Killarney’s 50th Anniversary and new Group of Seven Festival

Killarney Provincial Park  is celebrating its 50th anniversary with a first annual Group of Seven Festival on July 18 to 20th. The weekend will highlight the area’s rich artistic heritage and commemorate the Park’s creation, which was in large part, influenced by Group of Seven members A.Y. Jackson and Franklin Carmichael.

Park activities are offered all weekend long within the park and also in the Village of Killarney.  Be sure to take the time to stroll around the scenic Village and pop into a local restaurant for lunch or dinner!  Watch a short video on the festival on our YouTube channel.

Photo of Nellie Lake Killarney Provincial Park. Painting by A.Y. Jackson
A.Y. Jackson (1882 – 1974), Hills, Killarney, Ontario (Nellie Lake), c. 1933, oil on canvas, 77.3 x 81.7 cm, Gift of Mr. S. Walter Stewart, McMichael Canadian Art Collection, 1968.8.28 and Photo courtesy of Jim Waddington


Event highlights

Friday July 18th (Park Amphitheatre)

“Wilderness – The Boundary of Killarney is a story about Art and Science”

Ontario Parks Senior Planner, Will Kershaw, will share the importance of protecting wilderness areas like Killarney and the environmental significance of Killarney Provincial Park and the discovery of acid rain.

“In the Footsteps of the Group of Seven”

Join Jim and Sue Waddington as they take park visitors on a journey “In the Footsteps of the Group of Seven”.  Having just realised their book “In the Footsteps of the Group of Seven” Jim and Sue will talk about their adventure in locating many of the actual locations that A.Y. and Franklin sat and painted some of their masterpieces within the boundary of Killarney Provincial Park.

You can also join them on the morning of Saturday July the 19th to pick up your copy of the book and have it signed by the authors.

Saturday July 19th (Killarney Community Centre) 

A.Y. Jackson’s Letter and the Establishment of Killarney Provincial Park

Join Jeremy Pawson, the Park Superintendent, as he explains the creation of Killarney Provincial Park through an interpretive look at a hand written letter from A.Y. Jackson to his good friend Eric Aldwinkle.  The letter explains how they had succeeded in working with the Department of Lands and Forest to have “Trout Lake” (renamed O.S.A. Lake in honour of the Ontario Society of Artists) permanently protected for future generations.

The Art of A.Y.Jackson and Franklin Carmichael: Killarney Park and Beyond.

Join Anna Stanisz, who is currently leading the McMichael Canadian Art Collection’s Programs and Education Department as Associate Director, Creative Learning, for her presentation; “The Art of A.Y.Jackson and Franklin Carmichael: Killarney Park and Beyond.”  She holds Master’s degrees in Art History and Archeology from University Sorbonne in Paris. Prior to joining the McMichael, Anna worked in Poland as an assistant curator at the National Museum in Cracow.

Festival Art Events and Guided Hikes


Art in Killarney


Capture the spectacular scenery of Killarney and learn about various painting styles from celebrated artists.  Pierre Sabourin, is our Artist in Residence this year.  Come and learn about the “Hot Mush Style used by Jackson and take home your very own painting.

Marlies Schoenefeld, will lead a plein air hike to A.Y. Jackson Lake, where you will learn about the basics of watercolour painting and Danielle Gardner will introduce you to painting with acrylics.

For more detail on timing and an updated events schedule visit

Artistic inspiration across Ontario

Killarney is not the only Ontario Park that Canada’s famous Group of Seven painted. Algonquin was already a provincial park when the group began painting its landscapes. The group’s first 1920 exhibition at the Art Gallery of Ontario was largely made up of canvases painted in what is now Lake Superior Provincial Park. Perhaps better known for its ancient pictograph artistry, Bon Echo Provincial Park also has a fascinating Group of Seven story associated with it: