The Art Gallery of Windsor is pleased to announce that it has launched its new operating model as long-term 49-year gratis lease tenant at 401 Riverside Drive West in Windsor, Ontario. This news follows the signing of the lease agreement late last month and the completion of the building purchase transaction with the City of Windsor on January 4, 2013. The AGW will now be relieved of ongoing responsibilities due to rising utility costs and capital expenses related to the facility maintenance. In this new agreement, the Gallery will remain a fully autonomous organization with its own governance, staff, art collection, and separate lease spaces including our premium Canadian Heritage ‘Category A' designated exhibition galleries and on-site collection storage.
The process of recalling CUPE staff members into a new operating model central to the Gallery's core purpose has been completed and the Gallery is now comprised of 7 full-time and 3 part-time employees for a total of 8.5 full-time equivalent positions including both CUPE members and management. The most significant change to our new operating model is the result of the City of Windsor now being responsible for building operations and maintenance. Moving forward then, the AGW and its staff will be focused on the exhibition and publishing program, collections care, interpretation and growth, and public educational programming.
As we embark on this new chapter of the AGW's history, fundraising will continue to be a critical component to our success as it has always been since the Gallery was first formed in 1943. Recalling former Director Kenneth Saltmarche's advocacy, community support has always been a critical part of the success of this Gallery. Memberships, donations, sponsorships and attendance at Gallery programs and exhibitions continue to be important to our success. With our new operating model, donations will now be directed to the Gallery's core work in programming excellence, the staff members to deliver those programs and to care for the Gallery's nationally-acclaimed collection. The Gallery's historic success in securing major public grants in national and provincial agencies continues as does annual support from the AGW Foundation. In the weeks ahead we will be launching new and renewed fundraising initiatives and we look forward to sustaining, nurturing and growing our family of supporters.
The Gallery and its Board of Directors take this opportunity to express our gratitude to the City of Windsor Administration and City Council for their support as we embark on this new chapter of the Gallery's 70-year history in 2013.
Catharine Mastin, PhD