Welcome to Elora en Plein Air

May 18 to 21, 2023



At our annual Elora Plein Air Festival, Artists are invited to capture the charm and warmth of our region. Discover heritage buildings and historic villages; dramatic gorges, lazy rivers, and hidden streams; rolling hillsides and picturesque farms. 


  • Thursday, May 18th through Saturday, May 20th discover artists painting outdoors in Fergus, Elora, and the surrounding countryside.  You may even find them out at night painting capturing a nocturne view.
  • There will be other fun events to engage in during the festival, such as walking tours, music and great food.
  • Plein Air Painting Demo: An experienced plein air artist and teacher will show and explain the process and technique of painting ‘en plein air’.
  • Saturday, May 20th, 9 am through 1 pmFergus Quick Paint: A fast-paced and fun competition -the artists have 2 hours, from 9 am to 11 am to complete a  painting and submit it for the Quick Paint judging. This year’s Quick Paint will be in the beautiful downtown core of Fergus where artists will capture the street scenes, bridges, and river views.  Provost Lane will be the ‘home base’  where the show and sale of the quick paint works will take place and the judge will ward the Best Quick Paint prize.
  • Sunday, May 21st, noon through 5 pmElora Plein Air Festival Show and Sale: This is the culmination of the artists’ efforts and they are ready to share and celebrate. In the galleries, there’s a buzz of excitement as people come in to view and buy the beautiful works the artists created over the previous 3 days.  Meet the artists, discover a piece you can’t resist, vote for your favourite for the People’s Choice award, and just enjoy the show!
  • The presentation of all awards and winners will be announced at the start of the sale.


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Show and Sale

Sunday, May 21st  Noon – 5 PM at Elora Centre for the Arts
75 Melville Street, Elora

  • A gallery filled with art created en plein air over the last 3 days will be for show and sale and the place will be buzzing with energy and excitement.
  • Enjoy the show, meet the artists and perhaps find a piece that will go home with you!
  • You can vote for your favourite in the show between 12:30 and 2:30 p.m.
  • Our 2023 judging and award presentations are scheduled for Sunday morning and all award news will be posted when the sale opens at noon.  The presentation of the People’s Choice award will follow voting by the viewers at approximately 2:30 p.m.
The Grand Prize winner receives $1000
2nd Place winner $500
3rd Place winner $300

People’s Choice Award $200

Best Nocturne $200
Best Student Work $200
Honorable Mentions $200 each
Best Quick Paint $200

Congratulations to the 2022
Award-Winning Artists:

First Prize: Greg Hargarten
Second Prize: Linda Kalianteris
Third Prize: Mary Kate Wyatt
First PrizeGreg Hargarten
Second PrizeLinda Kalianteris
Third PrizeMary Kate Wyatt
Best Work on Paper - Mary Ann DavisShannon Reynalds
Best Garden Subject – Judy Garden
Best Garden SubjectJudy Garden
Best Rural SubjectRobert Perrish

More Winners!

Best Work on Paper: Mary Ann Davis
Best Garden Subject: Judy Garden
Best Rural Subject: Robert Perrish
Quick Paint in Templin Gardens, FergusPaint Faster!

More Winners!

Best Architectural: Amanda Farquarson
Best Tree Subject: Vera Kisseleva
Best Town SUbject: Tyler Ball
Best Historical / Heritage SubjectGrant Lounsbury
Best Architectural SubjectAmanda Farquarson
Best Tree SubjectVera Kisseleva
Best Town SubjectTyler Ball

Meet our 2023 Judge – Valerie Kent

Valerie Kent is a working artist who has been painting, exhibiting and selling her artwork in art galleries around the world and teaching art for over 50 years.

She has a background in diverse mediums such as oil, acrylic, and watercolour along the spectrum from realistic to abstract.

She studied art at Concordia University in Montreal and printmaking and writing at the Writers’ Workshop, the University of Iowa earning a Master of Fine Arts.  She graduated from the Faculty of Education at the University of Toronto,  studied Training for Trainers at St. Francis Xavier University, and Guidance at York University.  She received Principal Qualifications at the Ontario Institute for Studies in Education.  She was a Certified Golden Artist Educator.

She taught all levels of art:  elementary, middle school, high school, college, and university, at art societies, on cruises and at outdoor plein-air workshops in France and Italy.  She has taught 100s of workshops, both on-line and live, created courses for https://www.curiousmondo.com and she has juried art shows and competitions, live and online, for art societies and for magazines.  She now teaches art at Trent University, continuing education.




Stan Jaychuk, Honorary Chair

Elora’s Stan Jaychuk is known as an unwavering supporter of local arts and a lover of literature. Unknown to many is that he is an award-winning portrait and plein air painter.

As a young man, Stan found an artistic mentor and tutor, Hazel Wellington (Devereaux), a close friend of A.Y. Jackson from the Group of Seven. His portrait of Chief Treetop from the Six Nations won the W. Ross MacDonald Award presented to him by A.Y. Jackson.

It was as a business systems analyst he met his lifetime influence, his beloved wife, Shirley Dilworth, while visiting a client company office. An artist herself, she encouraged his painting, and eventually, they moved out of Toronto to be surrounded by the rhythms of nature in a community of creative people where he could “capture the essence of what speaks to him” and “allow the moment to guide him”.

When Beverley Cairns and Barb Lee started making their dream of a plein air festival a reality, Stan’s enthusiasm and encouragement sustained them. Stan sponsored the First Prize award the year the Elora Plein Air Festival launched.

Grand River Tour


Aerial video of the Grand River running through the beautiful towns of Elora and Fergus Ontario.

Produced by Tivoli Films Inc.


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