Current Learning Programs

Esker Foundation provides FREE public programming to encourage participation and to increase accessibility to contemporary art. Programs are developed in response to our current exhibitions. Securing your spot by registering in advance is strongly recommended. Our programs are very popular and often have wait lists; if you register and are unable to attend we ask that you cancel your registration in a timely manner. Tickets are non-transferrable, if you are unable to attend a program please do not redistribute your ticket. We ask that you cancel your ticket, so it can be offered to the waitlist. All programming requires that an adult accompany children under the age of 16.

The remaining winter programs will launch on Monday 25 February at 11am.
Read and download the winter exhibitions and programs brochure here.



Thursday, February 21st, 7-8:30pm > Crash Course: Discussions in Contemporary Art – Everything Looks Better in a Vitrine

Micah Lexier


Continuing this new informal lecture series presented monthly over the course of our current exhibitions, guest speakers present on different aspects of contemporary art and practice. Artist Micah Lexier will present the lecture Everything Looks Better in a Vitrine, as he describes:

“In the fall of 2005 I made my first artwork utilizing a vitrine as the presentation vehicle. Since then I have made numerous vitrine projects, culminating in 2013 with a massive exhibition at Toronto’s Power Plant Art Gallery, featuring 221 artworks and objects housed in 30 custom-designed vitrines. This gesture, of placing objects in relation to each other under a dome of acrylic, is the subject of my talk, generously illustrated with images of my many vitrine projects.” – Micah Lexier

Micah Lexier is a Winnipeg-born, Toronto-based artist whose activities include making, collecting, and organizing. He has a deep interest in measurement, increment, found imagery, and display structures. He has presented over 100 solo exhibitions, participated in more than 200 group exhibitions and has produced a dozen permanent public commissions, including his most recent for Brookfield Place, Calgary. In 2015 Lexier was awarded the Governor General’s Award in Visual and Media Arts. Lexier’s work is in numerous public and corporate collections including The British Museum, London; Contemporary Art Gallery, Sydney; The Art Gallery of Ontario, Toronto; and The National Gallery of Canada, Ottawa. For an entertaining glimpse into his collecting, making and presenting practice please visit his Instagram page: @micahlexier.

Registration essential.
Attendance is limited to 20 participants per class.

Friday, February 22nd, 7-8pm > Esker Bookshop Launch!

Micah Lexier, guyguyguy, Rita McKeough, Miruna Dragan, Jason de Haan

Join us to celebrate the launch of our new bookshop space dedicated to our extensive publications and future print projects. This space will allow visitors to browse our selection of exhibition catalogues, artist totes, and other unique merchandise and editions in a more accessible environment. We will also be unveiling a new commissioned design by artist and designer guyguyguy ( who will be in attendance. The evening will also include book-signings by artists Rita McKeough, Miruna Dragan, Jason de Haan, and other surprise guests! meet the artists and pick up your signed copies of their publications.

Additionally, you can take part in a Collaborative Hole Punch Drawing with artist Micah Lexier.

“This project is a collaborative hole-punch drawing in which the purchaser selects the location of the hole(s) they want punched and I do the punching. I charge $5 per hole and at theconclusion of the drawing we both sign the drawing in the allocated locations.” – Micah Lexier.

Enjoy a refreshing Gin & Tonic (from Confluence Distilling) for $5, and delicious cheese from the amazing Peasant Cheese.


Saturday, March 2nd, 1-5pm > Workshop: Collage and Painting

Ashleigh Bartlett


This workshop draws inspiration from Neil Campbell’s exhibition wheatfield. With an emphasis on geometric abstraction, rule based painting, and collage, participants will investigate scale, materials, and process. Ashleigh Bartlett will discuss Campbell’s interest in painting on the wall, art and magic, the senses, and the importance of the human scale. You will cut, paste, and paint to create a series of abstract visual outcomes. All materials will be provided.

16+ only. Registration essential.


Friday, March 8th, 7-8pm > Exhibition Tour: Speaking to the Spine

Shauna Thompson


The works of both Neil Campbell and Jeremy Shaw appeal to the body, to the physicality of perception, to speculative realities, altered states, and to the transcendent potential of harmony and rhythm. Join Curator Shauna Thompson for a tour of Esker’s winter exhibitions in which we will consider the conceptual linkages between these two distinct yet sympathetic practices.

Registration recommended.

Saturday, March 9th, 2-4pm > Artist Advocacy + Advice: Free Drop-In!

Dick Averns

Dick Averns, CARFAC Alberta’s Engagement Coordinator based in Calgary is available to hear from members and visual artists about concerns, issues or professional development needs.  The aim is to share information on CARFAC’s support for artists through best practices, advocating for sustainable fee structures, and sharing advice on the services CARFAC offers members. For example; exhibition practices, copyright, international shipping, insurance, the Canadian Gallery Guide, and many other topics.

Registration is not required: just drop in to chat and connect. Arriving at 2pm will help ensure you’re on the roster.


Friday, March 15th, 8-10pm Sunday, April 7th, 9:30-11am Sunday, May 5th, 9:30-11am > Ecstatic Dance

Marie-Claire O’Donoghue


When was the last time you gave yourself permission to just dance without judgement, expectation, or wanting to look a certain way? Ecstatic Dance creates a setting for you to let go of your daily structured movement patterning, and let your body speak through dance. Accompanied by a wide variety of music and a carefully structured setlist, let yourself be swept away by the rhythms and melodies. Let your body take control, rather than the expectations of your mind. This is a safe space to explore how free-form dance and movement can open us to different layers within ourselves and each other. Come connect, dance, move, and play!

All ages and experience levels welcome.
Adult accompaniment required for children under 16.
Please dress appropriately for this activity.

Registration essential.