Perivale Gallery’s 8th annual ‘In the Spirit of Tom Thomson and the Group of Seven Show’ begins this Saturday, July 23

‘Shield,’ a 40”x60” oil on canvas by Mark Hope is just one of the works in this year’s exhibition.

PERIVALE—Since 2015, Perivale Gallery has annually challenged each of its over 50 artists and artisans, as well as invited guest artists, to produce one piece of work inspired by the Group of Seven for a show originally entitled ‘In the Spirit of the Group of Seven.’ This challenge was readily embraced by the gallery’s many artists, including a number of invited guest artists, and the resulting exhibition proved to be a great success, not only for the gallery, but for tourism on Manitoulin Island in general.

“We found that many of our visitors had travelled to Manitoulin Island for the first time precisely to see the show,” says Perivale Gallery curator Shannon McMullan. “Given the resounding success of the first exhibition, it was decided that this would become an annual event, but would embrace as well, the inspiration of the iconic artist, Tom Thomson. Hence, ‘In the Spirit of Tom Thomson and the Group of Seven’ has become the name of the show which is held annually and enjoyed during the last week of July and the first week of August at Perivale Gallery.”

Since 2016, Ms. McMullan has been a member of Northeastern Ontario Tourism’s Group of Seven Product Marketing Team. Provincially, the Group of Seven is seen as a cultural asset to market as a tourism experience. The team explores and develops initiatives with that Group of Seven theme.

In Canada in the early 20th century, a colonial mindset determined that, in general, European art, particularly Dutch art was superior. “It was almost impossible for Canadians to find artistic reflections of their own natural environment!” Ms. McMullan says. “A Dutch pastoral scene would be much more likely to figure prominently in a Canadian art collection of substance than works reflecting our unique and distinctly beautiful rugged Canadian landscape.”

Canadian artists had previously been strongly influenced by their European counterparts and had limited themselves to those styles. First, Tom Thomson broke free of those colonial constraints, later followed by the Group of Seven and developed a distinct painting style to express a nationalistic feeling. Their artistic works, inspired through direct contact with nature, have come to symbolize what is the distinctly Canadian identity that we now celebrate today.

In addition, Perivale Gallery also offers popular summer art workshops such as ‘Paint like Tom Thomson and the Group of Seven.’

In recent years Perivale Gallery has won Destination Northern Ontario’s Tourism Innovator of the Year Award and Northern Ontario Tourism’s Leader in Marketing and Communications Award as a direct result of the success of this annual show.

‘In the Spirit of Tom Thomson and the Group of Seven’ show opens on Saturday, July 23 at the gallery at 10 am and runs daily from 10 am to 5 pm until August 7.

Images of all of the works in the show will be available online as of 7 am on July 23 at

Perivale Gallery is located at 1320 Perivale Road East, Spring Bay.

For further information or questions please contact Ms. McMullan at 705-210-0290.