Born in Montreal in 1927, Sidney moved early with his family to Perth, Ontario in the picturesque Ottawa Valley, where he soon developed an intense and abiding interest in the landscape and the outdoor life. 

It was, however, in the field of music that Mr. Mooney's artistic talents were first encouraged; in that he took up the study of the violin and vocal music in Perth before moving to Toronto to further his education at the Royal Conservatory of Music and his career in various choral ensembles.  It is noteworthy that today, this innate musical sensibility persists to infuse his works with the counterpoint and rhythm of colour and composition which are the hallmarks of his artistic signature.

Some time later, while working in Ottawa, Mr. Mooney began to pursue his vocation in painting and, though largely self-taught, it was at this point in his life that he was fortunate to meet A.Y. Jackson during many of his frequent teaching stints among Ottawa art students and teachers.