National Day for Truth + Reconciliation – September 30, 2023

Canada is marking the third National Day for Truth and Reconciliation, established to honour the intention of the 80th Call to Action in the Truth and Reconciliation Commission Report “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.” 

Each year the RMG closes to the public and our staff team engages in collective and personal reflection and learning.  Our Indigenous staff members determine how they want to spend the day.  This year the team will come together on Monday, October 2 for that learning. On September 30, the RMG is closed.   

There are more events and commemorations as each year passes to observe the National Day for Truth and Reconciliation.  We will continue to share links to our past blog posts in the hopes that these resources are useful to your journey of learning and unlearning.  I remain grateful to our past team member Samuel Powless and to Erin Szikora (Associate Curator, Exhibitions) for putting them together for us all.  

The City of Oshawa also has a webpage that you can explore.  It includes the location of Orange Ribbon Memorials across the City and a local resource guide.

Continuing to support and advocate for the self-determination of Indigenous people and communities is part of our ongoing work, both internally and with community.  As a settler, I understand my responsibility to understanding the truth and working towards reconciliation throughout the year.  While these days and months are important, ensuring they are always part of the societal dialogue, our programming, and making our organizational systems and structures more equitable is paramount.  

With thanks,

Lauren

Land acknowledgement

The Robert McLaughlin Gallery is in the treaty lands of the Mississaugas of Scugog Island First Nation. This land has been the traditional territory of the Michi Saagiig Nishnaabeg since 1700; before that time, it was stewarded by various communities belonging to the Haudenosaunee and Wendat confederacies. It is covered under the Williams Treaties and the Dish with One Spoon Wampum.

This area continues to be home to many Indigenous people from across Mishiike Minisi. We recognize the sovereignty of all Indigenous nations and are grateful for the opportunity to learn, live, and work on this land.

We acknowledge that the RMG is in treaty land, and respect our collective responsibility to protect and nurture the land. We also recognize the continuing impacts of colonialism and our responsibilities to redress the ways this has helped shape our organization. We are committed to working to address structural inequities and to centering Indigenous voices in the gallery.

Meet our Collection/Découvrez notre Collection

July 24, 2023/24 juillet 2023

We are excited to announce that our new Collections pages are live! With the support of a Digital Access to Heritage Grant from the Department of Canadian Heritage, the RMG team embarked on a process of reimagining how visitors can digitally access and interact with our collection.  Our permanent art collection is one of our greatest assets, and we are always looking to find ways to share it more broadly with our community. This project was an opportunity to improve access to our Permanent Collection through a more engaging and user-friendly digital experience.

One of our key goals was finding ways for visitors to explore and let their curiosity lead them. More than just a simple search function, the online database has been transformed to become a space for learning that offers various ways to explore. You can create a personal account to assemble and curate your own online ‘collection’ and scroll through a timeline to visualize the history of Canadian abstract art. Seeking copyright permissions was an important part of this project in order to increase the number of artworks with images.  We have increased the number of works with images through this dedicated copyright project. There is also more in-depth interpretive information about artworks and educational activities to inspire you.

It was incredible to work with the amazing teams over at Puncture Design and Helios Design Labs who also redesigned our website in 2022. They took time to understand the RMG, our collection and our audience, and developed ways to animate the collection through interactive components while carrying through the accessible, contemporary visual design of our website. Our long-standing relationship with Minisis Inc. allowed for a smooth data transfer to a new, updated collections database that functions for visitors and for our team.

We hope you enjoy exploring our new collections pages, taking a virtual stroll through the interactive timeline, and collecting artworks into your own personalized web collections. We are so excited to be able to offer new ways for you to engage with the collection and to build on the ways we connect in this digital age.

Nous avons le plaisir d’annoncer que nos nouvelles pages sur les collections sont en direct ! Avec le soutien d’une subvention pour l’accès numérique au patrimoine du ministère du Patrimoine canadien, l’équipe de RMG s’est lancée dans un processus de réinvention de la manière dont les visiteurs peuvent accéder et interagir numériquement avec notre collection. Notre collection d’art permanente est l’un de nos plus grands atouts, et nous cherchons toujours à trouver des moyens de la partager plus largement avec notre communauté. Ce projet était l’occasion d’améliorer l’accès à notre collection grâce à une expérience numérique plus engageante et plus conviviale.

L’un de nos principaux objectifs était de trouver des moyens permettant aux visiteurs d’explorer et de se laisser guider par leur curiosité. Plus qu’une simple fonction de recherche, la base de données en ligne s’est métamorphosée pour devenir un espace d’apprentissage qui propose diverses possibilités d’exploration. Vous pouvez créer un compte personnel pour assembler et conserver votre propre « collection » en ligne et faire défiler une chronologie pour visualiser l’histoire de l’art abstrait canadien. La recherche d’autorisations de droits d’auteur a constitué une partie importante de ce projet afin d’augmenter le nombre d’œuvres d’art comportant des images. Nous avons augmenté le nombre d’œuvres avec des images grâce à ce projet dédié aux droits d’auteur. Vous trouverez également des informations interprétatives plus approfondies sur les œuvres d’art et des activités éducatives pour vous inspirer.

C’était incroyable de travailler avec les équipes extraordinaires de Puncture Design et Helios Design Labs, qui ont également remanié notre site web en 2022. Ils ont pris le temps de comprendre la RMG, notre collection et notre public, et ont développé des moyens d’animer la collection grâce à des composants interactifs tout en conservant la conception visuelle accessible et contemporaine de notre site web. Notre relation de longue date avec Minisis Inc. a permis un transfert de données en douceur vers une nouvelle base des données actualisée de collections mise à jour qui fonctionne pour les visiteurs et pour notre équipe.

Nous espérons que vous prendrez plaisir à explorer les nouvelles pages de nos collections, à vous promener virtuellement dans la chronologie interactive et à rassembler des œuvres d’art dans vos propres collections web personnalisées. Nous sommes ravis de pouvoir vous offrir de nouveaux moyens d’engager avec la collection et de renforcer les liens qui nous unissent à l’ère du numérique.

Deaccessioning at the RMG

Key Points

  • Deaccessioning is the process by which a work of art or object is permanently removed from a gallery or museum’s collection.
  • Artworks to be deaccessioned are presented and approved by the RMG’s Acquisitions and Collections Committee, then following the Committee’s recommendation, reviewed and approved by the RMG’s Board of Directors.
  • The RMG is following the set of procedures for deaccessioning artworks outlined in our Collections Management Policy and several national, American, and international museum guidelines.
  • Deaccessioned artworks are offered to other public galleries, sold through reputable art auction, returned to the original artist or, rarely, permanently destroyed.

During a 2020 Ask a Curator Instagram Live event, RMG Curator Sonya Jones was asked: “is Deaccessioning still a dirty word?” After chuckling at the question, Jones responded that she did not believe it was still a dirty word and that it was an important part of caring for collections in order to address storage issues and to refine the collections scope. The question was important; it is true that historically deaccessioning has been a contested issue in the museum and gallery world. The heart of the issue usually lies with what happens with any funds raised from the sales of collection items or if the work being removed is a beloved community favourite.

What is deaccessioning?

Deaccessioning is the process by which a work of art or object is permanently removed from a gallery or museum’s collection. Without this widely recognized and regulated collections management practice, institutions would be facing storage crises as well as having artworks that do not align with their collections mandate. The RMG’s permanent collection is rooted in its original focus on Painters Eleven and telling the continuing story of contemporary Canadian Art. When acquiring new artwork for the collection these areas are still a priority alongside an intention to collect work by equity deserving artists in order to reflect a more holistic, diverse, equitable, and reflective history of Canadian art.

How are artworks chosen for deaccessioning?

Following careful consideration and research by the curators, in March 2023 a list of artworks to be deaccessioned was presented and approved by the RMG’s Acquisitions and Collections Committee, then following the Committee’s recommendation, reviewed and approved by the RMG’s Board of Directors.

Like all galleries and museums, the RMG does not take deaccessioning lightly. Compiling the list of artworks was a lengthy and careful process. The RMG is following the set of procedures for deaccessioning artworks outlined in our Collections Management Policy, so that the process is handled in a sensitive and thoroughly documented manner according to sector guidelines. These procedures follow ethical standards and practices set by the current guidelines of the International Council of Museums (ICOM), the Canadian Museums Association (CMA), the Canadian Art Museums Directors Organization (CAMDO), the American Association of Museums (AAM), the Ontario Museums Association (OMA), and Galleries Ontario Galeries (GOG).

What criteria does an artwork need to meet to be deaccessioned?

When putting the list together, the RMG considered how each artwork fits within the collection, and whether its removal can open up the possibility for new and more priority acquisitions. If monies are realized from the deaccessioning of works of art, they may be used only for the purchase of other artworks or for collections care and management. Only artworks that meet the following strict Canadian Museum Association criteria can be considered for deaccessioned:

  • Gallery’s inability to care for and maintain the artwork
  • Lack of significance or relevance to the collection or terms of acquisitions
  • Redundancy or duplication within the collection
  • Work of poor quality or lesser importance
  • Artwork determined to be false or fraudulent
  • Artworks acquired through unethical means, and Repatriation

In the case of the works selected by the RMG, the criteria that these artworks meet are the gallery’s inability to care for or maintain the work, lack of significant or relevance to the collection, work of lesser importance and redundancy within the collection. The removal of these works will help the RMG better align the collection with our priorities for acquisition outlined in our Collections Management Policy, and will benefit both the scope of the collection and storage space.

What happens when artworks are deaccessioned?

How galleries and museums remove artworks from collections is also clearly outlined in the CMA’s deaccessioning guidelines. The RMG will prioritize keeping the artwork within the public domain, so will first offer to public galleries across Canada. We are committed to transparency, so we will make all effort to notify donors and artists of any transfer to another collection. Only if there’s no interest from public galleries will we put the artworks for public sale at a reputable art auction house such as Waddington’s Auctioneers & Appraisers. As mentioned earlier, any funds raised by the sale of artworks will only be used for purchasing new acquisitions and collections management. Artworks can also be returned to an artist so long as they were not the donor of the artwork. Permanent destruction is a last resort and is very rarely done. It is only considered if the artwork is damaged beyond reasonable repair so can’t be offered to another institution, made available for sale at auction, or the artist does not want it.

FAQs

Has the RMG deaccessioned anything before?

Yes, we have. Most recently in 2022 we deaccessioned the Pedlar People Lion, an object designed by Pedlar People Limited to decorate the entrance to Alexandra Park c. 1908. The decision was based on “Lack of significance or relevance to the collection or terms of acquisitions” as the Pedlar People Lion is more of a historical object than an artwork. Since the Pedlar Lion is an important object to Oshawa’s history, the RMG gifted it directly to the Oshawa Museum. This object is better suited to the collecting mandate of the Oshawa Museum and will have more opportunities for engagement and historical research.

Can the artwork be given back to their original donors?

No. When a person donates an item, they transfer all ownership over to The Robert McLaughlin Gallery. Donors may also have been issued a tax receipt when they donated items. If so, it would be against Canadian tax laws and cause for the Canada Revenue Agency to revoke charitable status.

Can the artwork be given back to the artist?

If the artist was not the donor of the artwork, then yes it can be returned to them. However, priority should be given to keeping it in a public collection to be enjoyed by all.

Who decides if an artwork is to be deaccessioned?

Many people are involved in the decision making process. First, the curator will recommend to the CEO artworks to be deaccessioned after extensive review and research. From there, a report and presentation is made to the Acquisition and Collections Committee, comprised of members of our Board of Directors. Following the Committee’s approval and recommendation, it then must be approved by a two-thirds majority vote of the Board of Directors.

If you have any questions or would like more information, please contact Sonya Jones, Interim Senior Curator or Lauren Gould, CEO at 905-576-3000.

The Robert McLaughlin Gallery’s new green space is opening July 7

The Backyard at the RMG

The Robert McLaughlin Gallery creates an accessible community-arts green space in Oshawa with funding from Government of Canada, Ontario Trillium Foundation and City of Oshawa.                  

Over the past year, The Robert McLaughlin Gallery (RMG) has been working collaboratively with landscape architects Brook McIlroy and artists LeuWebb Projects to re-imagine the greenspace directly behind the gallery.  With feedback from our Community Advisory Circle and staff team, our plans reimagine the backyard as a new type of public space that incorporates creativity, play and art. Featuring a new shade and performance space, seating, gardens and barrier-free accessibility to the creek, visitors will be able to explore nature differently, connect with community and dream new possibilities.

The reinvigorated outdoor space will activate and expand the possibilities of the Gallery. Last year, the pilot outdoor RMG Friday concert series and summer camps were able to experience the joy of free access to a greenspace. The free opening of The Backyard at the RMG will be celebrated on Friday, July 7, 2023, with performances by Tania Joy and the Professors of Funk. Concertgoers will also have the opportunity to: meet the designers, plant our raised beds with the Oshawa Garden Club, participate in rock painting, and enjoy refreshments from local vendors. 

The RMG received funding support for these improvements from the Government of Canada through (FedDev Ontario). Additional support was also received through the federal Enabling Accessibility Fund, the Ontario Trillium Foundation’s (OTF) Community Building Fund, and the City of Oshawa.

The Backyard at the RMG will feature programming for all ages, abilities and interests. Follow the RMG for up-to-date information and to participate in community events. The RMG will also be seeking support for phase two of development that is hoped to launch in 2024 to commemorate the City of Oshawa’s centennial celebrations. 

Quotes

“The re-imagined greenspace at The Robert McLaughlin Gallery will not only help define the community through new spaces for creative expression and social interactions but also draw new residents and visitors in to enjoy the space and each other’s company. Our Government recognizes the value of investing in community infrastructure, and we are happy that we could support this exciting project.”  

The Honourable Filomena Tassi, Minister responsible for the Federal Economic Development Agency for Southern Ontario

“The Backyard at the RMG is a space that was reimagined as a result of the pandemic.  We felt the need from our community to have an outdoor space for programming, a natural space for art and creativity.  We’re grateful to our funders, designers for their dedication, and importantly to our community partners that have helped to shape the vision for the Backyard.”

Lauren Gould, CEO, The Robert McLaughlin Gallery

“On behalf of City Council and the Oshawa community, we’re excited to celebrate the opening of The Backyard at the RMG. The Backyard outdoor space will bring even more cultural events and programming for all ages to our great city and further establish downtown Oshawa as a vibrant cultural hub.”

Mayor Dan Carter, The City of Oshawa

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.

Associated Links

Contacts

Edward Hutchinson
Press Secretary
Office of the Minister responsible for the Federal Economic Development Agency for Southern Ontario
edward.hutchinson@feddevontario.gc.ca

Sara Rodriguez
Manager, Marketing and Communications
The Robert McLaughlin Gallery
srodriguez@rmg.on.ca

Shannon McFadyen
Manager, Corporate Communications
City of Oshawa
SMcFadyen@oshawa.ca

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 FedDev Ontario
For 13 years, the Government of Canada, through FedDev Ontario, has worked to advance and diversify the southern Ontario economy through funding opportunities and business services that support innovation, growth and job creation in Canada’s most populous region. The Agency has delivered impressive results, which can be seen in southern Ontario businesses that are creating innovative technologies, improving productivity, growing revenues, creating jobs, and in the economic advancement of communities across the region. Learn more about the impacts the Agency is having in southern Ontario by exploring our pivotal projects, our Southern Ontario Spotlight, and FedDev Ontario’s Twitter, Facebook, Instagram and LinkedIn.

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 otf.ca to learn more.

About LeuWebb Projects
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.

About Brook McIlroy
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.

Download press release here.


Thank you to North American Steel Equipment Inc.!

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.”

We are so grateful for their continued support!

RMG announces project team for community arts greenspace

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

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

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

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.

The new RMG website is live!

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 LOVE our new website and hope you do, too.

Spring Giving Campaign: Summer Camp is back at the RMG!

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

For corporate giving opportunities and partnerships, please check out our corporate sponsorship page here.

It is through generous supporters like you that we can continue to build community through art and encourage people to experience the world differently.

Canada Helps is another way to make a donation to The Robert McLaughlin Gallery.

Call for Expression of Interest: Community Arts Playground + Greenspace

Community Arts Playground + Greenspace

Applications due April 15 at 5PM EST

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.

Download the Call for Expressions of Interest for full details

The RMG Shop Holiday Gift Guide is here!

The RMG Shop 

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.