While there I had a chance to admire the work of 'The Indian Group of Seven,' otherwise known as the Woodland School of Artists, that painted in the 1970s.
The most famous member of that group is Norval Morrisseau, who Marc Chagall compared to Picasso. Prolific, gifted, and hard drinking, Norval earnestly believed he spent most of his time on the astral plane.
A few of his pieces were diptyches or triptyches, done in somewhat unconventional forms (oval, parabolic, different sizes). I thought it was interesting to take the subjects out of a rectangular view. Why does so much that we see need to be contained in box form? One of the most memorable was eye-shaped, and called 'Eye of the Needle.' The painting contained a miniature self-portrait of the artist as a reflection in his own eye, with a needle and thread in the foreground.
Of course, no visit to the McMichael would be complete without taking in another favourite, Emily Carr. I can almost see her landscapes breathe, they are so full of energy and light.
Although it is not quite the same as being there in person, here is a link to a virtual Group of Seven gallery, and more Emily Carr.