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Ontario Association of Art Galleries

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The Ontario Association of Art Galleries was established in 1968 to encourage development of public art galleries, art museums, community galleries and related visual arts organizations in Ontario, Canada. It was incorporated in Ontario in 1970, and registered as a charitable organization. It is a successor organization to the Southern Ontario Gallery Group founded in 1947, renamed the Art Institute of Ontario in 1952. The association runs courses and workshops and provides assistance to art galleries in areas such as conservation and arranging exhibitions.[1] Most member galleries participate in a reciprocal admissions program, where membership of one gallery gives admission to the others.[2] The organization provides a liaison between galleries and the Ontario Arts Council.[3]

Demetra Christakos is the executive director.[4] Mary Misner[5], Stuart Reid,[6] and Michael Burtch have served as President of the association[7] and Heather Fullerton is on the Board of Directors.[8]


Since 1988 the Association has hosted an annual juried and peer-assessed award show in celebration of outstanding achievement, artistic merit, and excellence in arts institutions and professionals in the public art gallery sector. The Awards recognize new exhibitions, publications, programs and community engagements that have been produced and commissioned by Ontario’s public galleries throughout the past year. There are eleven categories for artistic merit and excellence:[9]

  • Exhibition[10] (sub divided by cost),[11]
  • Curatorial Writing,[12]
  • Art Writing,
  • Public Program,
  • Education,
  • Art Publication,
  • Design
  • Partnership,
  • Lifetime Achievement,
  • Colleague
  • Volunteer[13]


OAAG's membership consists of over 270 art museums, public art galleries, artist-run centres, visual arts organizations, professional colleagues, and friends across Ontario, including:[14]

Selected publications[edit]

  • Krueger, Pamela (1991), Why you need a conservator : limitations of a gallery in coping with collections management, Toronto: Ontario Association of Art Galleries, ISBN 0-9694987-3-X
  • Mibach, Lisa (1991), Conservation cooperatives : existing models, Toronto: Ontario Association of Art Galleries, ISBN 0-9694987-4-8
  • Nasby, Judith (1991), The partnership between curator and conservator : effective collections care, Toronto: Ontario Association of Art Galleries, ISBN 0-9694987-5-6
  • "Seminar and conservation survey" Roche, Roger. 1972
  • Wellheiser, Joanne (1991), Preventive conservation : the key to preservation, Toronto: Ontario Association of Art Galleries, ISBN 0-9694987-6-4
  • Cossman, Brenda (1995), Censorship and the arts : law, controversy, debate, facts, Toronto: Ontario Assoc. of Art Galleries, ISBN 0-9694987-9-9
  • Agnew, Ella (1991), Legaleasy : a step-by-step legal guide to collecting for Canadian art galleries and museums, Toronto: Ontario Association of Art Galleries, ISBN 0-9694987-1-3
  • Zemans, Joyce (2001), Art gallery handbook, Toronto: Ontario Association of Art Galleries, ISBN 0-9681238-1-3
  • Calculating the economic impact of cultural organizations, Toronto: OAAG, 1984, ISBN 0-9690187-4-6


  1. "Ontario Association of Art Galleries Website" OAAG. Retrieved 3 March 2009.
  2. "Membership: Reciprocal Admission" OAAG. Retrieved 3 March 2009.
  3. "ONTARIO ASSOCIATION OF ART GALLERIES" Ontario Arts Council. Retrieved 3 March 2009.
  4. "Guelph arts community won't be losing Judith Nasby to retirement". Guelph Mercury. 24 October 2013. Retrieved 7 March 2019.
  5. "Longtime director Mary Misner retires from Cambridge's Idea Exchange". The record. 29 April 2015. Retrieved 7 March 2019.
  6. "Community Foundation Grey Bruce hires executive director". Meaford Express. 19 April 2016. Retrieved 7 March 2019.
  7. "Michael Burtch named as 2017 Medal of Merit recipient Notable artist, art historian, sculptor, percussionist and curator t". SOO today. 30 December 2017. Retrieved 7 March 2019.
  8. "Georgina's Heather Fullerton re-elected to provincial art board". York Region. 28 November 2013. Retrieved 7 March 2019.
  9. "Agnes Etherington Art Centre Exhibit on OAAG Awards Short List". Kingston Herald. 9 October 2018. Retrieved 7 March 2019.
  10. "Jack Olson Gallery to host 'Arranging Nature'". NIU Today. 14 January 2013. Retrieved 7 March 2019.
  11. "Indigenous artists featured at GNO". Sudbury Star. 30 May 2017. Retrieved 7 March 2019.
  12. "Bye, RMG". Oshawa Express. 28 March 2018. Retrieved 7 March 2019.
  13. "Art Gallery of Sudbury chair honoured". Sudbury Star. 2 December 2017. Retrieved 7 March 2019.
  14. OAAG Membership
  15. "Ontario Association of Art Galleries recognizes Art Centre's excellence" Agnes Etherington Art Centre. Retrieved 3 March 2009.
  16. Art Gallery of Mississauga website
  17. Blackwood Gallery website
  18. "July 7, 2006 No Bluff! The Kitchener-Waterloo Art Gallery receives an OAAG Award" Kitchener/Waterloo Art Gallery. Retrieved 3 March 2009
  19. Kawartha Art Gallery Website
  20. Rodman Hall Website Retrieved 3 March 2009.

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