Learning & Creative Opportunities

NFOTA offers workshops, discussions on art and culture and opportunities just indulge in some creative time. Beginner or experienced artists, or art lover, there’s something here for you.

Sept 17: Writing Our Shadows with Dane Swan (Cobourg)

We all have that one poem, short story or subplot we’re uncomfortable with writing. Perhaps you find some subjects intimidating or scary, or you’re writing about an incident that has scarred you. Join me, Dane Swan, spoken word artist, musician and author as I share a few simple tools and methodologies I’ve developed to successfully face these difficult situations in my own writing.

Sept 19: Root, Leaf, Flower & Fruit: Free Yourself Creatively with Sue Reynolds (Grafton)

Creativity of every sort requires risk, but engaging with that risk can give voice and form to our deepest needs and imaginings. No special conditions are required to create. Sue Reynolds, writer, teacher and psychotherapist, will connect you with your creative source and spontaneous intuition, and rekindle a playful, experimental approach for beginning new work.

Sept 19: Ephemeral Art – Panel Discussion (Grafton)

Meet four artists who create art and then trust it to the winds of change, perhaps trusting it to nature to shape and nurture or possibly destroy. Perhaps deliberately creating and taking apart as a reminder of the impermanence of all things. Meet and hear from Sheniz Janmohamed, a poet, mandala maker and sand artist; Wally Keeler, a poet who creates in public spaces and uses poetry as a medium for awreness and change; Dimitri Papatheodoro, an architect and sculptor of landscape installations and Sophie Anne Edwards, an environmental artist and geopoet who practices field installations.

Sept 19: Inner Garden: Nature Mandalas with Sheniz Janmahomed (Grafton)

In this reflective workshop, you will be led into the garden to take in the colours, sounds, scents and textures of the surroundings. Sheniz Janmahomed, sand artist and poet will lead you into drawing on your senses and reflecting on your own creative journey. After collecting natural materials Sheniz will lead you in creating your own “inner garden” mandalas. After creating individual mandalas, participants will be encouraged to create pathways of connection between each other’s mandalas—creating an intricate garden within the garden.

Sept 19: A day of Creativity at the Canning Factory (Grafton)

Treat yourself to a full day of creativity and stimulating discussion. Sign up for both Sept 19 workshops in Grafton led by Sue Reynolds and Sheniz Janmohamed, and NFOTA will treat you to a free boxed picnic lunch from Lass & Ladle Cafe while you listen to the panel discussion on Ephemeral Art.

Sept 20: Wonderful Wax with Heather Roy (Colborne)

Encaustic painting is full of surprises! When the paint, made of beeswax, damar resin and pigment, is applied on a heated surface, unexpected and glorious things happen. For those trying painting for the first time, or the seasoned painter, encaustic is an adventure where colour and texture yield unique effects. Join artist Heather Roy and take away a beautiful circular painting that needs no drying time. 

Sept 20: Covers for Comfort: Sewing for the Community (Colborne)

Join the ladies of Salem Valley Quilters and be part of their newest project for local charities. The project is making 450 Christmas gift bags for local charities. 200 are made. Join us and try your hand at sewing. All equipment and materials supplied. No experience necessary. 

Sept 22: Woods, Water & Words: writing from the landscape with Gwynn Scheltema (Trent River)

A day of landscape inspired writing activities to get you writing. Join poet and fiction writer, Gwynn Scheltema at “Glentula” on Lake Seymour. We’ll draw inspiration from the woods, the wandering garden paths, the lake and streams as well as the energy of writing in a community of other writers. The day will be a mix of group-led writing exercises, situation-themed writing prompts and time to write, share and reflect. (lunch included)

Sept 21: Plotting a Mystery Novel with Vicki Delany (Brighton)

You have a fabulous idea for a book. Well done. Now, you have to turn that idea into 80,000 – 100,000 words of intrigue, suspense, adventure, maybe a bit of romance, and some humour. And drop clues along the way. But not too many clues! 

Vicki Delany will lead this workshop designed to unravel the mystery of plotting a crime novel – how to keep the story moving, the characters interesting, and the readers reading. Time is available after the workshop to purchase books, get them signed and chat with the author. 

Sept 23: Memoir: A Gift in Words & Pictures with Cynthia Reyes (Warkworth)

Come ready to roll up your sleeves, learn the elements of memoir-writing through practical exercises from author and memoirist Cynthia Reyes. Doing practical exercises, exploring examples and your own life as inspiration, you will gain ideas and tools to produce your memoir. Whether it’s a literary memoir or storytelling with words and pictures, you’ll find empowerment and helpful tips.

Sept 23: Fall Inspiration with Ixchel Suarez (Warkworth)

Nestled among the vineyards, join multi-genre artist Ixchel Suarez for an afternoon of painting, a fun and creative way to socialize and create a wonderful acrylic painting inspired by the Fall. No experience necessary. Our instructors will guide you step by step, and you will take home a piece of Art!

Sept 27: Bounce Back: Creating Resilience from Adversity with Reva Nelson (Port Hope)

We all face tough times—some more than others. In this workshop we will learn the skills to become more resilient, and also how to help others through their struggles. There will be time to interact and share, but only as much is comfortable. A resilient person is able to bounce back and emerge strengthened. Some examples, some humour and some insights are in store for you. Reva Nelson has led workshops on Resilience for over 20 years across Canada.

Sept 27: Self-Publishing Basics with Jennifer Bogart (Cobourg)

Learn how to self-publish your work, whether it is fiction, memoir, or children’s literature, without breaking the bank. Jennifer Bogart, publisher, writer and independent book store owner, will also provide an exclusive self-publishing guide for you to take home.

Sept 29: The Art of Restoration with Julie Henry (Alderville Black Oak Savanna Site)

Join Julie Henry on a tour of The Alderville Black Oak Savanna a jewel of the Rice Lake Plains where for 23 years the organization has been restoring rare native plant communities, and transforming the Alderville Black Oak Savanna into a thriving grassland restoration, education and research site. The Alderville Black Oak Savanna now plays a key role in the future grassland restoration of this region by acting as a local source for native plants and seed. Learn about the practice of ecological restoration and the convergence of traditional and western stewardship.

Sept 29: Sounding the Drum & Raising Our Voices: Progress in Truth & Reconciliation with Elder Melody Crowe (Castleton)

Elder Melody Crowe of the Alderville First Nation will lead a discussion around how we progress in a meaningful way to reconciliation:

Resilience, Revitalization & Reconciliation – Indigenous voices have always been here, telling our stories, singing our songs, being a voice that speaks up for the land, for the water, for our children, & for those generations yet to come. The Indigenous voice has always had to speak up to issues that have been placed upon our shoulders to carry forward from one generation to another. We have been speaking up for a lifetime to a history that oppressed & did everything in its power to silence our beautiful voices, a history that attacked Indigenous languages, culture & identity. Yet our voices have always been here, resilient & strong..