We’re fortunate enough to receive different kinds of support from various people and organizations. Whether through donations, in-kind gifts, or visitors sharing their experiences of the gallery with friends, every little bit helps to further our commitment to cultivating community and connection through art.
North American Steel Equipment Inc. (NASE) has long provided in-kind donations to The Robert McLaughlin Gallery (RMG) to assist with storing artwork in our vault, housing archives, and organizing materials for our exhibition installations.
“After our recent HVAC improvements to the vault and a lot of reorganization during the pandemic during our periods of closure, we needed some new shelving to bring order to the new spaces,” said Lauren Gould, CEO. “North American Steel Equipment Inc. was quick to jump to our request and generously donated shelving for our wood storage as well as for our archives.”
“North American Steel is proud to support the growth and development of the local arts community. As a leading steel manufacture in the area, we recognize the importance of the arts in our society and believe that a thriving arts community is a vital part of a healthy city.
We are honored to provide support to The Robert McLaughlin Gallery and its many exhibitions, events, and programs. We believe that the Gallery is an important cultural institution that plays a crucial role in promoting the arts, fostering creativity and providing education to the public,” said Derik Gould (no relation!), Dealer Sales Representative at NASE.
“North American Steel is proud to be part of a community that values the arts and recognizes their importance within the local city.”
The Robert McLaughlin Gallery (the RMG) is planning big changes to expand public access and use of the large greenspace behind the gallery, transforming it into a community arts greenspace by spring 2023. So far this year the RMG has hosted three RMG Friday events outdoors, with over 500 attendees at a performance by local bands Dizzy and Wooly in May. The space is also regularly used by RMG summer camps.
Lauren Gould, CEO at the RMG, shares “Our goal is to create a significant outdoor space through creative placemaking and placekeeping that will lead to greater community well-being for all. This greenspace will encourage people to come downtown and experience a recreational and cultural hub. We’re delighted to announce that we’ll be working with LeuWebb Projects and Brook McIlroy to bring this project to life.”
The project will include:
Improving the greenspace through accessible, artist-designed gathering and play spaces
Addition of a permanent shade structure and seating
Creation of an Indigenous medicine and butterfly garden in collaboration with our partners
Adapting and creatively using the slope to improve access throughout the space
Creating a welcoming gathering space on our front steps
Commissioning and restoration of public artwork(s)
Additionally, to align with the RMG’s goals of improving greenspace and providing a safe and secure area to support expanded programs and services, the City of Oshawa funded and installed a perimeter fence in the outdoor space in fall 2021.
“The City of Oshawa is eagerly looking forward to seeing the completion of the RMG’s arts greenspace. This community outdoor space will be a feature in the heart of our city that will be enjoyed by community members and will attract new visitors to the downtown,” said Oshawa Mayor Dan Carter.
Community consultation is vital to the project team. The RMG recruited an advisory circle of community members to provide feedback at key milestones, and PROCESS consultants have actively gathered feedback at RMG events.
LeuWebb Projects shared “We’re excited to be a part of this creative initiative for a new type of greenspace and are looking forward to collaboratively building on the great work taking place at RMG to open up even more access to arts and culture for communities in Oshawa and the Durham region.”
The RMG is an asset for Oshawa and Durham residents and this project will develop a creative, community space for all to use and enjoy. Follow the RMG on social media and subscribe to their e-newsletter to keep up to date on the design as it develops and learn how to get involved.
About the Project Team
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 in our: exhibitions, education programs, volunteering opportunities, event spaces, shop, artist-in-residence program, and digital programming. Admission to the RMG is FREE and we typically offer over 100 free public programs each year.
LeuWebb Projects is the creative union between artists Christine Leu and Alan Webb, through which they apply their professional design backgrounds to produce moments of beauty in the public realm. Since 2011, they have created more than 20 site-specific artworks across the world. With each piece, Leu and Webb summon their shared artistic and architectural expertise in exploring how a site’s qualities can serve as metaphors for storytelling and critical discourse.
Art and architecture share an integral relationship, meeting at many points including visual, spatial and tactile expression. The unique approach of LeuWebb Projects lives within the space shared by art and architecture, their practice fueling hybrid forms and new directions within the contemporary visual arts tradition. Light, texture and sound are key components of their practice that they weave together through the innovative use of materials and responsive technologies to create art that is not only seen, but also experienced.
Brook McIlroy is an award-winning landscape architecture, planning, urban design, and architecture firm with offices in Toronto, Thunder Bay, and Winnipeg. As a unique, multi-disciplinary practice, we design projects as whole environments, addressing all scales and facets from community visions to detailed design and construction administration of parks, streets, buildings, and infrastructure. Over 21 years, we have worked extensively with municipalities, post-secondary institutions, and private developers in the design and creation of streetscapes, parks, public art, waterfronts, and design guidelines. Our progressive focus on the public realm and placemaking cerates lively, people-oriented spaces that combine landscape architecture with cultural interpretation and programming.
We work in the medium of the built and natural environments driven by a belief that we have been given an incredible gift in Canada, and an opportunity to get it right – to create environments where people can prosper and thrive while protecting the land, water, air and the other species that make life possible. This work is driven by a uniquely Canadian design ethos derived from research into place, diverse cultures, Indigenous world views, sustainability, natural materials, and the application of new technologies.
PROCESS is a strategy, engagement, communications, and planning studio. Through creative, collaborative, equitable and community-driven approaches, we transform how we plan, tell new stories and implement change.
People are at the centre of our work. Our curiosity drives us to solve complex problems and leads to responsive and meaningful outcomes.
At the onset of the pandemic, it was clear that while our website provided an opportunity to engage with our audiences digitally, the age of our website limited its use. We quickly discovered the limitations of our website were going to be restrictive as we shifted to a hybrid of onsite exhibitions (and digital programming. Some information was hard to find, it didn’t allow visitors to explore organically, and we wanted to create a site that truly allowed artists and our collections to shine through. A new website increase our resiliency, build support for our programs, and be increase accessibility.
With the support of the Ontario Trillium Foundation’s Resilient Communities Fund Grant, the RMG team embarked on a process of designing and building a brand new website.
Working with the amazing teams over at Puncture Design and Helios Design Labs was incredible. They took time to understand the RMG, our audiences, and developed ways to encourage website visitors to interact with our content. The new website invites visitors to explore all that the RMG has to offer through a beautiful, contemporary visual design and a fun and accessible user experience.
As an artist-centered and community-oriented public art gallery in Durham Region, this exciting and dynamic new online space supports our mission to bring people from diverse backgrounds together to engage with art that inspires new perspectives, generates meaningful conversations, and creates a sense of belonging.
We’re so happy to be welcoming children back to the RMG for summer camp! Last summer, we partnered with 20 non-profit organizations across Durham Region and delivered a unique, at-home camp experience for children and youth in the region.
We could not have assembled 500 camp boxes filled with art and science, food-related and physical activities, and provide essential support to families in need without your support. Thank you for supporting The Robert McLaughlin Gallery!
This year, we’re asking you to support Summer Camp At The RMG, an initiative that will provide children in Durham Region with engaging and exciting activities in the gallery, hands-on projects in the studio, and lots of active outdoor play. RMG summer camp and classes aim to teach children how to think analytically, question, share, explore their thoughts, and express their ideas through art.
Your donation will help provide additional fine art materials and support to participating youth and free and subsidized spaces to families impacted by the social and economic impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic.
“The boxes were a fantastic way to help encourage new clients to come out to the program. Each family was able to not only receive the camp box, but also get connected with ongoing supports.”
CAREA Community Health Centre, 2021 distributor of Camp In A Box activity boxes
The Robert McLaughlin Gallery (the RMG) has a large greenspace for public use and for gallery programming. We are seeking proposals to help us achieve our vision for an accessible community playground and greenspace.
Our goal is to create a significant outdoor space through creative placemaking and placekeeping that will lead to greater community well-being for all.
We are seeking expressions of interest for the following project components:
Improve the greenspace through an accessible, artist-designed playground, park, and seating
Addition of a permanent shade structure on the level area adjacent to the gallery building
Adapt the slope or include the installation of a ramp to ensure safe, physical accessibility throughout the space
Improve our front steps to create a gathering space
The project will also include the creation of an Indigenous medicine and butterfly garden in partnership with our partners and commissioning of public artworks. Consideration for these components must be included in the overall project plan.
We are offering opportunities to visit, tour and learn about our green space to help you create your proposal. You can visit the RMG on March 23 from 3 to 5 PM or April 2nd from 2 to 4 PM. We will also be having a virtual information session on March 24th from 12 to 1 PM.
The RMG is an asset for Oshawa and Durham residents and this project will develop a creative, community space for all to use and enjoy. We believe this greenspace will encourage people to come downtown and experience a recreational and cultural hub.
Not sure what to buy your friends and family? Shop local and support small businesses this holiday season! Our team over at the RMG Shop has put together this great guide to help you find the perfect and unique holiday gift. Happy Shopping!
Books by Indigenous Authors Our selection of books comes from GoodMinds.com, a First Nations family-owned business located on the Six Nations of the Grand River. The RMG Shop carries a range of fiction and non-fiction works appropriate for a variety of age groups written by some of the most respected contemporary Indigenous authors.
Wabanaki Maple Syrup Signature Flavours The word “maple syrup” is practically synonymous with “Canada” and the syrup from Wabanaki Maple Syrup is like no other! 100% Indigenous female-owned and located in Neqotkuk (Tobique First Nation), Wabanaki Maple Syrup has created a twist on a Canadian favourite with their line of Barrel Aged Maple Syrup products in Bourbon, Whisky, and Oak.
AIDE Winter Soaps With the weather getting colder, it’s time to give your skin a little extra attention and the soaps made by AIDE Bodycare are just the thing you need! Made locally in small batches, AIDE Bodycare soaps are available in a variety of holiday-inspired scents, including Mistletoe, Warm Cider and Balsam Fir. Each hand-cut 4oz. bar is vegan, cruelty free and suitable for a variety of skin types.
Kyla Vitek Jewellery
Bring together the effortless beauty of nature and the artistic skill of hand-cast jewellery with these stunning pieces by local artisan, Kyla Vitek. Kyla Vitek is a goldsmith who has been creating limited edition jewellery since 2005. Specializing in organic casting, Kyla uses natural elements such as cedar sprigs, maple keys, and polypores to immortalize the ethereal elements of nature and turn them into pieces of wearable art.
Mythical Matters Holiday Cards Sometimes it can be hard to put what you’re feeling into words, so let Mythical Matters help you channel your festive sentiment! Each card features a sweet, hand-written graphic and note, but is blank inside should you feel inspired to write a line or two to a loved one. Mythical Matters is based in Toronto and a portion of each sale is donated to the Toronto Wildlife Centre.
The Restless Native Supporting local artists has always been one of the driving forces of the RMG Shop. We are proud to carry products by local artisans such as The Restless Native, whose beautiful handmade earrings, necklaces, and bracelets are the perfect way to showcase the talent of a local Indigenous community member.
The RMG Shop is located within the lobby of The Robert McLaughlin Gallery in downtown Oshawa. We feature lovingly crafted, handmade artisanal products from across Ontario as well as a wide selection of Indigenous designed and manufactured products. Our boutique is stocked with unique, one-of-a-kind items including jewellery, home wares, and gifts. Each tax-free sale through the RMG not only helps to support local artisans and crafts people, but also goes towards funding our free community programming such as RMG Fridays and OPG Sundays.
“The painting process feeds you as much as you feed it, it tells you what to do.” – Ron Eccles
After two years of planning, we were pleased to open local artist Ron Eccles’ first solo exhibition at the RMG in over 30 years. With a career spanning more than five decades, Primary Structures focuses on a recent series by the artist called “White Line Compositions” and also includes additional works created within the last fifteen years. Eccles brings a printmaker’s eye and attention to his painting process; his works are layered and complex, yet beautifully simple to the viewer. Strong lines lead you in and out of the work, while shapes and bold colours hold your attention, and small details make you lean in a little closer.
Large-scale paintings by Eccles filled the walls of the upper Luke Gallery from August 3rd to November 7th and although this portion of the exhibition is now closed, the works installed in our P11 Corridor remain on view until December 5th, 2021. Don’t miss your chance to see the Corridor portion of this exhibition while you still can!
View of Primary Structures in the Upper Luke Gallery, 2021. Photograph by Darren Rigo
View of Primary Structures in the Upper Luke Gallery. Photograph by Darren Rigo.
Earlier this fall we chatted with the artist about his process, the stories behind some of his paintings, the use of line, colour, and shape in his compositions, and how he knows when a painting is finished.
Learn more about this exhibition from our Curator, Sonya Jones, in this recording of our October Culture Chat!
In August, our team started talking about how we wanted to mark the National Day for Truth and Reconciliation. After open discussion we decided to honour its intention as described in the 80th Call to Action in the Truth and Reconciliation Commission Report:
“We call upon the federal government, in collaboration with Aboriginal peoples, to establish, as a statutory holiday, a National Day for Truth and Reconciliation to honour survivors, their families, and communities, and ensure that public commemoration of the history and legacy of residential schools remains a vital component of the reconciliation process.”
The RMG will be closed to the public on September 30. The staff team is taking the day to learn, to participate in commemorations, and to continue our commitment to support the self-determination of Indigenous communities. This is what felt right for us organizationally; we wanted to participate in group learning together and to make time to focus on self-education.
We’re grateful for the list of resources generously offered by two members of our team, Samuel Powless (Manager of Visitor Engagement + Facilities) and Erin Szikora (Assistant Curator, Indigenous Projects) which we are sharing with our community. We hope that it provides a starting place or place to continue your own learning.
If you want to learn more about the land we are on
“I wanted to thank the organizations who participated in this project. It would have taken some time and imagination, and it produced wonderful information for children and families. I am very grateful for the work that went into it. As a Program Coordinator I couldn’t have done it any better. A BIG THANK YOU.”
– The Salvation Army
We’re celebrating over here at the RMG!
This summer, The Robert McLaughlin Gallery partnered with 20 non-profit organizations across Durham and delivered a unique camp experience for children and youth in the region.
Through collaboration with arts, culture or heritage organizations and environmentally focused groups, we raised a total of $37,798 and assembled and distributed 500 camp boxes with art, science, food-related and physical activities, and provided essential support to families in need!
Our Learning and Engagement team worked incredibly hard, putting in 490 hours assembling all of the materials, all while navigating a sea of boxes that filled our corridors and gallery spaces. It was such a satisfying feeling packing up all the boxes and shipping them off to the 24 organizations for distribution throughout our community. We had a great time collaborating on this project in the spirit of giving kids and families a better summer!
“The boxes were a fantastic way to help encourage new clients to come out to the program. Each family was able to not only receive the camp box, but also get connected with ongoing supports.”
– CAREA Community Health Centre
Abundant Life Centre – Oshawa, Adventist Community Services – Oshawa, Autism Ontario, Bethesda House – Bowmanville, Brock Community Foodbank – Beaverton, Brock Community Foodbank – Sunderland, Carea Community Health Centre – Oshawa and Ajax, Community Living Centre – Clarington, Denise House – Oshawa, Durham Children’s Aid Society (foundation), Herizon House – Ajax, Muslim Welfare Centre, The Nourish and Develop Foundation – Cannington, The Nourish and Develop Foundation – Cannington, Salvation Army Bowmanville, Salvation Army Oshawa, Salvation Army Whitby, Salvation Army Oshawa, Simcoe Hall – Oshawa, Southside worship center – Ajax, Willow Park Cooperative – Oshawa, YWCA and Y-Whish programs
We could not have done this without our donors and supporters – thank you for your donation to our Camp in a Box campaign!
Cheryl Blackman, Kevin Dougherty, Derek Giberson, Lauren Gould, Roanna Green, Sonya Hill, Sonya Jones, Susan Magotiaux, Taba Merrikh, Donna Moriarty, Aleksi Moriarty, Annie Pinet, Mary Simpson, Carrie Williamson, and Kegan Winters.
The discovery of 751 unmarked graves at the Marieval Indian Residential School in Saskatchewan, which was operational until 1997, is devastating. It is continued evidence of the genocide of Indigenous peoples in Canada. We stand in solidarity with the Cowessess First Nation Community.
There will be more tragic discoveries as other sites are searched; this will not be the last mass burial site found on this land.
We encourage you to learn and read more, to donate to Indigenous-led organizations, and to support the self-determination of Indigenous people in communities across Canada.
If you need support, there is a 24/7 Emergency Crisis Line available through the Indian Residential School Survivors Society (IRSSS) at 1800-721-0066 and the National Residential School Crisis line 1-866-925-4419.
If you are looking to learn or read more, here is a selection of websites, resources, and other programming:
National Centre for Truth and Reconciliation at the University of Manitoba https://nctr.ca/