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

Please refer to our COVID-19 information page for the latest updates on local policies, openings and closures. 

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Self-guided outdoor tour: Flower Power
Spring 2021 at Oakville Museum at Earchless Estate

Spring is the time of year when everything in nature is in bloom, promising new life and new hope. After a particularly challenging year, let the Oakville Museum’s costume collection awaken your senses with the power of flowers. Unique dresses bursting with colourful blooms tell a variety of stories which give life to the fabric of our town.

The intricately embroidered floral sprays of an 18th century robe à la française, the delicate lace roses of an Edwardian tea gown and the exquisite printed daisies of a 1950s cocktail dress not only explore a variety of embellishment techniques, but they also reveal fashion trends of the past as well as intimate details of the lives of the individuals who designed, made and wore them.

Art From the Heart

Joshua Creek Heritage Art Centre Virtual Exhibit

Art From the Heart 2021 is possibly the most important exhibition to date. It is not about artists, but about hope and healing for all challenged people. It is about teaching and inspiring people to find their Artist Within.

All the art pieces come with the words that inspired them. Every lesson has step by step instructions that could be shared with challenged artists all over the world. These are in a binder accompanies the show.

Senga Nengudi: Hourglass
Until April 10, 2021 at Oakville Galleries in Gairloch Gardens

Since the 1960s, Colorado-based artist Senga Nengudi has developed a ground-breaking, expansive practice that brings together sculpture, performance, and dance. For this, her first exhibition in Canada, Oakville Galleries will present a selection of recent and older works that foreground her innovative use of natural and found materials, such as pantyhose, sand, water, and plastic.

Included in the exhibition will be work from her series R.S.V.P., in which flesh-coloured nylon stockings have been stretched, twisted, pulled, and weighed down with sand in their feet. Accompanying photographs show how Nengudi has invited interaction with these limb-like sculptural installations in often-collaborative performances that draw on a wide set of references, from her own African, African American heritage to Japanese Noh theatre and the choreography of Pina Bausch. They also document her early activities with Studio Z, a radical group of Los Angeles-based artists, who often staged artworks in public space.

Diedrick Brackens: Shape of a fever believer
Until April 10, 2021 at Oakville Galleries in Centennial Square

Known for his hand-dyed, hand-woven tapestries, Los Angeles-based artist Diedrick Brackens combines figurative and abstract iconography to allude to larger cultural, political, and allegorical narratives. Within his intricate, large-scale work, he coaxes emotive, meditative reflections on dark, fractured histories and interweaves sensations of tenderness, trauma, healing, and legacy against a backdrop of American life.

For shape of a fever believer, his first exhibition in Canada, Brackens brings together a selection of his recent textile work. In this new body of work, the artist centres on the metaphoric and lived experience of fatality associated with disease and sickness, namely HIV/AIDS and its disproportionate effect on Black, queer, and other marginalized communities. A series of silhouetted black figures against abstracted landscapes of colour participate in rituals and fantasies of desire and kinship. His repeated use of bare silhouettes, along with allegorical symbols—mosquitoes, veins, fire—lend to the creation of a collective mythology.

At Home in Bronte: Winter Edition art show
Bronte Village

Enjoy the outdoors in Bronte Village this holiday season with the ‘At Home in Bronte: Winter Edition’ art show! Bronte will be lined with colourfully-decorated chairs starting November 21, all painted by a diverse group of local artists. Sit back, relax and take in the gorgeous sights of Oakville in the winter.

Read Me a Story: Fables and Fairytales

February 29, 2020 to Winter 2021 at Queen Elizabeth Park Community and Cultural Centre

Fables and Fairytales

Elders have tried to teach children important life lessons through storytelling since time began. Through museum artifacts, we take a whimsical look at reoccurring themes found in fables and fairytales from a long, long time ago.

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.

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 

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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 

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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.

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

Oakville Arts Council 2302 Bridge Road 905-815-5977 www.oakvillearts.com 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 www.oakvillearts.com. 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 www.oakvillecentre.ca

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 www.sheridancollege.ca 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 www.oakville.ca 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 www.oakvillegalleries.com 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.