Artists’ Walk

The Can-Am Equine Expo show will feature a number of equine artists presenting their work in what we are describing as the ‘Artists’ Walk’. Between Buildings #1 & #2 there will be a showcase of artists and their creative, original pieces of art work. Each of the artists will be donating a piece of their work to be auctioned off, with all proceeds being donated to Equine Guelph. The auction will be taking place before the Saturday Evening Extravaganza on April 5 in the Main Arena

Merriweather Studio- Nola McConnan


Nola loves making pictures. Her goal is simple, make pictures that fulfill her clients needs and wants. This allows her to be an artist, the artist whose favourite subject is horses. Horses of all sorts. Her pictures are for those seeking works for smaller modern spaces. Domestic animals and their people, in formal or informal settings, in the home, in the barn, ring or field. She’s won a few awards, had a few solo and many group exhibitions along the way. Nola has been a professional visual artist ever since her first sale in 1967, a graphite image from life of an elderly horse in a paddock. Nola did four Royal Agricultural Winter Fair Posters, which tell the story of the Fair. 2006 “A Royal ABC”, 2007 “75 Years of Innovation”, 2008 “Celebrating the Best of the Best”, and 2009 “A Royal 123”.This winter, in partnership with the Toronto Mounted Unit at the CNE Horse Palace, her group of horse loving artists studied the Mounted Unit and leaned to Look, See & Draw Just Horses from Life, no cameras.

Ann Clifford

A practising professional artist, Ann Clifford’s accomplishments in the world of sculpture are impressive – she has created awards for the corporate world, polo sponsors, equine organizations, government and tourism. She has a lengthy list of commissions, including traditional sculptures in bronze and clay, as well as large-scale woven metal sculptures which are one of her specialities.  Ann’s work is in art collections internationally.

Clifford is a veteran Child and Youth Worker with extensive involvement in social service agencies, elementary and secondary schools and Children’s Mental Health Centres. She is currently an Arts Educator at Pine River Institute, a residential treatment program for teenagers struggling with addiction and high-risk behaviour. Her Experiential Arts sessions provide relationship building and empowerment through visual art making experiences for individuals and groups. Collaborative projects and workshops are offered to young people, parents, teachers, and front line workers in the health and human services sector.

A member of Arts Health Network Canada, Ann embraces visual art making as a therapeutic process, a powerful tool for communication and when shared, a valuable resource for public education and networking. Having produced a short film, “Healing Through Art”, she shares her students learning and their teen wisdom through her expertise as a freelance facilitator and presenter in a “Film and Conversation” speaker series. 

Ann Clifford is a pioneer in Equine Facilitated Learning and community building with youth, police and front line social service staff. Co-founder of Urban Youth Riding Project she facilitated programming for Toronto Council Fire; The Native Learning Centre; Toronto District School Board; Aboriginal Peace Keeping Unit; Toronto Police Services; Native Child and Family Services; Toronto Mounted Unit; OPP & RCMP. She is a certified Equine Canada Riding Instructor with a focus on relaxation and safety. Visit her at:

Janice Ykema

Canadian Award winning artist Janice Ykema resides in Hamilton and works out of her home studio. She was raised with a rural influence which included horses and all types of farm animals the first 6 years of her life and then later on as an adult, she found herself immersed in nature in the Northern British Columbia community of Alert Bay. She is an elected member of the Ontario Society of Artists, and Colour and Form Society as well as Southern Ontario Visual Artists SOVA. Janices’ style has stylistically been recognized as painterly and expressionist in flavour. She graduated in 2005 from OCAD as a mature artist, and has pursued her training under RCS artist John Leonard.

To quote Janice, “ I love to learn. Challenging myself to break rules is key to my compositions. I also believe life is a school and that with the right impetus and combination of subjects and colours, I can apply paint to canvas and share feelings of joy, peace and humour with viewers. I utilize animals in this search for expressing common observations of life and culture. As an artist one of my goals is to create an avenue that helps my viewers gently reflect on my paintings message and personalize it. This artist likes to tell stories in her paintings, but is just as excited to hear another version of her story for it means that the painting has resonated.

This artist has been a regular at the Royal Agricultural Winter Fair, painting the official fair poster in 2015. Her work is in many corporate collections, and private international collections as well. Janice looks forward to meeting with the friends and family of the Can-Am Equine Expo Show, sharing her love of art and donating a piece for the auction. Be sure to stop by and say hi! View her work at:

Kelly Plitz

Kelly Plitz Born October 31 1957 Grew up in Pickering Ontario Always had a deep passion for horses Started drawing as a girl always very interested in art Studied Fine Art at University of Toronto Scarborough College and continued to live at home and so she could ride her horses. Competed Internationally on Canadian Equestrian Team in 1982 and 1984 as she also developing her business with partner Ian Roberts of Dreamcrest Equestrian Services named after her Olympic mount Dialadream. During the 1990’s Kelly was involved in Printmaking at The Station Gallery in Whitby. Also was continuing with her painting and hung a show at the Kent Farndale Gallery in Port Perry. Port Perry was where she resided from 1991 through 2015. A second son arrived in 2001 Wyatt Roberts so my art career was sidelined again as it was when my first son Waylon Roberts was born in 1988. Her subject has always been horses with other subjects like abstract landscapes scattered throughout. Always lots of colour and not a realist my paintings are more suggestions but strong and forceful in representation. Bones and skeletons were explored extensively in the 1990’s and now she seems to have developed a “pixelated”way of representing my subjects. Kelly devotes her life to her horses and dogs and competing now in Western Reining competition, so again Kelly’s painting gets second place, however she expects to get more work done in the near future. Kelly has been invited to show at the Equine Can-Am trade show again this year April 3-5 and is in the process of setting up a website Kelly Plitz Artist and under construction so more to come!