and the Glenbow Museum in Calgary. If you missed it, you now have the unique chance to enjoy a taste at Heliconian Hall.

On March 21, we are privileged to host a talk and slideshow by exhibition co-curator, Brian Foss, who will discuss why the Beaver Hall Group existed within the Montreal art scene, who its members were, and what its art looked like and why. The relationship with the Group of Seven will be described. Half of the group’s members were women: an unprecedented fact amongst Canadian artist groups up to that point in time.

There will be a cash bar, with light refreshments served after the talk. Tickets are $20 for members and the public, and are available at the link below. Order your tickets early to avoid disappointment!

Women of Beaver Hall Tickets 

Saturday, February 11, 1 – 4 pm: Life Drawing Show Reception

The Monday Sketch Group will hold its annual Life Drawing Show from February 6 to March 1, 2017. The opening reception will take place on Saturday, February 11 from 1-4 pm. In addition this year, there will be a People’s Choice Award at the reception, and guests will be invited to cast a ballot for their favourite work.

The Monday Sketch Group hosts an Open Life Drawing Session every Monday except holidays from September until mid-June. Models pose in the Hall. Short poses are from 10 – 12 noon, and there is one sustained pose from 1 – 3 pm. Monday Life Drawing sessions are open to the drawing public – Club members and non-members welcome – and to all levels of experience.

If you haven’t already discovered Sketch Group, check it out at http://heliconianclub.org/about/happenings/sketchgroup/

 

Saturday, January 14, 1 – 4 pm: “Surprising Encounters” Alison Melville art show

Mark your calendars for a visual treat in the new year!

Our own very talented musician/Renaissance Woman/artist, Alison Melville, is mounting a solo art show in January. You may have had a tantalizing taste of her printmaking skills if you visited our new members’ show, “Spectrum” in September. Alison’s show features her monotype prints, collagraphs and drypoint prints. The show runs from January 5 – February 1, 2017, with the opening reception taking place on Saturday, January 14 from 1 – 4 pm.

Alison Melville print

Saturday, November 26, 11 am – 4 pm: “Gifts from the Muses” Show and Sale

The Heliconian Club will be holding its third annual Fine Art and Gift Show and Sale, “Gifts from the Muses,” on Saturday, Nov. 26, from 11 am – 4 pm. The show features affordable art works including paintings, photographs and mixed media, as well as unique handmade arts and crafts, music CDs, books, and jewellery – perfect for gift giving or just for yourself! All items are handmade by members of the Heliconian Club. Live musical performances and literary readings will add to the holiday ambiance.

Gifts from the Muses art, gift and craft show and sale

Tuesday, November 8, 6 pm: Sisters of Calliope: The Literature Section Salon

You and your friends are cordially invited to a culinary and oral feast: an autumnal dinner prepared by the Kitchen Witch plus tales told by firelight. Readings by new and seasoned Members of the Toronto Heliconian Club. An oral cornucopia of poetry, memoir, essay, short story and excerpts from two novels will be presented.

M.C.: Marcia Walker, Jessie London Writer-in-Residence.

Please join us at the club on Tuesday, November 8th, 6 p.m. for 6:30. The cost is $30. Please reserve through Emma Walker at the office by Thursday, November 3rd.
Literature Salon November 8

Saturday, November 5, 1 – 4 pm: “Transitions” Art Show reception

Please mark your calendars for the opening reception of our November group art show, “Transitions.”

The exhibit celebrates journeys and transitions of all kinds: the change in seasons, personal growth and change, as well as conceptual transitions.

Twelve Heliconian artists are participating: Brenda Bisiker, Linda Briskin, Maura Cowan, Simone Creed, Peggy Dean, Angela De Francesco, Ann Lind, Kye Marshall, Jan McCartney, Marjut Nousiainen, Susan Power and Patricia Stamp.

The show runs from Thursday, Nov. 3 to 23, with the opening reception on Saturday, Nov. 5 from 1 – 4 pm.

Transitions art show