Arts and Culture - Visit Oakville

Arts and Culture

Oakville is a culturally rich and vibrant community, with exhibits, performances and tours offered throughout the year


At Home in Bronte 2020

May – October 2020 in the Bronte Village BIA

At Home in Bronte Public Art Exhibit returns to Bronte Village for 2020.

The interactive outdoor art show features 50+ uniquely designed Muskoka chairs painted by Oakville artists, families, organizations and businesses. These colourful masterpieces are placed on the Bronte boardwalk, in Bronte Heritage Waterfront Park and on the pier for the enjoyment of residents and visitors alike.

The Bronte BIA is inviting artists, BIA members, community and corporate groups to get involved and paint a chair for this summer!

Application forms will be available in late February. Submissions that include your draft design and story are due in early April. Approved applicants will be notified in late April. Painted chairs need to be completed by the May long weekend.

Here’s how it works:

-we provide the chair and instructions

-you provide the talent, time and tools to assemble and paint the chair

-together we install them

-in the fall you collect or donate your chair


African Canadian Art Exhibition “Our Journey”

February 1 to 29, 2020 at Oakville Town Hall from 8:30 a.m. – 4:30 p.m. (excluding weekends)

This exhibit includes 50 artworks at the Oakville Town Hall by contemporary African Canadian artists; facilitated tours of the exhibit available.


Tau Lewis

January 26 to March 22, 2020 at Oakville Galleries Gairloch Gardens

Exhibition Opening:  Sunday, January 26, from 3:30 p.m. – 5 p.m.

The practice of Toronto-based artist Tau Lewis is anchored in geographies of the black imaginary. Whether reanimating the histories of the Middle Passage, engaging the realities of diasporic experience, or imagining ancestral black otherworlds, Lewis’ works in sculpture and textile evoke feelings, forms and landscapes often rendered unseen. Working primarily with found textiles and foraged objects, Lewis’ works take shape through slow, labour-intensive processes such as carving, quilting and scavenging, drawing on a material and spiritual resourcefulness that has long been significant to black cultural production. For her exhibition at Oakville Galleries, Lewis re-envisions Gairloch Gardens as a scene from the cosmos, assembling a suite of new works in sculpture and textile to reflect on the possibilities of outer space as a locus of both a black past and a black future.


Ka mua, ka muri 

January 26 to March 22, 2020 at Oakville Galleries Centennial Square

Exhibition Opening:  Sunday, January 26, from 2:30 p.m. – 3:30 p.m.

Ka mua, ka muri

Ka mua, ka muri is a new sound and moving image installation by Aotearoa New Zealand-based artist Shannon Te Ao (Ngāti Tūwharetoa) that explores our experience of time, history and song.

The exhibition consists of a two-channel film, which uses the road movie genre as its starting point, and locates two sisters in the immediate wake of an unnamed tragic event. Following on from his most recent work what was or could be today (again) (2019), the film features two original songs developed by Te Ao in collaboration with Kurt Komene (Te Ātiawa, Taranaki Whānui). These function as both script and score and reflect a social embodiment that privileges poetic imagery.

The exhibition’s title, Ka mua, ka muri, is derived from a whakatauki (proverb) often cited as a central guiding principle within Māori ideology. Meaning “to walk backwards into the future,” it suggests time exists on a continuum where past, present and future co-exist and are inherently tethered through ancestry and action. At the heart of the exhibition is an acknowledgement of the critical importance of language as a vital means to maintain links to indigenous knowledge systems, culture, and identity.

Te Ao’s work often uses the processes of translation as a method with which to invite shared authorship and a multiplicity of voices. In keeping with this, there will also be an installation consisting of different translated versions of the film’s lyrics. This will form the backdrop to a number of events taking place during the course of the exhibition, developed in partnership with local collaborators.

Ka mua, ka muri has been co-commissioned by Oakville Galleries and Remai Modern, with the support of Creative New Zealand.


9th Annual Art From the Heart

January 16 to March 15, 2020 at Joshua Creek Heritage Art Centre

Opening Tea Party: Sunday, January 19, from 2-5 p.m.

Art from the heart

An uplifting exhibition by artists with special needs who wish to share their gifts and inspirations. Joyous colour sings throughout the gallery, filling it with the resonance of creativity that comes straight from the heart. This show focuses on different ways of seeing and experiencing the world, reflected in artwork. It is about sharing, awareness, artistic expression and courage.

Gallery Hours:  Tuesday – Sunday  1:00 – 4:00 p.m. or by appointment.


Commemorations and Celebrations

November 23, 2019 to September 2020 at Erchless Estate

commemorations and celebrations

The ability to remember is an inherent human trait. Our senses remind us of the experiences we have had and can jolt us back to them. Many objects have a specific role of making us remember a particular moment in time. From events both large and small, every artifact in this exhibit has a story to tell. From a bottle of champagne given to the Allied soldiers who participated in the D-Day landings to a wedding gown capturing all the promise and joy of marriage, every item marked an important event in someone’s life.


Preserving Peace: Souvenirs of Peacekeeping

August 9 to September 2020 at Erchless Estate

Preserving Peace

Since the invention of Peacekeeping by Lester B. Pearson in response to the 1956 Suez Crisis, Canada has assumed a leading role in missions around the world. Learn about Canada’s contribution to global peace and about Canadian peacekeepers, through their uniforms, medals, souvenirs, photographs and letters as they faced considerable risks while operating in some of the most challenging environments.

Exhibit launch: August 9 from 7-8:30 p.m.

Join us for refreshments and opening remarks by military enthusiast Michael Johnson. Former Peacekeepers will be present to answer questions based on their personal experiences about Canada’s contribution to global peace and Canadian peacekeeping missions.


History of Sledge Hockey

Now on until September 2019 at Sixteen Mile Sports Complex

What is sledge hockey? Sledge Hockey of Canada (SHOC) was established over twenty-five years ago. Learn about the history of the sport, the rules of the game and get introduced to some of its leading athletes, some of which call Oakville home.


What’s Your Type: Textiles and Typewriters

March 30, 2019 to April 2020 at Queen Elizabeth Park Community and Cultural Centre

This exhibit explores two machines with complex relationships with women, their societal roles and their voices. It features typewriters and sewing machines from 1875 to 1975 and considers their material aspects and design. It provokes questions about the status of these machines and how they act as a reflection of the women who owned and used them.


I-DYVO – Augmented Reality Art

100 Bronte Road, Unit 10

Augmented Reality Art

Our pilot collection weaves the linkage between Autism and Augmented Reality – a layering of sensory perceptions – over the calming creativity of art. This collection is designed to generate awareness for Autism and to showcase the innate and unique talent inside people affected by this commonly misunderstood neurological condition. A cornerstone of our gallery is original pieces created by a great autistic artist – Aiden Lee from Oakville, Ontario.

Click here to see more.


Freedom, Opportunity and Family: Oakville’s Black History

Permanent Exhibit at Erchless Estate


Discover the stories of early Black settlers in Oakville including Branson Johnson, a freeborn African-American, who arrived with his family in 1855. His Certificate of Freedom from a Maryland court and the pocket watch in which it was hidden for many years are featured.


The Underground Railroad: Next Stop Freedom

Permanent Exhibit at Erchless Estate


In this exciting and moving multi-media presentation, the ghost of Deborah Brown tells the true story of her heroic flight from a life of slavery in Maryland to her new life of freedom in 19th-century Toronto. Presentation available in French and English.


The following organizations offer more information on arts and culture within Oakville:

Oakville Arts Council 2302 Bridge Road 905-815-5977 Arts and culture are vital pieces of Oakville’s unique character; it transforms us and enriches our lives. The Oakville Arts Council is home to many of Oakville’s arts and culture groups. The Oakville Arts Council takes great pride in recognizing and honouring the profound arts talent in the community. Plan a visit or attend a class and let the Oakville Arts Council help plan your downtime. Take in a little song and dance, an exhibition, gallery or museum visit. Find out what’s going on in Oakville and put some creativity in your visit – visit the calendar of events at To see a list of Oakville Arts Council events, please click here. To see the Oakville Arts Council’s Arts Directory, click here.

The Oakville Centre for the Performing Arts 130 Navy Street 905-815-2021

The Oakville Centre for the Performing Arts provides its guests with a place to learn through dance, music, storytelling and theatre, in one of two theatres located on beautiful Oakville Harbour. Local, national and international performers delight audiences up to 260 days of the year.

Theatre Sheridan 1430 Trafalgar Road 905-815-4049 Long recognized for performance and technical excellence, Theatre Sheridan at Sheridan College presents six musicals a year at the Trafalgar Road campus in Oakville. Alumni go on to perform in theatres around the world, including Broadway, London’s West End, Stratford and Shaw Festivals.

Queen Elizabeth Park Community and Cultural Centre (QEPCC) 2302 Bridge Road 905-815-5979 The QEPCC is a vibrant public space offering active living, cultural and artistic programs and events. The centre provides artists, musicians, and cultural groups with work and studio space, and gallery and exhibit space. It also provides residents and visitors to Oakville with opportunities to explore their personal creativity through its schedule of programs.

Oakville Galleries Two Locations: Gairloch Gardens, 1306 Lakeshore Road East & Centennial Square, 120 Navy Street 905-844-4402 Oakville Galleries – one institution with two distinct buildings and locations and an 11 acre garden fronting Lake Ontario – is committed to the presentation, collection, preservation, and interpretation of recent work produced in the visual and media arts. Oakville Galleries privileges programmes created to explore and understand the historical, social and cultural context of the art of our time that engage artists and communities alike. The exhibitions, collection, educational programmes and original research present new ways of seeing, representing and responding to life.