Nestled on Nova Scotia’s Bay of Fundy, with the highest tides in the world creating unique and ever-changing shoreline scenery, Parrsboro has become home to Canada’s largest Plein Air Festival.

What is Plein Air Painting?
En plein air” is a French expression meaning “in the open air”. It describes the art of outdoor painting, using specific skills to capture landscapes and views in natural light. Plein Air painting requires adaptability to a changing environment and speed in applying painting techniques.
Plein air events have a dedicated following among artists who appreciate going to new locations and being challenged by the work of other artists on location.

Since 2017, Parrsboro Creative has organized the Parrsboro International Plein Air Festival, drawing 30 juried artists annually from across North America to compete in painting the picturesque sea and landscapes the Parrsboro Shore has to offer.

Chantal Julien “At the Pier”

It’s part of Parrsboro Creative’s vision of developing the area’s cultural economy through the creation and enhancement of a community or artists and artisans that will rejuvenate the community, once a thriving shipbuilding area. Of course, the festival would not be possible without the support of sponsors ranging from government to private enterprise. Its success has been chronicled in media across North America, reaching thousands of artists, art galleries and art collectors’ organizations across the continent.

After a shift in 2020 to an online-only event, and Atlantic-only in 2021 due to COVID-19, PIPAF is returning to an international model in 2022!

Why attend the Parrsboro International Plein Air Festival?
A selection of 30 superbly talented plein air painters will be competing for cash prizes to create their very best work, all available to the public for collection. What could be a better souvenir from your visit to the Parrsboro Shore than a stunning painting of the surrounding landscape? You can even put your own skill to the test with our Sunday Quick Draw event: sign up to create your own work, and compete for small cash prizes, art supplies, gift cards, and more. Plus, Parrsboro has a selection of quaint shops, restaurants, inns, and museums that are eager to welcome back tourists once again this season.

Connie O’Brien painting Advocate Warf. Artists have free run of 80km of coastline from Advocate to Economy.

Festival details:

  • Artists will paint anywhere in Parrsboro and surrounding area from June 22-25. The daily zones for painting can be found here.
  • The Quick Draw event is open to juried and non-juried participants and will be held Sunday June 26 from 12-2 pm, followed by judging from 2:30-3 pm by William Rogers. At 3pm the Awards for 1st, 2nd and 3rd place will be announced, along with the announcement of the People’s Choice Award from the Main Exhibition.

More information about PIPAF (and post-event online sales!) can be found at Please reach out to Parrsboro Creative if you have any questions about the festival or how to make your visit to Parrsboro the trip of a lifetime. You can contact us at or (902) 728-2007. We are looking forward to meeting you!

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