Central Ontario Art Association


About the COAA

The Central Ontario Art Association (COAA) is a non-profit organization dedicated to providing individual and group opportunities in art instruction, encouragement of art appreciation, pooling of area efforts and resources, development of area leadership in visual art and fostering inter-group co-operation and participation in visual arts.

Our membership is widely dispersed and very diverse, embracing all media and all levels of artistic development. Through workshops, informal paint-outs, sketching trips, annual juried and members' exhibitions, and quarterly newsletters, our widely spread group of over 300 artists network and mentor each other.

History of the COAA
The formation of the Central Ontario Art Association (COAA) has been a three-tier development. In 1953, there were no more than three organized art groups in the counties of Dufferin, Peel, Wellington, Waterloo and Halton. The following year in 1954, a group of art teachers met together at the MacDonald Institute in Guelph and formed the Teachers' Council, leading to the development of our organization, then called, the Five Counties Art Association. With the support of the founding members and the sponsorship of the Community Program Branch of the Ontario Department of Education (later the Youth and Recreation Branch) and the Ontario Arts Council, the association grew and flourished.
The Member's Show Reception at the Art Gallery of Hamilton. January, 2016

In 1964, the Five Counties Art Association changed its name to Central Ontario Art Association to embrace a wider membership.

After 50 years, we are still an independent, non-profit organization, nurturing fellowship in the visual art that spans the globe. We will embrace the new technologies and the traditional beauty of the visual arts to help our membership to flourish and grow in the next 50 years and beyond. We invite visual artists and patrons of the arts to become members of the COAA and keep our organization growing.



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