The decision to re-name the Burlington Arts Centre, now called the Art Gallery of Burlington (AGB ) is more than a re-branding exercise says, Executive Director Ian Ross. “This begins a new chapter in our history…one that will see us looking outside ourselves more.” One big change will be a greater emphasis on the AGB as a gallery after 35 years of developing a reputation as a haven for the crafts, although Ross hastens to add there will be no reduction in the hands-on aspect of the institution. “We have a large collection of Canadian contemporary ceramic art, that now has achieved national distinction,” Ross said, “we will turn over the Perry Gallery to allow for a larger permanent display.” The gallery will also invest more in hosting travelling art shows and will start taking its collection on the road as well. One such trip will involve exchanges with a gallery in Scotland.
There will be a greater emphasis on outreach to attract a younger demographic. “We are looking at a creativity institute, poetry slams, art slams,–outreach beyond our walls,” explained Ross. “Busing class trips has become an expensive proposition for schools so we will start going into classrooms.” Planning the makeover began last summer after an extensive community consultation.