Arts and culture play an important role in any community. East Gwillimbury (EG) is home to many talented artists, musicians, and performers and we have many heritage buildings, historic sites, museums, theatres, and art galleries for you to enjoy.

EG approved its Cultural Plan in 2011. The Plan provides goals and strategies for growing culture in EG to strengthen community identity and cultural engagement. You can visit our Cultural Plan page for more information.

What is culture?

Culture is the beliefs, values, and other characteristics shared by groups of people. These characteristics include language, cuisine, heritage, traditions, etc. We express culture through the places and the things that we create, like art, music, theatre, film, literature, or other handmade and artisan creations.

You can find culture throughout EG in our:

Which art in the park?

Thank you to everyone who voted in the which art in the park feedback survey! Results from the survey and recommendations for next steps will be brought to Council in September. 

The following concepts are being considered to be installed in Children of Peace Park:

Holding Hope by Kyle Thornley

Holding Hope explores the themes of perseverance, charity, and possibility while celebrating the rich history of the original town of Hope. Expressed through the symbolism of a mature dandelion and its seeds, Holding Hope captures the essence of resilience, growth, and optimism with the distinctive hand inviting reflection on hard work, equality, and human connection.

The hand is a gentle representation of ‘holding’ the stories of the Children of Peace while symbolizing the values of the community; integrity, peace, cooperation, and giving. The dandelion depicts survival, known to thrive in almost any condition, just as the community flourished through hardship. The iconic dandelion, known internationally and as the ‘wish flower,’ brings delightful accessible art to this park allowing every diverse visitor to find some aspect of their own experience reflected back to them. We have all felt the surprise, pleasure and promise connected with a blow and a wish. The lovely imagery expresses David Willson’s founding utopian vision of hope.

The authentic, feathery dynamic of the 150 stainless steel dandelion seeds provides a subtle balance to the sculptural form and adds an elegant, whimsical flair. The gracefully dispersing seeds, blown from the flower head, invite opportunities to reflect on transition and new life possibilities.
Another inspiring life philosophy from the Hope community was how they pulled together, counted on each other, and how interdependence is essential in nature and portrayed through this sculpture. Each element is valuable to the community, and each element's well-being is dependent on the community. Sculpturally, every dandelion and seed (community member) is unique and diverse while contributing to the common good.

As were the Children of Peace. Holding Hope is simple, authentic, and generous in its meaning and connection to all. This installation mirrors the historical times with its materials and link to blacksmithing as an integral part of this community's functioning. The matured steel of the hand and bright stainless of the seeds creates a lively interplay of light and shadow and aspire to add relevant, contextual interest while serving as an attractive beacon and an inclusive, iconic landmark for the Children of Peace Park. A further enhancement for the park is the opportunity for forced perspective photography as visitors blow the seeds and make their wishes.

Holding Hope is offered to encourage feelings of curiosity, gratitude, delight, and well-being as it celebrates and keeps the stories of the past and inspires hope for the future.

About the artist

Kyle Thornley is an artist blacksmith who, for the last 18 years, has been creating art with metals through commissioned pieces, architectural metalwork, exhibitions, and public art. Kyle is always grateful to create art in the public realm, forging meaning between citizens and their spaces – non-threatening, inviting art that allows every visitor to perhaps find some aspect of their own experience reflected back to them, to provide a fresh perspective, or to act as a catalyst towards critical thought. Kyle is honoured to be a finalist in this meaningful Children of Peace Park public art project. East Gwillimbury is clearly committing to and furthering the belief in art and its power for greater connectivity and for hope. 

Rendering of Holding Hope artworkRendering of Holding Hope artwork

Empreintes by Philippe Pallafray and Paul Duval
The sculpture proposed by Philippe Pallafray and Paul Duval honors the imprint left by the Children of Peace over time. An imprint is a deep and lasting mark left by the passage of a living being or an object. We consider it as something that remains from the past or reveals traces we leave in our environment.

The proposed project consists of three metal arches with square sections and recalls the symbolic architecture of the Temple of Sharon, especially the preserved arch inside the temple. Inviting the viewers to pass through the sculpture and under the arches, they will discover handprints on the interior surfaces. The handprints evoke living together and the generosity of the members of the Sharon community.

The artists plan to collaborate with a local elementary school to include the children living in Sharon. The collaboration will consist of taking the handprints of students who wish to participate; they will ensure that guardian and school permission is granted. The student handprints will be casted in clay, from which a mold is created. From this process, all the casted handprints will be integrated within the interior parts of the arches. The sculpture proposed by Philippe Pallafray and Paul Duval honors the imprint left by the Children of Peace over time.

About the Artist(s)

Philippe Pallafray is a member of the Sculptors Society of Canada. He worked for 15 years in fine arts in France before immigrating to Canada. In 2005, he established a studio on Île d'Orléans, Québec. Pallafray has exhibited in the US, France and Canada. His work is held in private and public collections in North America and France. His creative process is part of a constant search for the conceptualization of a space occupied by an abstract form.

Paul Duval is a member of the Canadian Sculptors Society and the Conseil de la sculpture du Québec. Duval’s sculptures, including commissions, are in private and public collections such as, Collection Héritage, Saint-Georges, Municipalité de Lac-Etchemin and the Organisation Internationale de la Francophonie, Paris, France.
Using different materials such as bronze and aluminum, the representation of the body and its movements are the basis of his artistic approach.

Rendering of Empreintes artworkRendering of Empreintes artwork

Tapestry of Taste Art Show and Sale 2022

The theme for the show is "Together Again." We encourage artists to consider this theme when submitting pieces. Artwork will be judged primarily on artistry. We will accept any valid two-dimensional original pieces of art. Submissions must be recent works (2018-2022) that have not been exhibited locally.

For more information on the TOT Art Show and Sale, please visit our Tapestry of Taste page

Visit the Tapestry of Taste page

Public art

The role of public art in facilities and on Town property is to serve as an expression of support of the arts in EG. We recognize the value of local artists and offer support through the provision of display space.

If you would like to display your art in a Town facility or park or want to learn more about the policy, view the buttons below.

                                             Public Art Policy Public Art Policy Application

Stay connected

Fill out the Artist Registry Application Form to stay up to date on marketing and promotional opportunities with the Town and the Arts and Culture Advisory Committee.

 Fill out the Artist Registry Application Form

Featured Artist

Each month, the Town of East Gwillimbury (EG) recognizes local artists for their work. Become a featured artist by submitting a Virtual Art Display Application Form if you would like to showcase your talent on the Town's website! For more details, please visit the Featured Artist page.

Register for cultural programming

Community Parks, Recreation and Culture provides a wide variety of recreation and culture programs. We also work with the community to ensure there are convenient and complementary services available through our partnerships.

Check out our cultural programs and events offered through the Town!

Contact us!

Stay in touch with us to learn more about our community's activities and events that showcase the talent in EG! Email the Arts and Culture Advisory Committee to learn about upcoming events.