About Festival of the Seven

The Art Gallery of Sudbury (AGS) presented the first summer long ‘Festival of the Seven’ to celebrate Franklin Carmichael and the Group of Seven’s importance to the Sudbury, Killarney and La Cloche areas in 2013. The festival featured special exhibitions, interactive excursions, musical performances, art, film, education workshops and the launch of the Waddington’s book ‘In the Footsteps of the Group of Seven’. The Festival of the Seven highlighted the significant impact the Sudbury, Killarney and La Cloche areas had on Franklin Carmichael , A.Y. Jackson, The Group of Seven and their contemporaries. 

This new annual summer festival will enhance tourism offerings and provide significant economic benefits for the city through spending by the AGS and its partners and by their local and tourism visitors. The AGS invites Sudbury and area art groups, tourism partners and the business community to participate in this yearly celebration of local and Canadian art inspired by Franklin Carmichael and the Group of Seven. 

”Franklin Carmichael was inspired by and celebrated the unique landscape and culture of Sudbury and district basin. We envision, as part of AGS’s initiative of renewal to create an exciting, sustainable art gallery, and launching Festival of the Seven is part of this, as it serves to celebrate this special part of Northern Ontario and its art.” - Karen Tait Peacock, AGS Director.

In its inaugural debut, the programming for this year's festival was spectacular.

Exhibits at the AGS included Group of Seven paintings from the permanent collection along with; ‘George Walker’s; The Mysterious Death of Tom Thomson’, a suite of prints showing Walker’s astonishing range as a contemporary printmaker who finds in the paintings this icon of Canadian art and inspiration for the Group of Seven. ‘Diana Thorneycroft: The Group of Seven Awkward Moments’ by Winnipeg-based artist/photographer, who writes about her series, “I investigate the relationship between the Canadian landscape and national identity. Reproductions of paintings by the famous Canadian collective The Group of Seven are used as backdrops to the dioramas I photograph.”

Juno award winner Ian Tamblyn performed at the AGS on Monday, July 8 highlighting many of his Group of Seven and Tom Thomson inspired songs.



Excursions to La Cloche and Killarney provided the opportunity to visit some of the actual locations where members of the Group of Seven and their contemporaries painted.

Jim and Sue Waddington have spent the past forty years tracking down the exact locations from which members of the Group of Seven and several of their contemporaries painted their iconic interpretations of the Canadian landscape. The AGS published their book ‘In the Footsteps of the Group of Seven’ and the book launch included a book signing and a Group of Seven presentation by the Waddington’s.