Wednesday, 16 December 2015

Looking Forward to Spring 2016

The front during a volleyball tournament

While most people are thinking about the upcoming holidays, we are already thinking about next summer! Projects for 2016 are in the planning stage and we have even begun hiring the summer team. Membership and campsite invoices were sent last week to all members. By now, most people should have received their invoice(s). If not, please contact the office.


Early Payment Discount

Invoices are not due until April 1st. But if you pay by January 11th, you save 3%! That is the equivalent of an annual interest rate of 12%!!

NEW: This year we are also giving that early payment discount to members who go on a payment plan.



New this year: each membership gets 3 free day visit coupons for their guests and 3 half price coupons for friends. A big thank you to those who introduce new people to our naturist utopia!



With over 700 members, we had to automate the annual invoicing this year to make it manageable. It worked fairly well but there were a couple of glitches that we have already heard about.
  1. A few members who are in a family membership were each sent a membership invoice. That is because they are recorded as singles in the computer. Obviously you only need to pay for one membership. Please contact the office to have that fixed.
  2. Some campsites had to have their reservation redone in the computer system. The team member who did it neglected to zero out the duplicate charge which resulted in those invoices showing an amount owing from last year. Those have now all been fixed and we are contacting all of those affected. But if you have any questions, please don't hesitate to contact us.
  3. There could be other glitches. We hope not. But if you find something you are not sure about, please contact the office.


Paying Cash

We appreciate it when people pay cash because it saves us the credit card/banking fees. But if you pay your invoice or account with cash, please take the receipt and save it. We had two situations this year where a member believes that they paid their account in cash but could not provide any evidence nor could they tell us the date or the team member who took the payment.
That creates an awkward situation for everyone involved. We hire great people to work at Bare Oaks each year. But often they are new to our processes and they have to learn. So mistakes are sometimes made that result in payments not being recorded in the right place. In the case of a cash transaction, there is no way to trace the error without the receipt. Our team members are supposed to offer you a receipt. Please take it and keep it. If they forget to offer it, please ask for one.


New Gate

Directions to the beach, camping and other amenitiesWe plan on installing gates at the road entrance this spring. They require a whole new control system which means your current access key fob will stop working. Each member will need to come to the office to exchange their access key fob(s) for the new type. This new system will control access to the new gate, old gate, and clubhouse. We will give you several weeks’ notice. An announcement will be sent to the email list and posted on the bulletin board, Facebook, Google+ and Twitter.


Saving on the Cost of Propane for Members with Campsites

We have negotiated a new contract for propane which provides everyone with a significantly lower price per liter, a lower tank rental fee, and better service.

If you currently have a propane tank, you need to return the paperwork that is included with your invoice no later than 6pm on December 23th, 2015 or call the office to make alternate arrangements. Otherwise your existing propane tank will be removed without a replacement.

If you do not currently have a tank, there is a one-time special offer to have one installed. That is also included with your invoice.

Photo by Michael Willems

Wednesday, 26 August 2015

Old School Videogames - Clothes-Free

Nude Galaga video game

There is now an old school video game machine downstairs in the clubhouse. The game may be old school but the system is all new. So instead of just one game, you have the choice of 12 licensed Classic 80's video games such as Pac-Man, Galaxian and Galaga.

Unlike modern video games, these are very easy to understand. And unlike handheld games, the large console is not isolating. Everyone gets to watch and cheer you on! ...or criticize your technique :-)

Retro games should have retro prices so each play is 25 cents. We're not likely to ever make any money this way. But neither do we on the pool, hot tub, sauna, billiard table, etc... It's all about making Bare Oaks a fun place to be. So why not make it free? Because some things are more fun if you have some skin in the game!

Thursday, 6 August 2015

Volleyball Tournament Update

Lee Baxandall Memorial Volleyball Tournament

The 2015 Lee Baxandall Memorial Volleyball Tournament is August 14th to 16th.

New Lower Prices!!

Based on some research we conducted and the feedback we've received, the pricing structure has been completely revised. Instead of focusing on long-stay packages, we now charge by the day. This is to make it easier for new people who may not want to commit to more than one day as well as to encourage individuals who can't attend all the days due to other commitments. Each day is now a separate tournament.

Because one of the objectives of the tournament is to encourage people to try naturism for the first time, the fees are now even lower. The cost of the tournament is less than our usual day fee. (and the day fee is included!) So if you want to visit Bare Oaks, it is definitely a better deal to play during the tournament. Remember, that everyone is welcome. If you don't know how to play, someone will teach you and put you on a team.

Prices are better for members as well!  Everyone saves money if they play!!

And in keeping with the family-oriented nature of Bare Oaks Family Naturist Park, children (18 or under) play free!

It's a great tournament!! A, B, C, and novice levels (No co-ed restrictions), professional OVA referees and a professional organizer. Bring a team or join a team. Everyone plays! We will also be altering the schedule to maximize playing time.

clothesfree (nude) stand up comedy
Plus much more! The Mary Janes of Comedy are back, community campfires, open mic, restaurant specials, and unlimited access to the pool, lake, sauna, hot tub & all the other amenities of Bare Oaks Family Naturist Park!

Details at:

Volleyball photo by Michael Willems

Saturday, 25 July 2015

First Nations Sweat Lodge - Friday July 31st

1898 Native American Sweatlodge

On Friday July 31st, we will have the privilege of a very special ceremony by a very special guest. Jake Charles of the First Nation of the Chippewas of Georgina Island will be performing the traditional sweat lodge ceremony at Bare Oaks Family Naturist Park.

Traditionally, the First Nations people had no shame about their bodies and truly lived in harmony with nature. Their culture was very much in keeping with naturist ideals. We believe that by holding this traditional sweat lodge ceremony in a naturist environment it will make the experience even more authentic.

Jake describes the ceremony as follows:
The Sweat Lodge is a sacred place where First Nations People go to pray and gain spiritual healing. It is a way to connect to spirits and ask for guidance in life. Resembling a sauna, stones are heated in a special fire just outside the lodge. To help gain access to answers of the participants questions, songs are sung on a drum and medicines are burnt. The ceremony of the Sweat Lodge has lead to a positive and progressive lifestyle and encourages positive thinking and well being. 

The sweat will be held at dusk and it will probably last about an hour (for beginners). It is not recommended for any individual with high blood pressure. There will be a smudge outside of the lodge and then the only medicine used within is cedar. If a person becomes too uncomfortable, they are free to leave at any time. Participants should drink lots of water that day and not to eat a large meal before (small meal/snack an hour before).

The cost is $35 per person and limited to 10 people so reservations are required. Please speak to Kim at the office.

Photo: "Sweat lodge, covering raised. Sioux, 1898." by Bratley, Jesse Hastings, National Anthropological Archives, Smithsonian Museum Support Center, Suitland, Maryland

Thursday, 16 July 2015

Bare Oaks Players Performances

The Bare Oaks Players are very active this season! They've been expanding the stage, getting sound and lighting equipment, and rehearsing a number of plays:

“Tiffany and The Genie”

Written by Jeffrey Fiske, inspired by “The Fisherman and The Genie”
From Tales of 1001 Arabian nights.
Friday July 17th, 2015 @ 8:00pm, Saturday July 18th, 2015 @ 11:00am,  and Saturday July 18th, 2015 @ 4:00pm

Playbill One:

“As night to the Day”

By Dan Ebbs
Forty-year-old Michael returns home to help his mother who is struggling with memory loss. Over the course of a morning, Michael sees her through the eyes of another and learns that there's a side to her he didn't know. 

“The Death of Me”

By Norm Foster
John dies unexpectedly, only to discover that his bucket list in life is a rolodex of missed opportunities. Perhaps he can get a second chance?  This theatrical gem of a comedy is written by Canada's most prolific and produced playwrights.

Saturday July 25th, 2015 @ 8:00pm, Saturday August 1st, 2015 @ 8:00pm, Saturday August 15th, 2015 @ 7:30pm, and Saturday August 15th, 2015 @ 9:15pm (if required)
TICKETS: $10/person
Ticket reservations can now be made using email

Playbill Two:

“10,000 Cigarettes”

Written by Alex Broun
How many cigarettes is enough - 1, 2, 3 . . . 10,000? Four sisters face big questions in this fast paced, imaginative, funny and moving play.

“Upton Manor”

Written by Dave Amor
English aristocrats find themselves suddenly penniless and facing eviction from their ancestral home. Enter a Canadian entrepreneur who gives them hope.

Saturday August 22nd, 2015 @ 8:00pm, Saturday August 29th, 2015 @ 8:00pm, Sunday September 6th, 2015 @ 7:30pm, and Sunday September 6th, 2015 @ 9:15pm (if required)
TICKETS: $10/person
Ticket reservations can now be made using email


If you want to reserve for both Playbill One and Playbill Two, you can: $17.50/person
Ticket reservations can now be made using email

Saturday, 11 July 2015

Administration Transition

Administration transition

Managing Bare Oaks Family Naturist Park is a substantial task. You have to look after members, visitors, staff, and all facets of operations. You need to know a little bit about everything because you are responsible for coordinating the implementation of it all. The manager deals with all the fields that we are involved in such as hospitality, retail, food-service, grounds-keeping, transportation, waterworks, sewage treatment, electrical distribution, telecommunications, etc...  It really is the proverbial jack of all trades and master of none!

Nikki has done a fabulous job as manager since she took over. But those who know Nikki know that she is also a fabulous Yoga instructor. She is very empathetic and loves to help people. So last winter, Nikki decided that she does not enjoy the operational side of her job at Bare Oaks and would prefer to focus on Yoga and other forms of holistic wellness. But because she loves the park, she also offered to continue through the summer and train her replacement.

LeeAnne started with us in March and has been learning all aspects of the business of running a naturist park. She has been slowly transitioning into the manager position since her arrival. Nikki will continue working with her through the summer and early fall so the changeover should be relatively smooth. So far, LeeAnne has shown herself to be a quick learner who doesn't shy away from responsibility. Her background working in a laboratory means that she has a solid understanding of process and procedure. She is definitely committed to the job having moved her whole family from Markdale, Ontario in order to take the position. We look forward seeing her grow into the job – in more ways than one since she and Andrew are expecting their third child!

Photo: LeeAnne at the steering wheel and Nikki holding the clipboard.

Tuesday, 7 July 2015

Bare Oaks' Got Talent – July 18

Join us for Bare Oaks' Got Talent on Saturday July 18th. You can:
  1. Perform
  2. Be a spectator-judge
You can sing, dance, play an instrument, juggle, or anything else you think others will appreciate.

The audience will vote for their favourite act who will win the Bare Oaks' Got Talent trophy.

Performers: there will be a live band available to accompany you if you want. They have a number of tunes that they already know. There is a list here. But you can also ask them to play something else – send an email with the details of what you want to or talk to Nikki in the office.

The show will start at 7pm outside the Bare Bistro but will move indoors if the weather is inclement.

Monday, 29 June 2015

Electric Vehicle Charging Station

Chevrolet Volt plugging into the Chargepoint station at Bare Oaks

There has now been a Chargepoint Electric Vehicle (EV) charging station at Bare Oaks for about a year. The dual-port station is part of our commitment to the environmental aspect of the naturist movement. It is free for registered visitors and members. We didn’t think that it would get much use so we were surprised by the number of cars we’ve seen charging in the past year: A couple of Teslas, Chevrolet Volt, Ford Fusion plugin hybrid, Nissan Leaf, and a Smart electric.

Visitors should request a charging session when they register at the office. Members who will regularly be using our charging stations should order a card from Chargepoint. After you receive it, please come to the office to have it authorized for our charging station. You then won't have to come to the office each time you want to charge your EV.

Here are various places you can see the listing for our charging station:
There are 3 basic types of car chargers:
  • Level 1 – Your standard 120 volt wall plug
  • Level 2 – A 240 volt specialized charger, usually with a J1772 connector.
  • Level 3 – A high-speed charger that will recharge a car to 80% in 15-20 minutes.
We have a dual, 6.6 kW, Level 2 charger. Of course, it’s not as fast as a Level 3 charger. But most people who come to Bare Oaks Family Naturist Park want to stay for a while. This charging station makes getting here well within range of just about any EV owner in the Greater Toronto Area.

Some people criticize the high cost of the cars. But price keeps dropping as the technology improves. Like anything else, somebody needs to invest in the beginning so that new technologies can develop. In addition, an EV will save you money too. Depending on the car you have, driving a kilometer on electricity will cost you 75%-85% less than using gasoline. And electric motors require much less maintenance than internal combustion engines.

Another criticism is that the electricity used by the cars creates as much pollution when it is generated. But that is not correct:
  • As the Plug 'n Drive website explains: "because power stations run more or less continuously at efficient cycles, an electric car fully charged with coal or fossil fuels still produces less emissions than a gas car." But our province does not generate electricity exclusively from fossil fuels.
  • Ontario has eliminated all coal-fired generating plants.
  • 23% of Ontario's electricity is generated using water power
  • Ontario is investing heavily in the development of clean electricity generation through solar and wind power.
  • 58% is generated using nuclear which does not generate greenhouse gases or airborne pollution. Of course there are other concerns with nuclear generation.
So even if we take the greenhouse gases created by electricity generation, EVs make sense. Plug 'n Drive did the calculation:
The average driver in Canada drives 20,000 km over the course of a year. In that time, a gas car would emit more than 3,500 kg of C02 into the air – while the EV would emit just 340 kg. If just five per cent of Ontarians switched to electric cars, Ontario could reduce its C02 emissions by over 1.9 billion kg. 

Interested in an electric car?  Plug 'n Drive has a list of EVs available in Canada.

Wednesday, 10 June 2015

Volleyball News!

Michele Rauter has joined us for the month of June to help develop Bare Oaks's volleyball program. She will be participating in our 9th GTA Naturist Volleyball Tournament where she will provide coaching in clinics for all all players at all levels.

Michele is a self-described flower child from the great north; born and raised in North Vancouver, BC. She spent most of her youth on courts, tracks, and fields as a multi-sport athlete. Excelling in many but deciding on One, she attended the University of Wyoming on a full volleyball scholarship which began her path around the world. She followed that with professional play in 3 European countries: Finland, Germany, and Switzerland.

Along the road came trophies, injuries, travels, and many great people! Beach volleyball naturally came calling and she eagerly answered; ready for a new challenge and a softer play ground. Time, training, and travel were spent on the sand within Canada and the US; largely in Southern California which was her base for some time. In the mix of all her volleyball play, she typically coached in off-season; elementary through university, boys and girls, sand and hard court, internationally. If they were listening, she was sharing!

Michele first learned about naturism/nudism and nude volleyball when she agreed to be part of ESPN's team at the Naked Volleyball Superbowl at Whitethorn Lodge in Pennsylvania . That experience was published in the October 19 2009 ESPN Magazine's Body Issue. (there is also a video) It was the beginning of Michele's love of naturism and nude volleyball.

She now resides in the Caribbean, on a tropical island named Roatan, where she continues to coach and works as a massage therapist, yoga instructor, and inspirer.

Michele will be playing on the Bare Oaks team this Saturday at the Hope Volleyball Tournament in Toronto. (De Bares 17G)

Saturday, 6 June 2015

The Bare Bistro

We are very pleased to announce that Kevin Linkie is now the independent operator of the Bare Bistro at Bare Oaks Family Naturist Park. Kevin has been a regular for many years. He is very excited about combining his enthusiasm for the park with his passion for food. Not only does Kevin have a friendly and engaging personality but he is also a professional chef with years of foodservice experience. He has many ideas and has already implemented a few of them. But it will take some time for him to catch up with all facets of the business he has taken over.

Of course, this means that after more than 5 years of dedication to the Bare Bistro, Liz has decided to try something new. Being an entrepreneur can be rewarding but it can also be very challenging; particularly when running a restaurant that is mostly seasonal. We wish her all the best with her next venture.

Until the fall, the Bare Bistro is open for lunch and dinner every day. It is also open for breakfast on Saturday and Sunday. For complete details, visit the Bare Bistro's website: or contact Kevin by email:

Sunday, 31 May 2015

WIFI Internet at Bare Oaks – Survey

Bare Oaks is considering installing a dedicated fibre-optic internet feed. That would provide speeds of more than 1,000 megabits per second which is more than enough bandwidth for everyone to watch video services like Netflix. But the cost is very high. So before we proceed, we need to make sure that there is enough demand to cover the expense. Please help us by answering a few questions.

Take the survey:

Tuesday, 28 April 2015

Bare Oaks Players Auditions

The Bare Oaks Players are holding auditions for the 2015 season - by appointment only. Call 905-473-6465 or email (preferred).

To audition, you need to have a piece prepared to present to the 3 Directors (Royce, Marc and Judy) that is not from the current playbill. It’s OK not to have it memorized and it should not be more than 4 minutes long.

Dates currently available:
  • Thursday April 30th @ 7:00pm. 7:30pm, 8:00pm and 8:30pm
  • Saturday May 2nd @ 10:00am, 10:30am, 11:00am, 2:00pm, 2:30pm, 3:00pm
  • Sunday May 3rd @ 2:00pm, 2:30pm, 3:00pm
  • Thursday May 7th @ 7:00pm. 7:30pm, 8:00pm and 8:30pm
  • Saturday May 9th @ 10:00am, 10:30am, 11:00am, 2:00pm, 2:30pm, 3:00pm
  • Sunday May 10th @ 2:00pm, 2:30pm, 3:00pm
To see the playbill for 2015, visit the B.O.P. Blog. (you can also subscribe to receive their updates)

The Bare Oaks Players is an independent group of Bare Oaks members who share their a love for  theater and produce live performances.

Saturday, 25 April 2015

Volunteer Day and Member's Meeting - Saturday May 2

Naturist Volunteers
It's time again for our annual volunteer day. While there are many people volunteering all year, this is the day we set aside for a massive volunteer effort to get things ready for the season. We are told that it is also a fun day that many people look forward to. A big thank you to the multitude of people willing to give up their time to make Bare Oaks Family Naturist Park a better place.

Volunteer Day -  Saturday May 2, 2015

10am to 3pm

  • Everyone is welcome! Lunch will be provided, free of charge, for all volunteers.
  • Jobs vary from laying screening on pathways, to deconstruction of cabana, to building a ramp on the deck, to weeding the mini putt.
  • There will be projects suitable for all abilities and levels of ambition.
  • Non-members who volunteer will not be charged any day fees. (please register at the office)

4pm to 5:30pm – Members' Meeting

All members are invited to come and get an update on what's happening at Bare Oaks Family Naturist Park and ask questions.

Saturday, 21 March 2015

Long-term Campsite Policy Change

We are sorry to announce that, effective immediately, we will no longer be assigning long-term campsites. The waiting list has been discontinued. Any long-term site that is relinquished will become a short-term campsite. All projects that contribute to making campsites more usable for long-term stays have been stopped. Members with an existing long-term agreement will still be allowed to sell their trailer with the site if the new site-holders qualify for membership. But any potential purchaser will be subject to increased scrutiny.

The reason for this is that an individual, with the assistance of a few members, has made long-term campsites unsustainable.

How we got here is astonishing and almost unbelievable:
  1. In the spring of 2013, Mr. X first came for a visit. Through the early summer of 2014, he made a few short stays. He seemed quiet and relatively well-behaved.
  2. In August of 2013 he applied for membership and asked for a long-term campsite. Because none were available, he asked to be placed on the waiting list and took an unserviced campsite. We confirmed that he had a permanent residence and he agreed, like everyone else,  to use his campsite only for recreational purposes.
  3. In the late summer and fall of 2013, we received a number of complaints about his behaviour. Through the winter of 2013-2014, it became obvious that he was using his RV as his permanent residence.
  4. In the spring of 2014, we informed Mr. X that we would not be renewing his campsite. He asked for a weeks to make alternate arrangements and we agreed.
  5. After seeing two promised departure dates pass, we served Mr. X with a no trespass notice. When he still refused to leave, we called the police to have him removed. When the police arrived, the claimed protection under the Residential Tenancies Act (RTA).
  6. We were surprised given that we are very clear about the nature of Bare Oaks as a campground and that the RTA specifically excludes campgrounds. However, the police were unsure so they left it to us to clarify the situation with the Landlord Tenant Board (LTB).
  7. We filed with the LTB and received a hearing date four weeks later. We hired one of the two top RTA lawyers in Ontario to put together the argument.
  8. On the day of the hearing, we were surprised to see members Y and Z present with Mr. X. In fact, he did not speak. Member Y did all of the speaking for him and presented a rather misleading interpretation of the situation at Bare Oaks. Even more surprising, the adjudicator did not seem particularly interested in hearing our lawyer's arguments. She asked a lot of questions and issued a temporary order giving Mr. X full access to all facilities while she made her decision.
  9. Nearly 4 weeks later, she issued an order giving Mr. X the full protection of the RTA and separated his campsite from membership. (over which she admitted the RTA has no authority) So effectively, Mr. X had the use of his campsite but no other facility because we withdrew his membership privileges.
  10. Our lawyer was astounded and we immediately filed an appeal with the LTB because he saw so many errors in law. But in an even more bewildering decision, the LTB denied our opportunity to appeal. We then filed an appeal with the Ontario Superior Court of Justice. But having already spent thousands of dollars in legal fees and with an estimate from our lawyer of $20,000 to $30,000 and no guarantee of winning, we decided that abandoning the appeal was the most fiscally prudent direction.
  11. We were hoping that Mr. X would leave as soon as he could afford it given that his RV is not very comfortable in the winter. Unfortunately, member Y provided him with a much more comfortable place to live over the winter.
What does protection of the RTA means to Mr. X? It means that he can only be evicted if he fails to pay his "rent" or if he violates the law while on the property. He can be as rude as he wants. He can make statements and suggestions to women that are completely inconsistent with naturist principles. He can even do illegal things as long as he doesn't get caught and convicted for them.

But it is important to understand that he is also limited to his campsite, the road leading to it, the use of washrooms/showers and the office for administrative purposes. The LTB has stated that they have no jurisdiction on membership so it has been withdrawn. He has no legal access to the pool, saunas, hot tub, beach, outback, clubhouse, restaurant, etc...

Additionally, the LTB decision only applies to Mr. X. It is not biding on the park in general. But nothing prevents others from making similar claims. Given the experience of other campgrounds, not everyone would win but it is possible that some could have successes similar to Mr. X. He is not the first person to turn a campsite into a residence protected by the RTA. It all depends on the LTB adjudicator you get and how they interpret the RTA definitions.

For the benefit and enjoyment of everyone at Bare Oaks Family Naturist Park, we need to be able to easily and quickly enforce our rules. We need to ensure that we only include those who support naturist values. We need to be able to swiftly exclude individuals who make others uncomfortable or take away from the enjoyment of the park by others.

We have not given up. We are working on a number of solutions to ensure that we can maintain our naturist environment. This first step is hopefully a temporary one while we work on other solutions that will take a bit more time.

We apologize for bothering everyone with this issue. Normally, we deal with problem individuals quietly and directly. Members and visitors come to Bare Oaks to get away from life's problems and live the naturist life. They don't want to worry about operational issues and we do our best to insulate them from problems. Unfortunately, the current situation requires us to act in a manner that will have a negative impact on many people. We are truly sorry that it has come to this.

Photo by Amy Messere used under Creative Commons License.

Sunday, 15 March 2015

See Nude Art Nude

Nude painting of a woman sitting
Bare Oaks Family Naturist Park has worked with THEMUSEUM to organize a clothes-free evening in the Getting Naked exhibit of nude art on Friday, March 27, 2015 from 7pm to 10pm. You can buy your tickets here. If you want to use Facebook to invite others, here is the event. If you prefer Google+, here is the event.

By being nude themselves, the viewers will experience an atypical relationship with the art. No longer in a position of being a mere voyeurs, the exhibit guests will become part of the works themselves as they explore their own feelings in relation to the artists’ intent.

THEMUSEUM in downtown Kitchener, Ontario put together this special exhibit to showcase some of the all-but-forgotten nudes, unclothed and naked pieces of art in the Canadian Art Council Art Bank’s collection. Many of the artists are recognized Canadian icons, well known for other works, however the nudes have remained rarely seen.

Victoria Henry, Canadian Art Bank Director, wants to see these pieces displayed. But she says that “no one has had the courage to show the works until David Marskell of THEMUSEUM enthusiastically agreed.”

Marskell, who is CEO of THEMUSEUM, wants to take the discussion beyond the art. That is why he said that they are going “to pair the exhibit with discussion around nudity and culture.”

“Since its rebranding and evolution over the last several years, THEMUSEUM has made its mark in establishing itself as an organization that is not afraid to make bold choices,” says Virginia Eichhorn, Getting Naked Curator. She also says that “it seems surprising that here, in 2015, we can be made so uncomfortable with seeing a bit of skin. Why is that? Getting Naked sets out to answer that question as well as to provide examples of the enduring power of the human figure, in all its naked glory, as a powerful purveyor of meaning and representation of many ways and states of being.”

The Getting Naked exhibit opens March 7th, 2015 and runs through May. But there will only be ONE opportunity for to be nude while viewing the nude art – March 27th from 7pm to 10pm

The nude event is part of the Naked Dialogues. There are a number of very interesting events:

Wednesday March 18, 2015
Documentary – Killing Us Softly: Advertising’s Image of Women
This documentary shows how women are portrayed in advertising, specifically the over sexulization, negative stereotypes of body images, and objectification. It gives a critical overview of the advertising world's treatment of women.
Runtime: 45 minutes
6:30pm – Included with price of admission

Sunday, March 22, 2015
Many Shades of Naked: Food in Waterloo Region
Andrew Coppolino, writer/broadcaster | Food columnist with CBC Radio Waterloo Region, Kitchener Post and Rogers TV Grand River Living.
This session will, in a deliciously voyeuristic way, look at the many shades of naked food and naked eating in Waterloo Region from nakedness that Schmecks to eating in the raw.
1:30pm – Admission is free with a suggested donation of $5.00

Friday, March 27, 2015
Naked in the Gallery – Experiencing the Artwork Unclothed
Presented by the Bare Oaks Family Naturist Park
By being nude themselves, the viewer experiences a different relationship with the art. No longer in a position of being a mere voyeur, the exhibit guest now becomes part of the work itself as they explore their own feelings in relation to the artist’s intent. Join us at THEMUSEUM for this unique, artistic experience. Visitors will arrive clothed and have the opportunity to undress in a safe, semi-private area, leaving behind the multitude of boundaries and restrictions clothing imposes on the body and individual. Visitors are invited to explore the exhibition at their own pace, admiring the art, conversing with one another and celebrating nakedness.
This event is open for all ages, children under 13 must be accompanied by a parent.
7:00pm – 10:00pm. $10.00 (including HST).

Sunday, March 29, 2015
Nudist, Naturist or Gymnosophist?
Stéphane Deschênes, Human Body Advocate
It is normal to be embarrassed, ashamed, and even offended by our own image. But over a century ago, some people began to think that this attitude was not natural. This talk will discuss the beginnings of the movement in the late 19th century, the various principles behind the beliefs, and its evolution over the last century as well as the current situation.
Please Note: The presentation contains vivid and honest images of all parts of the human body.
1:30pm – Admission is free with a suggested donation of $5.00

Wednesday April 1, 2015
Documentaries – Behind the Robe: The Faces of Nude Models
Life models are often at the heart of nude artwork. They pose for artists who interpret their figures into works of art, but are rarely acknowledged. Marshall Ward, a fine arts instructor, decided it was time for life model's stories to be told. His documentary explores the lives of two models, Ed Cz and Georgina Brown, and allows them to discuss their work, both intellectually and physically.
Runtime: 40 minutes
6:30pm – Included with price of admission

Wednesday April 8, 2015 
Documentaries – Fig Leaf: The Biggest Cover-up in History
This documentary explores the use of fig leaves to cover up nakedness in art pieces throughout history.
Runtime: 60 minutes
6:30pm – Included with price of admission

Sunday April 12, 2015
Not Always a Prude: The History of Nudity and Censorship in Hollywood Film
Philippa Gates, PhD - Professor in Film Studies – Wilfrid Laurier University
Today, the preconception we have of Classical Hollywood film is that it presented a sanitized “Leave it to Beaver” world where everyone abstained from sex until marriage and married couples never slept naked (or even together, for that matter!). While that might be true in films produced from the mid-1930s to the mid-1960s, before 1934, Hollywood relished in sex, adultery, and nudity. The history of Hollywood onscreen nudity is the history of film censorship. This talk will begin with a discussion of Hollywood’s “Pre-Code” films of the early 1930s that depicted sex and nudity with comfort and frequency, and then the impact of those depictions in terms of the rise of censorship. Decades later, when the system of self-censorship—the Production Code—was abandoned in the late 1960s in favor of a Ratings System, Hollywood film began once more to indulge in the depiction of sex and nudity to attract audiences. Today, producers are forced to debate whether to include shocking sex scenes in the hopes that they will raise the profile of the film and attract more movie-goers, or whether to leave sex and nudity on the cutting room floor to guarantee a broader audience. Despite the fact that, today, we regard ourselves as more liberal than our ancestors of almost a century ago, in this talk, I will show how Hollywood films of earlier decades were more comfortable and realistic in their depictions of nudity compared to film today.
1:30pm – Admission is free with a suggested donation of $5.00

Sunday April 19, 2015
The Reclining Nude: From Figure to Body
Joan Coutu, PhD, Bojana Videkanic, PhD
This two-part talk will address various aspects of 'the reclining nude' from the history of Western and non-Western art. We will survey aesthetic, art historical and socio-political contexts of the nude as it appeared in various public discourses.
1:30pm – Admission is free with a suggested donation of $5.00

Wednesday April 22, 2015
Naked Joy – A Live Performance Art Piece
Jessalyn Broadfoot, Jewels Krauss, Janice Lee, Shauna Thompson 
Four women explore the body, its strengths, its vulnerabilities, its oddities from the familiar to the absurd and with a constant aim to be present (stripped bare to the root of emotion) this physical performance piece asks "what does it look like to be joyfully naked?"
Please Note: This performance contains some nudity.
7:00pm – Included with price of admission

Sunday April 26, 2015
NUDE: Object vs. Subject
Jennifer Toole - Canadian-American Photographer
Jennifer Toole will delve into the epistemological quandary of subject vs. object as it relates to the creation and display of the female nude in contemporary art and culture. Following an exploration of the agency of the muse, sexual objectification, and the male gaze Jennifer will make a case for Individualism: an all-inclusive ideological space where the artistic nude will be free to evolve productively.
1:30pm – Admission is free with a suggested donation of $5.00

Sunday May 3, 2015
Naked in the Media
Moderator - Mike Tennant - Marketing consultant, multi-award-winning ad writer and bestselling co-author of The Age of Persuasion.
Neil Ballantyne – The Waterloo Regional Record 
Allison Leonard – Editor in Chief, The Community Edition, WLU
Check back for additional participants
Media, no matter the medium, is a tool for sharing information with the public. Whether it is current events or breaking news, the radio, newspapers, magazines, television, internet or the vast remaining collection of mass media outlets may offer us a view into the happenings of our world. But what kind of view is being shared? What lens is placed upon the information that we intake, who decides what we see and why? When it comes to the topic of nakedness and nudity in the media, how, if at all, is the information communicated? Award-winning ad writer and bestselling co-author, Mike Tennant, will host a media panel of industry experts, igniting discussions on the topics of censorship, private versus public, marketing strategies, naked versus nude, scandals and more.
1:30pm – Admission is free with a suggested donation of $5.00

Wednesday May 6, 2015
Life Drawing Workshop Presented by Button Factory Arts
There is no other subject as dynamic and compelling as the human figure. Join us in a self-directed life drawing experience, no formal instruction will take place but a professional instructor will be present to help you with any questions or make suggestions. All skill levels will have the opportunity to draw from a live nude model, while gaining an intuitive understanding of the human form. Explore quick gestures (30 seconds to 5 minutes) and more complex poses (15 minutes and up).
Please Note: Easels will be provided. Supplies are entirely up to the participant to bring: drawing boards, paper, pencils, erasers, charcoal, pastels, colour pencils, watercolour etc.
7:00pm – 9:00pm. $20.00 (including HST). Please pre-register in advance

Wednesday May 13, 2015
Life Drawing Workshop Presented by Button Factory Arts
There is no other subject as dynamic and compelling as the human figure. Join us in a self-directed life drawing experience, no formal instruction will take place but a professional instructor will be present to help you with any questions or make suggestions. All skill levels will have the opportunity to draw from a live nude model, while gaining an intuitive understanding of the human form. Explore quick gestures (30 seconds to 5 minutes) and more complex poses (15 minutes and up).
Please Note: Easels will be provided. Supplies are entirely up to the participant to bring: drawing boards, paper, pencils, erasers, charcoal, pastels, colour pencils, watercolour etc.
7:00pm – 9:00pm. $20.00 (including HST). Please pre-register in advance

More details on the Getting Naked exhibit can be found here:

After Naked in the Gallery, you are invited to socialize downstairs (clothed) at Imbibe:

There are a number of hotels in the area if you want to stay overnight:

Photo: Painting by Glenn Howarth titled "Portrait of Laura No. 1" (1973)

Saturday, 17 January 2015

Charlie Hebdo and Naturism

 As we reflect on the horrible events in Paris, we may not think that there are any implications for naturism. Yet there are. Certainly, nobody is killing us for our beliefs. Nor are any naturists turning violent against those who oppose us. But at the core of the Charlie Hebdo event is the concept of offence. That is the same notion that is used to justify restricting your right to sunbathe clothing-free at the beach, in the park or even in your backyard at home.

The news media is debating whether to show the latest cover of Charlie Hebdo because it depicts the Islamic prophet Muhammad. Many have censored it and justify their decision by saying that it is offensive to Muslims. It probably is offensive to many and it is unfortunate that people will be upset. But how far do we go? Some vegetarians are probably offended at seeing images of meat. Does that mean McDonald's should not advertise their hamburgers? Some people are offended at seeing two men kiss. Some may be offended at seeing women wearing a short skirt. Where does that end?

Blasphemy and offence only exist when people who consider the ideas, words or images being expressed as blasphemous and offensive. These are not universal values. What offends one person is meaningless to someone else. For example, the French word for a seal is "phoque". (when pronounced the French way it sounds exactly like the f-word) Spoken out loud in an English environment, it is a highly offensive word which would upset many. But in French, it is an innocent word spoken by young children and their parents when they go to the zoo.

Fundamentally, we should not prevent people from saying and doing things that don't impact the liberty of others – even if it is offensive to some. To a naturist, being nude is natural. It does not impact anyone else other than causing offence to some.

The big story is the intolerance, extremism, and violence of a few emotionally disturbed individuals who were led astray by evil people. Our thoughts and prayers are with the victims, their families and friends. The public discourse has been about free speech. But it should also be about freedom in general. If it does not limit someone else's freedom, what a person says, does or wears should not be subject to restrictions just because it might offends others. Offence is very personal and should stay that way in a free and democratic society.

"Qui s'offense facilement découvre ses points faibles."
Étienne-François de Vernage ; Maximes et réflexions (1690)
[One who is easily offended reveals their weaknesses.]