Looking for a great experience this summer but don’t know where to start? Don’t look too far because Haldimand County has many great experiences ranging from enjoying the beauty of nature on the trails to adrenaline-fueled adventure that will keep you busy for the rest of the season. But, for now, I’m focusing on experiences for the creatives that can’t wait to get involved in all thing’s arts and culture. Whether you are looking to sign up for a few art classes or want to take a tour of a historic site, Haldimand’s art and culture crews have you covered. Many museums, galleries, and studios call Haldimand County home and are ready to welcome you in their doors and show you what they do best.
Located in Dunnville, LVW Creative Barracks offers various programs for all ages. For adults looking to express their creative side, the Barracks offers three experiences that allow you to do so. Grand River Blues is LVW’s three-hour historical photography tour and studio experience. In three short hours, you will be taken on a guided walk of downtown Dunnville, and its beautiful waterfront while taking pictures of whatever catches your eye. Once you have taken a variety of different shots, you have the chance to learn how to convert your three favourite shots into digital negatives, but that’s not all. Once your digital negatives are printed, you will have the opportunity to learn about the Cyanotype printing process, which uses UV light to create prints, cards and bookmarks. The best part is that your digital negatives will be used to create these works of art! Back at the Studio, baked goods from The Minga and charcuterie from Werger’s Delicatessen will be provided so you won’t go hungry. Check out the Creative Barracks to read more about this experience and other adult programs they are holding this year!
If you are looking for something for the little ones, LVW does youth experiences! On Thursday from 3:30 pm – 4:15 pm, the Barracks holds Drawing and Watercolour Animals for Ages 4-6+, and Acrylic Painting classes from 4:30 pm – 5:15 pm for ages 4-6+, 5:30 pm – 6:30 pm for ages 6-8+ and from 7:00 pm – 8:00 pm for ages 8-10+. If you think this may be something your little ones will enjoy, check out their website and the summer programs the Barracks are offering this season.
Centre 46 Art Studio, located in Caledonia, also has a lot to offer. With three different painting classes, let your inner artist unleash and learn the techniques the artists are teaching. Ron Wilkie, an award-winning graphic designer, offers two classes. One is the Painting Techniques class, which currently focuses on watercolour and how to use it in a controlled manner. His other class is Painting 1.Oil, which is focused on teaching you how to paint with water-based oil paint. For this class specifically, you get to bring in your favourite landscape photo to work on during the course. Philip Grant is another artist who holds classes at Centre 46, and his Encaustic Painting class is one you wouldn’t want to miss! In this class, you will use heated wax as your medium to create your work of art on a wood panel board. If these classes aren’t enough, the Art Studio offers private lessons in drawing, acrylics, and encaustics by Philip Grant. So, visit Center 46’s website to learn more about their offers and what you maybe be interested in signing up for.
Ruthven Park National Historic Site is a great place to explore local history and culture. Located on the Grand River just north of Cayuga, Ruthven Mansion is a beautiful historic building completed in 1847 and housed the Thompson family until 1993. Now, the National Historic Site holds many events and activities to keep the Thompson’s memory alive and show off the land’s importance and value. Ruthven holds many drop-in programs, like their discovery walk or butterfly hike. These are guided tours where a park member will take you down one of their various trails and tell you about the land or teach you how to identify the park’s butterflies. Ruthven staff give visitors ample opportunities to explore the grounds by themselves, with a knowledgeable member of the Park family, or both! The Park also offers a Photography in the Park week and a Clay Nature Prints week. These special event weeks allow you to capture the beauty of Ruthven Park’s plants and architecture in clay prints or on camera. Visit Ruthven Park’s website to learn more about the National Historic Site or see what events they are holding this season.
If you are looking for a museum, Haldimand has a few; you just have to know what interests you! Dunnville has the No. 6 RCAF Museum, which was developed during World War II by the Royal Canadian Air Force, and was used to house the No. 6 Service Flying Training School. The flying school was used to train fighter pilots from all over the world, and if a large part of Dunnville’s history. If interested, you can book a private tour of the museum or stop in on Tuesdays between 10 am – 1 pm year-round. Make sure to check their website for weekend hours and more!
Another museum you may want to browse at is the Edinburgh Square Heritage Museum in Caledonia. More than 150 years old, the building has the original former jail cell and a display for the gypsum mining industry along the Grand River. Drop by the Edinburgh Museum, Monday to Friday, from 10 am – 4:30 pm, and 11 am – 3 pm on Saturdays, and check out their website for more information! The museum is also holding Haldimand County’s 24th Annual Juried Art Exhibition for the entire month of June on the Canfield Black Settlers and The Underground Railroad.
While these are just some of the art and culture experiences Haldimand County has to offer, many more museums, galleries and studios are still to be explored! Haldimand has many ways to get involved in the art community that are not included in this blog, so visit Tourismhaldimand.ca to see other experiences offered! Between signing up for art classes to expand your skills on the easel and dropping in at your local historic site to adventure on their beautiful trails, there is always something to inspire your creative side. So, explore Haldimand, and let your imagination run wild.