The Andrea Bird Bursary

featured artwork by Andrea Bird

Andrea Bird

It is thanks to Andrea Bird that we are where we are today. The organizers of the Canadian Encaustic Conference first met each other at Andrea’s Encaustic Studio, The Hive in Caledon, Ontario.

In 2010, Andrea Bird and her artist husband, Daniel Beirne, established The Hive Encaustic Studio at the Alton Mill where they taught encaustic and creativity workshops and displayed encaustic paintings. They also launched Waxworks Encaustic Supplies to sell encaustic medium and other supplies online.

Andrea hosted monthly  “Connect + Create” sessions where groups of artists discussed the sources of creative inspiration. These monthly sessions brought us together forming deep bonds of sisterhood, and trust.

Andrea with some of her C+C students at her Retrospective in 2019
LtoR: Denise Callaghan, Jane Cousens, Andrea Bird, Amelia Kraemer, Ruth Maude, Ruth MacDonald

Inaugural Canadian Encaustic Conference 2025

In 2007, Andrea attended the first-ever International Encaustic Conference and in subsequent years she taught there.

The idea of a Canadian Encaustic Conference originated with Andrea and Dan but Andrea’s cancer diagnosis prevented them from moving ahead with the plan. In 2012, Andrea was diagnosed with breast cancer. Almost five years later, after having gone through all the recommended treatments, her cancer came back. In 2017, she received her stage 4 diagnosis. Andrea and Dan left the Hive to focus on the time they had left together.

Amelia Kraemer never forgot about Andrea’s idea, she reached out to other Hivesters to form a Conference organizing committee. The inaugural Canadian Encaustic Conference will be held in Owen Sound, Ontario in September 2025.

The theme of the inaugural conference is Connect + Create.

The Andrea Bird Bursary

Andrea continues to live with cancer. She is pleased that her vision of a Canadian Encaustic Conference will become a reality. She is honoured that the Andrea Bird Bursary will be awarded in her name.

The Andrea Bird Bursary will be awarded annually providing two emerging Canadian artists free conference attendance.

Andrea’s Poetry

Poetry is very important to Andrea, at first other people’s poems and then her own. It seems fitting that the theme of our first online exhibition to raise funds for the Andrea Bird Bursary is Waxing Poetic.

Andrea has just released a beautiful chapbook of poetry.

Bringing some of these poems together in this book is another light in the dark, inviting you into what it has been like to live with dying. I have paired the poems with some details from a piece I was commissioned to make called The Dance of Life. I am inviting you into this dance between the words and the art. 

Andrea Bird

If we collect more money than we award this year, your donation will remain in the designated fund to be awarded in future years. Submission fees from our online exhibitions will fund Conference awards. We will also hold a fundraising event during the Conference.

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