Background of VPANVisual & Performing Arts Newmarket was formed in 1988 by a volunteer group of Newmarket citizens who believed that Newmarket should, and could, support live classical music concert performances and exhibitions of fine art. Since the formation, the group has accomplished the following:
- In 1990, commissioned a study of theatre facilities in the area and presented it to the Town of Newmarket.
- Between 1989 and 1994, sponsored three concerts featuring The Canadian Brass, The Yale Glee Club and The Hungarian Children's Choir to assess the response of a Newmarket audience to live classical music performance.
- In 1997, with the opening of the Newmarket Theatre, instituted "Three for the Show," a Sunday afternoon concert series, featuring professional and acclaimed artists.
- In 1998, staged an exhibition of art by well-known artist and Newmarket resident, Frederick Hagan.
- In 2000, introduced a "Young Artists' Showcase" featuring local performers, who hope to make music their careers.
- In 2002, established an "artists in residence" program sponsoring the Avalon Trio, a professional piano trio (violin, cello & piano). They gave educational programs and a full concert under the auspices of VPAN.
- In 2006, VPAN celebrated its 10th Anniversary of presenting concerts with a reception and recital for subscribers and advertisers.
- In 2007, VPAN sponsored "Shoestring Opera" performances in four Newmarket elementary schools.
- In 2009, VPAN helped promote the first annual Newmarket Studio Tour.
- From 2011 to 2013, VPAN donated one $100.00 scholarship to deserving young musicians at the Newmarket Lions Music Festival, and one $100.00 scholarship to the Newmarket Voice Festival.
- In 2012, VPAN celebrated its 15th year of “Three for the Show” concerts with a musical afternoon at Madsen’s featuring the Li’l Rascals Horn Trio. The proceeds from this afternoon resulted in a $1000.00 scholarship for a music student selected by ORMTA (Ontario Music Teachers Association) in Mary Lou Stanton’s name.
- In 2013, with the help of a grant from Newmarket Celebrates the Arts, VPAN again hired the Shoestring Opera to perform “The Schoolyard Carmen” in two public schools in Newmarket.
- On May 1, 2016, VPAN, in partnership with ORMTA, sponsored a Master Class for Duets taught by Janelle Fung and Phil Chiu; five pairs of local piano students participated.