Gallery News

$171,100 Grant from the province’s Ontario Trillium Foundation supports expansion of school programming at The Robert McLaughlin Gallery

May 16th, 2024

Oshawa, ON – On Friday, MPP Jennifer French visited the Robert McLaughlin Gallery (RMG) as it was hosting a school group from John Dryden Public School. While there, MPP French formally congratulated the RMG on the work it has done because of receiving a two-year $171,100 Resilient Communities Fund grant in 2022 from the Ontario Trillium Foundation (OTF) to build resiliency in response to the COVID-19 pandemic.

“The Robert McLaughlin Gallery has made incredible contributions to our community through art and cultural programming,” said Jennifer French, MPP for Oshawa. “The Ontario Trillium Foundation’s $171,100 Resilient Communities Fund grant will ensure their staff has the technology they need, and allow them to better serve and engage with our community. Art does so much to cultivate connected and caring communities – and that is something we can all benefit from. Thank you to the Ontario Trillium Foundation!”

Thanks to the support given by the province’s OTF, RMG has been able to pilot new programs and expand the offer of school programming at the gallery. The grant has helped RMG by assisting with staffing and administrative costs, as well as purchasing program materials to deliver educational programs. Before the onset of COVID-19, the RMG was alive with education and learning activities including a full schedule of school visits, sold out art classes and workshops, and sought after camps.  When its doors closed to the public, the team pivoted and began experimenting with virtual learning.  As students returned to the classroom, the RMG’s programs were in high demand and the support from the OTF helped them meet it.   

“The funds from the OTF were essential to the RMG being able to meet the increasing demand for school programming and respond to requests from teachers.  Bringing the gallery to life again with voices and perspectives of students, while also piloting an outreach program has uplifted everyone’s spirits,” said Lauren Gould, CEO, The Robert McLaughlin Gallery.

As part of the strategy, the RMG piloted at-school programming supporting by 360 tours of the Permanent Collection exhibition and onsite workshops.  A suite of asynchronous learning tools were developed and shared on the RMG website for educators to use for free at their convenience.  With a goal of creating ease for teachers and students, the RMG hopes the changes have helped to meet community needs and provide opportunities for children and youth to engage with art.  

“Non-profit organizations across Ontario deliver programming that makes a difference,” said Neil Lumsden, Minister of Tourism, Culture and Sport. “That’s why funding that my ministry is providing through the OTF is so important. Our government wants to ensure that these programs and spaces remain the heart of communities across our province.”

The Ontario Trillium Foundation (OTF) is an agency of the Ontario government with a mission to build healthy and vibrant communities across the province. Last year, OTF invested more than $110M into 1,044 community projects and multi-sector partnerships. Projects aim to enhance economic well-being, foster more active lifestyles, support child and youth development, provide spaces for people to come together and connect, and create a more sustainable environment. Visit to learn more.

Quick facts

  • The Robert McLaughlin Gallery (RMG) believes that art cultivates connected and caring communities. As an artist-centered and community-oriented public art gallery in Durham Region, we bring people from diverse backgrounds together to engage with art that inspires new perspectives, generates meaningful conversations, and creates a sense of belonging. Annually, the RMG welcomes thousands of patrons to engage with our: exhibitions, education programs, volunteering opportunities, event spaces, shop, artist-in-residence program, and digital programming. Admission to the RMG is FREE.

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Organization Contact for Media Inquiries:

Sara Rodriguez

Manager, Marketing and Communications

The Robert McLaughlin Gallery

About The Robert McLaughlin Gallery

The Robert McLaughlin Gallery (RMG) is the largest public art gallery in Durham Region. We believe that art cultivates connected and caring communities. As an artist-centered and community-oriented public art gallery in Durham Region, we bring people from diverse backgrounds together to engage with art that inspires new perspectives, generates meaningful conversations and creates a sense of belonging. We build relationships with diverse artists and communities through art. The RMG works in collaboration with artists, partners,and audiences to present dynamic and inspiring collections, exhibitions and programs in an inclusive and equitable environment.

Today, the RMG’s collection of over 4,700 works focuses on telling the continuing story of Canadian abstraction. Each year we present Permanent Collection exhibitions alongside special exhibitions of contemporary art and artists. We prioritize engaging diverse audiences in new and familiar ways through our programming. We foster community connections and partnerships to create a greater sense of belonging.  We reimagine the gallery, making space for all. Annually, we welcome 38,000 visitors and 10,000 participants to engage with us and what we offer.

About the Ontario Trillium Foundation

The Ontario Trillium Foundation (OTF), an agency of the Government of Ontario, and one of Canada’s leading granting foundations celebrates 40 years of grant-making in Ontario and making a lasting impact in communities. Last year, OTF invested over $110M into 1,022 community projects and partnerships, which included funding for the Government of Ontario’s Community Building Fund. Visit to learn more.

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