Stars over Killarney is an annual festival celebrated at Killarney Provincial Park. The event’s 2023 theme — Colours in the Cosmos — was inspired by the parallels between the beauty and the colour in provincial parks and the beauty and colour of the skies above.
And beautiful colour was found everywhere at this year’s event!
The program took a very hands-on approach, so what was being presented could easily be seen and captured by paintbrush or smartphone.
Continue reading Stars over Killarney 2023 recap: a marriage of culture, beauty, and science
Today’s blog comes from Megan Callahan, a customer service assistant for Ontario Parks. Her love for nature and educational background in fine arts has created wonderful synchronicity in her parks career.
Oftentimes, when someone thinks of art and Ontario Parks, they think of the Group of Seven.
You know, the group of artists that were inspired by the Canadian landscape and made famous the windswept trees in Killbear Provincial Park or the many landscapes painted in Algonquin Provincial Park?
Your art education may have even dabbled in recreating their art, like mine did in high school!
However, there are SO many artists that visit our beautiful parks to this day, to create masterpieces from their experience in nature.
Art is therapy, and so is nature! What a fantastic combination the two make.
Continue reading Painting the picturesque: a guide to art in nature
Today’s post comes from Taylor Bottoms-Cau, a second-year Discovery student at Samuel de Champlain Provincial Park.
You’ve likely heard of the Group of Seven, artists who travelled the remote landscapes of Ontario to capture their rugged beauty by brush.
But they weren’t the only artists who travelled rough and painted what they saw!
Fifty years before the Group of Seven, Frances Anne Hopkins was roughing it in a voyageur canoe between Lachine (Montreal) and Fort William (Thunder Bay).
Continue reading Frances Anne Hopkins: documenting the lives of voyageurs through art
Today, Content Development Specialist Andrea Coulter takes us through some family friendly fall crafts.
Last fall, my kids and I joined my parents on a three-generation camping trip to Canisbay Lake Campground at Algonquin Provincial Park.
We spent our days going for bike rides, hiking, and visiting around the campfire, but my kids’ creative bug was definitely itching. I was glad I had prepared some activities for around the campsite!
Continue reading Falling for campsite crafting
“The heavens wheel around you, displaying to you their eternal glory and still your eye is upon the ground.” – Dante Alighieri, The Divine Comedy
Many of us live in areas afflicted by light pollution, which prevents us from gazing at the heavens whirling around us.
However, most of our northern and many other parks afford visitors a spectacular view of the cosmos, rich in stars and the Milky Way.
Continue reading Colours in the cosmos: where the beauty of nature meets the science of the cosmos
Parks alone are not enough to save species at risk.
As we’ve continued our species-at-risk blog series this summer, we’ve been able to share stories of the amazing species that call parks home and the work being done to protect them.
Now we want to introduce you to the newest team of superheroes taking up the charge across Ontario – grade 4 students!
Continue reading Fourth graders become species-at-risk superheroes!
Art and nature go together like columbine flowers and hummingbird tongues.
Indigenous artists express their relationship to land through art; Canada’s Group of Seven found inspiration in several Ontario Parks; parks offer residency programs, and our park visitors find many artistic ways to capture their memories. We love it when visitors share their artistic creations with us.
However, a new trend is starting to cause problems province-wide: the painted rock.
Continue reading Can we bring painted rocks to the park?
Today’s blog post comes from Corina Brdar.
A different way to be mindful in nature is through nature journaling. Using writing and sketching as tools can be a calming way to look more deeply and experience nature more fully.
Like our previous mindfulness exercises, this too is a judgment-free practice. You’re not creating a piece of art. You’re using a notebook to help you pay attention and truly observe.
Continue reading Experience more of nature by journaling
Today’s blog comes from Zahra Ebrahim, Lake Superior Provincial Park’s 2022 artist-in-residence.
It was spring of 2022 when I got a phone call from the Friends of Lake Superior Park to let me know that I had been selected as one of the two 2022 artists-in-residence.
Lake Superior has played a huge role in my life.
When I was young, my family immigrated to Canada from Kenya and established Vancouver as our home.
Growing up, the Pacific Ocean was a companion, helping me feel a deep sense of place and belonging in a city and community that hadn’t yet understood how to embrace intersectional, racialized families.
The waters of the Pacific provided a connection to the coastal waters of the Indian Ocean that my family grew up on, serving as the backdrop to some of our most memorable moments.
Fifteen years ago, I moved to Ontario and adventured through its spectacular landscape. But it was only when I first camped on Lake Superior that I felt that same sense of place and belonging as I do on the west coast.
Continue reading Befriending the beings of Lake Superior Provincial Park
In today’s post, Discovery Leader Carlin Thompson from Sandbanks Provincial Park shares her top tips for nature journaling with kids.
We did it, parents! We made it through another winter.
The struggle of tackling young children into layered outerwear and the scavenger hunts for matching mittens now seem like a distant memory. What sweet relief.
But before the unbridled joy of shucking the outerwear gives way to sunscreen-application-induced carpal tunnel and the din of summer boredom, let’s capitalize on our children’s excitement to be outside.
Continue reading Open eyes, open mind: nature journaling with kids