Supporting art education in York Region

Calling all York Region teachers, are you looking for an engaging, curriculum-based field trip for your school in the 2019-2020 school year?

The Varley-McKay Art Foundation of Markham can help make this happen. In 2019, the foundation introduced the William J. Withrow School Visits Bursary, providing subsidized bus transportation to schools booking an art education group visit to the Varley Art Gallery.

“Teachers tell us that the main reason they cannot bring their classes to the Varley Art Gallery is the cost of busing, said Varley Art Gallery Education Coordinator Sarina Luchetta. “Our education programs are very reasonably priced, but when you add in the cost of transportation, teachers just can’t afford the field trip. That’s why we’re so grateful to the Varley-McKay Art Foundation for developing the William J. Withrow School Visits Bursary. It really assists us to offset transportation costs and help more schools experience our outstanding education programs.”

The Varley-McKay Art Foundation created the bursary to honour Withrow’s legacy. He was an art educator, art gallery director and Varley Art Gallery founding board member.

Applications are now being accepted for the 2019-2020 scholastic year. To be eligible, groups must meet at least four of the following criteria: be a non-tuition school or organization; be located in York Region, consist of 60-plus participants; consist primarily of self-identified minority participants; confirm financial need.

The foundation also supports education through the Wallace Joyce Scholarship, established to recognize Joyce’s patronage of the Varley Art Gallery. The 2019 recipient is Michelle Cheng, a Bayview Secondary School graduate who will pursue post-secondary education in Character Animation at the California Institute of the Arts. Cheng received a $1000 prize to assist her with her studies.

“Michelle’s portfolio submissions were of extremely high quality and demonstrated her expertise in a variety of media, said Francesca Dauphinais, Varley-McKay Art Foundation Development Officer and a jury member for the Wallace Joyce Scholarship. “The California Institute of Arts is one of the top art colleges in the United States, and we are delighted to present this award to Michelle. We wish her all the best as she continues her academic career.”

For more information on both the William J. Withrow School Visits Bursary and the Wallace Joyce Scholarship, visit or call 905-477-7000 ext. 3274.

Photo: Michelle Cheng is the 2019 Wallace Joyce Scholarship recipient. Photo courtesy of Millicent Hofung.


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