Quinte en Plein Air 2020 Festival

CANCELLED DUE TO COVID-19 : Unfortunately, we made the dificult decision to cancel the Plein Air Festival originally scheduled for May 2020, and we have been unable to secure funding for a virtual festival.

We look forward to welcoming you to Belleville in 2021.


Plein air painting, or the art of painting “in the open air,” avails artists the freedom to work in and with nature, capturing changing light, textures and colours on canvas.

The Quinte En Plein Air Festival is a four-day event where artists leave their studios behind to paint and showcase their work outdoors. Artists have the opportunity to capture the beautiful images of historic downtown Belleville, the shores of the Bay of Quinte, the famous ‘Old East Hill,’ the Moira River, and numerous other painting locations in the Quinte region. (Online photo gallery available here.  Live and interactive online map available here.)

This event is a juried competition open to artists working in various mediums such as: watercolour, acrylic, soft pastel and oil. Prizes total over $4,000. We invite you to join us on this special weekend and participate in our unique one-of-a kind-event, celebrating Quinte en plein air!

  • The Festival runs from May 28 to 31, 2020.
  • Artist check-in opens on Thursday, May 28 at 9:30 am at the Quinte Arts Council in Belleville, Ontario.
  • Registered canvases must be submitted for judging at the J.M. Parrott Gallery in Belleville, Ont., by Saturday, May 30 at 5:00 pm. Awards will be announced during a closing ceremony on Sunday, May 31. Please join us at the J.M. Parrott Gallery, 3rd floor, Belleville Public Library, from 1:30 pm to 3:30.
  • There will be an Artists’ Reception at the Quinte Arts Council (36 Bridge St. E., Belleville, Ont.) on Friday May 29, 2019 from 4:00 pm – 6:00 pm. Details to follow.

At registration, artists will receive an artist kit and additional information.

The Plein Air Exhibit will run at the J.M. Parrott Art Gallery from May 31 to June 18.  All paintings will hang for the duration of the exhibit unless prior arrangements have been made with the curator.

Please contact communications@quinteartscouncil.org with questions or to be added to our mailing list.

Registration (via Eventbrite) is available here.

To download the complete Rules and Regulations (PDF), click here.

Please check back for information about hotel options and/or discounts, as well as available artist billets.


Prizes for the 2020 Festival:

First prize: $1,500
Second prize: $1,000
Third prize: $750
Local Artist: $500

Stay tuned for additional “category” prize announcements!


Judges for the 2020 Arts en Plein Air Painting Festival are:



Inviting all art lovers! An invitation to participate:

The Quinte Arts Council is excited to host our weekend of painting and creating en plein air. But we need your help!

During the festival we need volunteers to:

  • Greet the artists, help them to register and provide information.
  • Visit artists while they are painting and take photos for social media
  • Receive finished canvases for judging at the J.M. Parrott Gallery.

Your help, big or small, will help us to celebrate Quinte en Plein Air and make Belleville a welcoming place to cultivate creativity!

Email: communications@quinteartscouncil.org or call 613.962.1232