Newsletter January 2024

Here is our new Board of Directors, 2024. From left to right: Bryan Chen (Treasurer), Moïse Mbikayi (Secretary), Stephanie Pete (President), David Perret (Vice-President).

Hello ArtPoniac! Happy New Year and welcome to another year of art and community in the Pontiac region. We have a new executive board this year, so we will begin by thanking all of the past boards for their hard work and volunteering, with a special thank you to Cheryl Beillard and Claire Taillefer for all of the strides they made over the last two years and for their generosity and help as we make this new transition. Cheryl will continue on as the Chair of the Galleries committee, so we thank her again for her dedication and for managing the exhibitions at our gallery spaces including the Stone Schoolhouse, Cafe 349, Hoffman’s Brewery, Willow Lane and the Flower Factory. We will be discussing new venues as well this year, including developing an online gallery. If you have ideas for new venues, please reach out to us, we would love to hear from you!  We also thank Pat Forrest for continuing as our Chair of Memberships!

If you attended the PAA special meeting last November, you will be aware that we are working on making some important changes to our budget this year. We have already made gains as our fantastic Treasurer, Bryan Chen, will now be managing our bookkeeping for us which will be efficient, as well as greatly reducing some of our expenses. I am mentioning this upfront, because you will notice that we have increased some fees, including changing our membership from $25 to $35, and making some changes to our exhibition fees. Please know, we do this with care for our members and our association. We are cautious but we are also realistic. Over the next year, you can expect us to be seeking funding for artPontiac through grants and sponsorships so that the Pontiac Artists’ Association can continue to flourish and create opportunities for our creative members and our region. Stay tuned!

I would like to share that I am thrilled to represent artPontiac as the President of the Board. I know our Vice President, Treasurer and newly appointed Secretary share my excitement for our organization and we truly look forward to working with you all this year. With that, I welcome our newest member, appointed at our first meeting in 2024, Moïse Mbikayi. Moïse is the Economic Development Commissioner with the MRC Pontiac, and he brings a diligence and professionalism to the board that creates a welcome addition to our team. Welcome  Moïse, and thank you for joining us! Our members may have seen our recently posted bios on Facebook and our website. I encourage you to take a look and get to know our board members, David Perritt, Bryan Chen and myself, Stephanie Pete. David, Bryan and I all have experience working as artists as well as having experience with teaching. We look forward to working together and sharing our passion for the arts with you.

As you will see, we have a few events back by popular demand, including the Professional Development Day organized by our long time member Katharine Fletcher! Katharine has been busy already this year and we look forward to meeting her speaker panel. If you have ideas, feedback or speaker suggestions for Katharine, we ask that you contact me before February 15 at and I will promptly forward your email on to Katharine. 

Our first new initiative has been planned, as it is quite simple! I will be at the Stone Schoolhouse in Portage du fort on the last Sunday of every month from 12-4pm, and I will bring cake! Join us for artPontiac Coffee and Cake each month to gather, talk, share ideas, energy and stories! Other board members will join us as they are available. I hope these informal gatherings will help us to get to know each other and to foster meaningful connections within our organization. If you have any questions or ideas about volunteering, exhibiting, joining the Shop, creating new events or initiatives, this will be a great place to start. We can discuss the option of online hours as well. 

As we look to the year ahead, I encourage you to engage with artPontiac. This will be my rally for the year. Engage!  We do need your help to share the work involved in operating a not-for-profit organization and all of our wonderful initiatives. Engage! We do need your participation at our events and gatherings. Engage! These programs are for you! Let’s get together as we have from the very beginning to have an energetic and enriching year with the Pontiac Artists’ Association.


Stephanie Pete

President of the Board

Call for Exhibitions, deadline to apply is March 1, 2024.

1. Stone School Gallery   Artists are invited to apply for solo/duo/group shows at our main Gallery in  the Stone School, 28 Mill Street, Portage du Fort.  Exhibitions are 4 to 5 weeks depending on the schedule. You must be a Member of artPontiac to exhibit.  The fee to exhibit at the Schoolhouse has been slightly changed. It is still $100 per week, but will also include a tiered system, so that profitable artists will be pitching in a bit more, with a 15% commission on sales over $1000. This is a model that has been used with other organizations, and reflects our current need to recover costs. We also need help at the gallery, artists are required to spend at least 3 days at the Gallery, over the course of their Show, or another show if this is necessary, to greet guests and provide information about the Show and artPontiac. 

2.  Cafe 349, Main Street, Shawville  The Cafe is open from Monday to Saturday throughout the year, from 9 to 2 pm.  We would like to express our appreciation to cafe owner Ruth Hahn. We have had a long relationship with Ruth and are excited to continue to showcase our members’ artwork at her popular lunch venue. Ruth will be happy to help you arrange for a Vernissage, and provide you with options for catering the event. 

The fee to exhibit at the cafe has increased this year from $40 to $65 per month-long show.

Our schedule for 2024 will include 11 solo or group shows, with December dedicated to a mixed media Christmas show.  So far, we have allocated 5 spaces.  We encourage you to get in touch as soon as possible, so we can finalize our program for the Cafe, and you can get going on planning your show and creating new work for your shows! To apply to the gallery selection committee for an exhibit please contact Cheryl Beillard at

Set up for the Gallery is usually 8 am on the Monday of the day it opens or, by appointment, on the preceding Saturday, from 2 to 4 pm.  Limited space is also available in the front area of the shop for crafts and cards.  

3. Hoffman’s Gallery, Campbell’s Bay  In 2023, Todd Hoffman installed a high end  hanging system on the walls of the restaurant at his Brewery which boasts a bright and modern backdrop for art.  We held three shows there last year.  The Brewery is open from June to September, from Thursday to Saturday each week, creating three spaces for exhibiting this summer.  Hoffman’s offered a small window for showing, but a lot of traffic in terms of potential customers.  Shows last 4-5 weeks.  Please note that there is no fee or commission on the sale of your work at the Brewery. 

The Brewery also offers a very reasonable menu for holding your Vernissage.  Todd can also arrange for local musicians to provide a backdrop to your opening.  

There is also a small area available for displaying a limited number of cards and crafts. with the decision on what work to accept in that space resting with Todd.   We look forward to helping Todd cover the walls with colorful work of our talented members, whatever the medium, this summer.  

Other opportunities for selling your work   We also have opportunities to display a small number of hung pieces, crafts and cards at both Willow Lane Alpacas (Route 148, Bristol, QC) and The Flower Factory (Raglan Street, Renfrew).  There is no commission on sales at Willow Lane, but a 15% commission applies at the Flower Factory.   Other venues on the new Arts and Culture Map may open up in the spring as well.  Please email us at  if you have an interest in any of these venues.

If you wish to have an exhibit at the Stone School Gallery, Cafe 349, Hoffman’s or any one of our other venues,  please consult the Gallery page on our website, and complete the application or contact us by email for details at  as soon as possible (deadline March 1, 2024). 

Note:  Acceptance of applications proposals are determined by our  Gallery Selection Committee.  

4. Stone School Gallery Shop   In 2022, we created a ‘permanent Gallery’ to sell art and fine crafts on the main floor of the Stone School.  It allows many more of our artists, including emerging artists and members who had never exhibited at the Gallery, to show and sell their work.  The Shop has been a tremendous success, drawing visitors from near and far, providing a means to showcase the range of mediums and talents of more than 40 of our artists and artisans.  Sales were far beyond our expectations! 

The Stone School Gallery and Shop will be open Thursday to Sunday, from 11am to 4pm, from June to the end of August or possibly September.

There is no commission on sales at the Shop but all  participating artists must be Members of artPontiac, and pay a flat fee of $50 for the season.  We expect to have a full-time Summer Student to manage the Shop when open.  However, we also need to ensure that we have an artist on duty upstairs, in the Gallery, every day.  It’s all  hands on deck, so we need Shop artists to also  volunteer three days of supervision over the course of the season. Artists at a distance or with mobility issues will be able to contribute in other ways. 

Applications to exhibit work in the main Shop are considered throughout the season.   However, space is limited.  Given its success, we anticipate strong demand for space in 2024.  You are encouraged to let us know if you would like to place work in the Shop as soon as possible. 

To do so, please complete the application on the Shop page of  our website and submit it to  by March 1, 2023.   

Call for Instructors and Course Proposals 

The Pontiac School of the Arts (PSOTA) is a not-for-profit, volunteer-run, art school whose mission is to inspire creative discovery in everyone.

Hello Everyone! Stephanie speaking again, we are going to be reevaluating the school this year. As the owner of an art school myself, I am keen to continue with this excellent program. However, we have a lot on our plate and we want to make sure the teaching and learning opportunities we are offering to our members are the best that they can be. So on that note, Stay Tuned! Keep in touch with your suggestions and ideas, let us know what courses you would like to take, or classes or workshops you would like to teach! Contact me at or come on out and chat at one of our monthly Coffee and Cake events.

2024 Sponsorship Campaign   

Last year we did some amazing things!  We are extremely grateful to our Sponsors whose generosity helped us to cover expenses that keep the lights on and our programs running.   As we start our Campaign for the year, we hope that we will see similar results this year so that we can continue to grow and create opportunities for our artists to connect with the community with the art they produce.  

We limit our Campaign to a three month period at the beginning of the year.  Our letter to past Sponsors will go out shortly to help with several new initiatives. In the meantime, we encourage past and prospective Sponsors to go to our Sponsors page on the website and join us in supporting the work of artPontiac.  

Time to Renew your Membership!   

It’s that time of year again to renew your membership with the Pontiac Artists’  Association! We are excited to continue to work together to represent and serve artists and artisans of the Pontiac region! Our new membership fee is $35, which represents our growing need for membership support. 

Please renew your membership online by visiting 

Payment can be made online by PayPal via the link on the membership page or by sending an e-transfer to Payment by cheque can be mailed to:  Pontiac Artists’ Association, P.O. Box 1063, Shawville, QC, J0X 2Y0.  If you have any questions or need information regarding membership please contact  Pat Forrest, Membership Coordinator, by email at

Thank you for taking the time to read our first newsletter of 2024!