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Director’s Message – December 2016

6 years ago

The Gardiner Museum continued to build momentum in 2016, and continued to enhance its awareness and accessibility. So many new things happened!

Our first major special exhibition of 2016, Beneath the Surface: Life, Death, Gold, and Ceramics in Ancient Panama took visitors on a journey back in time to one of the most important archaeological discoveries of the 20th century. In June, we launched the innovative Community Arts Space Project, which invited emerging artists, cultural organizations, and community groups to take over the exhibition hall with interactive workshops and grassroots programming, all of which was offered free to the public. We also made the important announcement that the Gardiner would begin offering free admission to visitors 18 and under every day, bringing our world-renowned collections to a wider audience.

Also in June, our Young Patrons Circle hosted the first ever SMASH art party, masterminded by Justin Broadbent, with support from Event Partner RBC. Over 300 guests enjoyed special performances and installations by the city’s most innovative young artists, all inspired by the night’s theme: Instant Classic. We’re growing the next generation of Gardiner supporters.

This fall, we launched the landmark exhibition True Nordic: How Scandinavia Influenced Design in Canada, featuring more than 100 works of ceramics, textiles, furniture, glass, and silverware, together for the first time in a single show. The response from visitors and critics has been extremely positive. You can still see it in the special exhibition hall until January 8. While you’re here, you’ll also be able to see the 12 Trees, a Gardiner holiday tradition now in its 27th year. Themed “Good for the Earth” and curated by artist and environmentalist, David Buckland, it features artistic tree installations made from natural, recycled, and sustainable materials. For the second time, this year the trees will be on display throughout the entire holiday season.

The G Party Gala, our annual fundraising event, was a sold-out success, raising over $100,000 for the Museum’s clay outreach and education programs. Guests enjoyed a special holiday performance by the Art of Time Ensemble and bid on one-of-a-kind artisan items and eco-experiences. It was a night to remember and a wonderful way to cap off a fantastic year at the Museum.

Throughout 2016, we also welcomed ceramics experts from around the globe for our popular Gardiner Signature Lecture Series, and continued our community outreach with the Barbra Schlifer Commemorative Clinic, Radius Child & Youth Services, Anishnawbe Health Toronto, and Toronto Community Hep C Program.

In 2017, we’ll present two original exhibitions, Janet Macpherson: A Canadian Bestiary and Steven Heinemann: Culture and Nature, as well as the next installment of the Community Arts Space Project over the summer. Important changes like our new website, which launched last week, and the renovation of our lobby will allow us to better serve and engage our existing Friends, while also bringing in new audiences. We look forward to seeing you at the Gardiner in 2017.





Kelvin Browne
Executive Director & CEO

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