The At Home in Bronte: Winter Edition invites locals to bundle up and get outside to walk, push and cycle to Bronte Heritage Waterfront Park and surrounding businesses to see – and use – 50 professionally painted Muskoka chairs.

The art installation is safely spaced out, free and available any time, during any weather through March 2021.

This program, organize by the Bronte BIA, is a great addition to the Town of Oakville’s new There’s Snow Place Like Home outdoor winter programming that encourages residents to get outside, get active, and stay local – safely. 

Tip: Each art chair has a hidden lighthouse icon waiting to be discovered. Take a photo of yourself in the chairs and share @BronteEvents on Facebook and Instagram.

Note: the Town maintains and plows snow from the paved pathways in a large section of the park near the chairs. The year-round washroom at Fisherman’s Wharf is open.

Meet the Artists

Since 2017, the At Home project has invited local residents, businesses and community groups to design and create a Muskoka chair for installation in the Bronte Heritage Waterfront Park in the summer. Due to COVID-19 gathering restrictions, we had to change up the program. This year we hired six local artists to design 50 chairs – in their separate garages and apartments – for installation from November 2020 through March 2021. A new winter program!

Leslie Phelan painted 20 chairs in her chair series “Birds and Beasts of Bronte,” which looks to celebrate the local wildlife in the area. She is a proud former Oakville resident and has done previous mural work in our very own Bronte. If you observe her chairs closely, you can see that on each arm chair has either a paw-print or something related to the animal.

Robert Paterson is a freelance illustrator from Toronto. He painted five chairs in his series called “Faces of Bronte,” that explores the evolution of Bronte, not only the physical landscape, but also the people growing together alongside it. His designs take inspiration from music and old movie posters, which help set the tone of his work.

Rafia Shafiq is a craft artist from Oakville who painted five chairs. Although she specializes in embroidery art, she was able to translate her experience with colorful designs to a large-scale paint project and represent aspects of Bronte in a bold way. Her chairs depict iconic parts of Bronte, making them feel right at home in the exhibit. She painted the chairs while also running her full-time craft business and taking care of her daughter.

Shennel Thomas is an abstract artist from Brampton who painted five chairs in the art show. Her series uses a fluid art style to illustrate aspects of Bronte that stood out to her, namely elements like water, sunsets, nature and the iconic lighthouse. The fluid art technique allows colours to be swirled together to create art that both complements the other chairs in the exhibit while also standing out and telling a story of their own.

Sarah Skrlj, a Toronto-based artist, painted ten chairs. Sarah’s chairs convey three themes: the streets of Bronte, wildlife in the area, and the land and sea that make Bronte so unique and beautiful. Sarah specializes in patterned and mural art, telling stories through patterns and use of colour. After doing art on the side her whole life, Sarah decided it was truly her calling and went full-time this year.

Patrick Hunter is a two-spirit, Ojibwe, Woodland artist from Red Lake, Ontario who painted five chairs for the winter exhibit. In his series, Patrick tries to evoke the soul and spirit of the artwork – placing less emphasis on reality and more emphasis on the spiritual realm. His intent is to create awareness of Indigenous iconography. His work is inspired by traditional Woodland artists as well as the Canadian Group of Seven.