“Bringing Warkworth to the World and bringing the World to Warkworth”
- Clive Russell, Founder of Ah!
Ah! Arts and Heritage Centre, Warkworth creates access to arts and heritage exhibitions, learning, engaging and experiencing for all ages. In a transformed Trent Hills Municipal Heritage Building, Ah! encourages local passion for the arts by successfully supporting, partnering, and collaborating with others who believe that Arts and Heritage engagement is essential for a healthy community.
Ah! Arts and Heritage Centre, Warkworth, in partnership with the community, enriches the quality of life for area residents of all ages by presenting art forms and heritage exhibitions, creative learning opportunities, promoting artists and art groups, sharing artistic performances, while guiding advancement of the Arts and furthering knowledge in celebration of Heritage.
Activities, Services or Programs
Ah! Arts and Heritage Centre, Warkworth offers visual and performing art and heritage programs for residents of all ages. Our public events and exhibitions reach a wider audience including tourists, family visitors, friends and supporters from the wider world. Ah! presents 6 curated Art and Heritage Exhibitions in the Gallery each year. We mentor volunteers in the installation, promotion and presenting of each exhibition, including artist and curator’s talks. This experience is offered free to the public. Exhibitions are planned a year in advance with attention to emerging artists, seeking first nations connections and at least one Heritage exhibition investigating the past and bringing it to the present.
Our outreach activities include ‘Warkworth by Night’ ‘WBN’ (Street Festival) whose Winter and Spring “Animating’ Programming offer educational workshops led by professional Artists for children, youth, adults and seniors. Workshops have taken place in the Village of Warkworth. Our plans are to extend workshops to nearby communities bringing our neighbors into the fold. Workshops focus on Dance, Costume, Puppetry, Masks and other creative festival genres that are not offered elsewhere in our community. We have a talent pool of professional artists, performers, designers and architects from our community who make themselves available to teach, research and share.
The Talent Show (Fundraiser) and pop up exhibitions at the Maple Syrup Festival, the Lilac Festival, and the Percy Agricultural Fair are where Ah! reaches out to the community to share our creativity with the world. Through the Federal Government summer student program, Ah! provides mentoring for youth in arts administration, exhibition installation and other gallery and outreach related skills. As part of the Municipality of Trent Hills, Ah! partners with community groups including Percy Centennial Public School, local businesses and other charitable organizations to provide quality programming, arts learning opportunities and meaningful artistic and heritage experiences for everyone.
We have a committed group of volunteers who donate thousands of hours and hundreds of years of professional and personal expertise to guarantee that all of our exhibitions, programs and events are exciting and meaningful to participants. From the volunteer Board of Directors to the primary school student who lead the Parade at Warkworth by Night to the Gallery volunteers sharing exhibitions with the public, each person contributes to a meaningful whole that is Ah! The volunteers are the champions of our belief that the arts are fundamental to a sense of belonging and wellbeing in a community.
Work & Community Impacts
Ah! has shared exhibitions, outreach programming and artist’s expertise with:
- Lang Pioneer Village Museum
- The Alderville Black Oak Savanna
- The Textile Museum of Canada
- Westben Centre for Connection and Creativity
- The Sandy Flat’s Maple Syrup Festival
- The Warkworth Long Lunch
- The Lilac Festival
We seek new partnerships with individuals and organizations who share our vision.
Exhibitions and Performances with our community partners
Individual events in large venues attract from 500 to 1000 visitors.
Exhibitions at Ah! Gallery
- Knowledge ~ The Percy Portage: Research, historical records and artifacts are brought together in a multi-media exhibition including Historical Societies, Trent University Researcher and Elders of Alderville First Nation.
- Remembering Local Artists ~ Local artists J. D. Kelly and Audrey Caryi (Lang Pioneer Village Museum) share a memorial exhibition of people who illustrate the importance of heritage.
- Sharing of Professional Expertise: A Master Costume Designer, Aviation Engineer, Mask Maker, and a TV Designer collaborate for workshops using recycled and repurposed materials making giant puppets, masks and costumes for WBN.
- Skills: Residents of all ages have the opportunity to create ‘artifacts’ for WBN in an inter-generational activity that provides fellowship, learning, sharing and raised awareness of arts and heritage in action.
- New Genres / New Cultures: An International Folk Dancer initiates a diverse program “Bollywood and Bhangra” with young Punjabi teachers (ages 16 & 20) for 60 participants from 7 to 70, “Belly Dancing” for children and adults and “Dancing with Puppets and Costumes” for WBN.
- Bringing Specialized Expertise to the Community: Shadowland Theatre of Toronto collaborates with local specialists “The Branch Ranch” for an intensive Lantern Making Workshop in preparation for WBN.
35 Church Street Warkworth, Ontario K0K 3K0
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