Stars over Killarney 2023 recap: a marriage of culture, beauty, and science

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

It’s Take Me Outside Day!

Written by Discovery Program Project Coordinator Jessica Stillman.

Teachers, did you know you can help your students be more engaged and enthusiastic in all areas of their learning by taking them outside?

Studies show that students who experience nature as part of the educational process score higher on tests in reading, writing, and math and have demonstrated better listening skills.

Not that you need any more reasons to get outside, but here are four more reasons to take your class outside for Take Me Outside Day:

Continue reading It’s Take Me Outside Day!

Painting the picturesque: a guide to art in nature

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

Frances Anne Hopkins: documenting the lives of voyageurs through art

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

Colours in the cosmos: where the beauty of nature meets the science of the cosmos

“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

Can we bring painted rocks to the park?

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?

Befriending the beings of Lake Superior Provincial Park

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

Let out your inner explorer, artist, and space traveler with a Discovery Kit

Have you ever wanted to explore the great outdoors, create a masterpiece, or go to space?

You’re in luck!

Our FREE Discovery Kit rental program is designed to help you do all those things while visiting a park.

Continue reading Let out your inner explorer, artist, and space traveler with a Discovery Kit

“Gathering” at Rondeau

Today’s post comes from Jess Matthews, a Chief Park Naturalist at Rondeau Provincial Park.

A change was needed at the Rondeau Visitor Centre and we wanted it to be big.

We worked with three different local Indigenous communities over five years to generate something amazing.

Continue reading “Gathering” at Rondeau

Creating art out of garbage… barrels that is!

As the busiest provincial park in the province (with 1.5 million visitors annually!), Wasaga Beach Provincial Park deals with A LOT of garbage.

We want to encourage our visitors to dispose of their trash in appropriate areas, and protect our natural spaces.

That’s why we’re proud to share our new partnership where garbage and art collide: art barrels!

Continue reading Creating art out of garbage… barrels that is!