The Gallery held its Annual General Meeting on Tuesday, May 29. The meeting provided an overview of KW|AG’s 2011 year and unveiled newly elected board members.
KW|AG Executive Director Shirley Madill reminded everyone of the excellent programs and exhibitions the Gallery created in 2011 including Michelle Allard’s Materialscape, Expressions 36 and the fall exhibition The Limits, which saw an 18 per cent increase in visitation from the previous time period the year before. She also touted the Ontario
Association of Art Galleries (OAAG) “Exhibitions of the Year” Award received in 2011 for Ernest Daetwyler’s exhibit, Reality in Reverse [barn raising], which was on view at the Gallery September 17, 2010 – January 9, 2011. Shirley thanked staff, recognizing those who have worked here for five or more years with a certificate. KW|AG’s Board of Directors also received special recognition. The room came to life with laughter as members were presented with some very unique awards. Board member Melissa Durrell was presented with the “The Happy Feet” award, Donna Carbell “Rookie of the Year,” Bryce Kraeker “Legal Eagle Eyes Award” and Murray Gamble received the “Philosopher King” award.
A warm welcome was extended to new members of the Gallery’s Board of Directors: Shehnaz Banduk, Elizabeth Heald and Kris Schumacher join the board. Board President Judith Stephens-Wells reminded everyone of the contributions made by all members of the Board – volunteers who contribute countless hours of time, and also support the Gallery and the arts through donations.
Judith reiterated the Gallery’s mission: connecting people and ideas through art and spoke about efforts to meet that mission through collaboration with a number of community groups including, CAFKA, The Public and Catholic School Boards, Girl Geeks KW, UW and WLU fine arts classes, Chamber of Commerce Young Professionals, TED-X Waterloo, The Alzheimer Society of KW (more on them in a minute) and many other corporate and community partners. She spoke about the Gallery’s growing reach through social media channels like Facebook, Twitter, You Tube and this blog, free-admission.com and touched on the facility challenges the Gallery is facing, specifically with our Co|lab interactive space (at the front of the Gallery). KW|AG established a $100,000 campaign in 2011 to refurbish this key community programming space, to better serve both the Gallery and the community.
Those attending learned about the Gather at the Gallery program, a KW|AG partnership with the Alzheimer Society of KW. Dr. Lisa Meschino, a Postdoctoral Fellow at the University of Waterloo and Cara Dowhaniuk, a Dementia Support Counsellor with the Alzheimer Society spoke about the program and its value. The pair said it has help provide participants with a strong support network and that connecting with others through art has strengthened that network and given a new sense of hope. They spoke about how rewarding the experience has been not only for its participants but for them as well.
The evening ended with a reception in the Gallery’s lobby. Many took the opportunity to chat with Dr. Meschino and Cara about the Gather at the Gallery Program, to meet the new board members and mingle and enjoy some treats from Sablétine Fine Pastries in Waterloo (which were gobbled up quickly).
Special thanks to everyone who attended this year’s AGM. Cheers to 2011, and we can’t wait to see all that 2012 has in store. See you next year when we do it all again!