About Us

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The Friendly Tour

HEACT is a group of artists and artisans in the Highlands East area of Haliburton County. They gather together each year to arrange and promote an annual Highlands East Studio Tour event. HEACT is a not-for-profit organization and has supported talented artists and artisans in Highlands East since it’s inception in 2002. Both permanent residents and cottagers are eligible and welcome to join our group.

We pride ourselves in offering a wide variety of media to view in order to attract Studio Tour lovers to come back year after year to the “Friendly Tour”.

How We Began. . .by Jan Simon, Current Chair

The seed originated with  Evelyn Saxby.  As a local fabric artisan, Ev had not been successful in joining existing studio tours and decided that it was time that the eastern side of the county had their own tour.

Elva Bates picked up the seed and ran with it as Founding Chair.

With the help of Jack Linkert, Sabina Lohrbach and a handful of local artists the seed began to germinate.  Joanne Walsh wrote an article in the Loop Communicator in July 2002, and it poked its first shoots out of the ground when five local artists called Elva in August 2002 to discuss the possibilities.

The idea was then cultivated during the next several months by studying how other tours operated, drawing in more of our local artists and setting up an administrative structure.  There was a lot of hard work to be done before the tour could become a reality.

It finally blossomed on August 9th and 10th of 2003.  This area is unique; each of the artists featured in our tour is unique: their work is professional, diversified and affordable.

Over the years the membership has varied with the addition of new artists showing a variety of media and continues to enjoy the addition of a variety of people that come and go with time.

We are always open to new members and look forward to a successful 2015 tour. Come, take the Tour for a rewarding experience.