Arts Council celebrates 200 speakers with Kai Liis

September 24, 2014   ·   0 Comments

This month, the Dufferin Arts Council celebrated 200 speakers, since beginning their monthly series of luncheons in 1993, by inviting back their inaugural guest speaker Kai Liis to highlight the next 200 to come. Kai Liis, an elected member of the Canadian Society of Painters in Water Colour, spoke about the evolution of her work over the years.
Raised in a family of artists, Kai Liis now lives on a farm in Mulmur where she raises a variety of animals including 14 alpacas. Her studio and “The Farm Shop” near Airport Road and Highway 89, carries a wide range of alpaca products including skeins for knitting and weaving, roving for spinning, and alpaca insoles and socks. She also sells unique alpaca fibre hats, headbands, and mittens. She draws on her Estonian heritage using traditional patterns and incorporating Fair Isle designs in her wearable works of art. The studio carries a variety of the artist’s watercolour paintings as well as acrylics – framed and unframed.
Kai-Liis has won many awards for her paintings, which have been shown in exhibitions in Canada, the U.S.A., Mexico, and Estonia. She uses the “wet-in-wet effects in watercolour” to “create subtle nuances and shades” in her works. Widely travelled, in Canada, Peru, Denmark, Scotland, Africa and the Arctic, she has found inspiration in the places she visits; the patterns in the clothing of African women, the polar bears of Churchill Manitoba, and the colourful, ocean shore homes of Newfoundland. DAC Board member, Dick Byford said, Kai-Liis luncheon lecture was “terrific,” covering “her parent’s art and her own, through tough times, her love of animals and her travels – all done with a wonderful sense of humour.”
Founded in 1992, the Dufferin Arts Council (DAC) is a non-profit organization run by volunteers in support of artists and art students in all disciplines, whether visual, literary, or performing arts. Their vision is to be “a leading partner in a flourishing arts community” in Dufferin County. With over 350 members, the volunteer organization provides those members with “cultural and social experiences” and promotes activities which offer support and education in the arts.
DAC provides yearly scholarships for secondary students pursuing post secondary education in the arts and art instruction for primary schools with its “Artists in the School” program, which offers funding to Dufferin schools to incorporate artists and art days into their curriculum. DAC also conducts excursions to concerts and theatres, as well as monthly luncheons highlighting authors, actors, film makers, media personalities, and artists such as Kai Liis McInnes.
Membership to the Dufferin Arts Council is “open to anyone with an interest in the arts” for a nominal fee of $25 a year or $35 for a family membership. For more information about joining DAC contact Kim Morningstar at

By Marni Walsh




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