The Artistic Touch in Durham

The return of school this week and my attendance at a terrific event in Bowmanville last week served as inspiration for my latest blog posting. Last week I attended Picasso’s Picnic at the Clarington Visual Arts Centre. This event grows larger each year and is a celebration of some of the creative young people we have in Durham. It encourages young people to show and even sell some of their artistic creations within an atmosphere of fun and creativity. I was proud to be the patron for one of the young artists who displayed his photography at the event.

My central passion as the Member of Parliament for Durham is showcasing the amazing people and talent we have in our community. Bowmanville and Port Perry are my hometowns and I am proud to promote and support the communities around Durham. I try to use my role to actively promote our local artists and groups as much as possible.

Since I became MP, the Durham Constituency Office in Bowmanville has become a small art gallery that rotates local artists’ creations on our walls. In September we will launch the Todd Tremeer collection on the walls at our constituency office. Todd is well known for the large murals on King Street in Bowmanville and someone I am happy to call a friend. Incidentally, Todd is an instructor at the Clarington Visual Arts Centre and was on hand at Picasso’s Picnic helping stimulate some budding Picasso’s throughout the day. At this Open House I will also have some photographs on display from Tyler, the budding local photographer I hosted at the Picasso’s Picnic event.

As our young people return to school, we should remember that fostering creativity and an appreciation for the arts is an important part of a strong education. The fundamentals of math, science and classes like English, history and geography are important, but stimulating creative elements of the brain can also be an important part of educating a generation of entrepreneurs and innovators. I am proud that our government introduced the Children’s Art Tax Credit to encourage the enrolment of young people in arts and music. It is a small but meaningful way that the government is recognizing the value of the expenditures for families.

So, as our young people return to school, remember to watch for them on the roads and give the buses a wide berth to do their job safely. I would also encourage you to explore some of the galleries and artists that we have in our midst. They not only make our community stronger, but they make it a more vibrant place to live and play. Picasso would be proud.

Explore all we have nearby:


Kent Farndale Gallery

Meta4 Contemporary Craft Gallery

Scugog Shores Heritage Centre

Scugog Council for the Arts

Croftbeg Studio/Gallery

Joanna Malcolm – Studio By the Green

The Gallery on the Lake


The Dark Horse


Buckingham Gallery of Fine Art Ltd.


Visual Arts Centre of Clarington

A Gift of Art

Intowne Gallery

Rosemary Jenkins Pottery

Photography by Gary Blake



Tyler and I at Picasso’s Picnic

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