The MacLaren Art Centre is excited to host a roster of virtual activities celebrating all things winter throughout the month of February. From virtual tours of current exhibitions to NFB short animations and indoor art-making and outdoor family fun, there’s something for everyone!

What’s On


NFB Short Films

Snow Cat by Sheldon Cohen

1998 | 23 min

A grandmother tells her young grandchild the moving tale of a lonely girl and an unforgettable magical cat in this animated short narrated by Oscar®, Emmy and Tony award winner Maureen Stapleton. The film is based on a short story written by Dayal Kaur Khalsa and adapted by two-time Governor General’s award recipient Tim Wynne-Jones.

It’s Snow by Gayle Thomas

1974 | 5 min

Colour cut-out animation inspired by the shape of snowflakes and touched with the airy magic of these fragile designs. While music tinkles invitingly, snowflakes roll and whirl, pulse and glitter, shining with the many hues of twinkling lights. Made without words, this is a joyous film to please the fancy and captivate eye and ear.

Stories from Our Land 1.5: If You Want to Get Married… You Have to Learn How to Build an Igloo! by Allen Auksaq

2011 | 5 min

In the spirit of the 1949 NFB classic How to Build an Igloo, this short film records Dean Ittuksarjuat as he constructs the traditional Inuit home. From the first cut of the snow knife, to the carving of the entrance after the last block of snow has been placed on the roof, this is an inside-and-out look at the entire fascinating process.

Stories from Our Land: 1.5 gave 6 Nunavut filmmakers the opportunity to each create a 5-minute short. Each film had to be made without the use of interviews or narration while telling a northern story from a northern perspective. The project was a collaboration between the NFB and the Nunavut Film Development Corporation.

Art-Making Activities for Families

Virtual Family Sunday: Winter Wonderland

Sunday, February 7, 1:30 to 3 pm

Instructed by Christina Mancuso

In this winter-themed virtual workshop, families will have fun working together on Zoom to create an acrylic painting exploring cool colour combinations. The final artwork will represent an imaginative wintery forest using a variety of masking and painting techniques. Advance registration required. 

Virtual Family Day: Fantastic Family Tree

Monday, February 15, 1:30 to 3 pm

Instructed by Christina Mancuso

Celebrate Family Day with us! Guided by Education Officer Christina Mancuso, families will have fun on Zoom exploring mixed-media printing and collage techniques in the creation of a unique family tree portrait! Advance registration required.

Virtual Tours of Current Exhibitions

Installation view of Erika DeFreitas: everything she inspires remains, belongs to light, MacLaren Art Centre, 2020. Photo: Andre Beneateau

Erika DeFreitas: everything she inspires remains, belongs to light

Curated by Emily McKibbon

The process of writing art history is one of amplification and repetition. In Erika DeFreitas: everything she inspires remains, belongs to light, DeFreitas’ poetic gestures reimagine a canon in which Black women’s artistic labour is as valued and commemorated as the work of their contemporaries.

Installation view of The Uncanny Outdoors, MacLaren Art Centre, 2020. Photo: Tyler Durbano

The Uncanny Outdoors

Curated by Emily McKibbon

The Uncanny Outdoors presents contemporary Canadian artworks from the MacLaren’s Permanent Collection that render the natural world strange. The uncanny nature of each work emphasizes the ways in which our understanding of the landscape is conditioned by how we enjoy, settle and extract value from it.

With Support From: