Meet Carla Sinclair, our Manager of Volunteer and Community Development

Today we sat down with Carla Sinclair, the RMG’s Manager of Volunteer and Community Development to find out more about her role and what she gets up to each day. You probably recognize Carla as your host of RMG Fridays – say hello next time you see her in the RMG Shop.

The RMG: What’s a typical day like for you?

Carla Sinclair: My day looks very different day to day depending on which part of my role I am working on. I manage our volunteer program, plan RMG Fridays, the gallery’s monthly community event as well as manage our gallery shop.

Between internal staff meetings, volunteer interviews, community engagement, consignment artist acquisitions and a number of cultural advisory committees/professional development associations, meetings can often fill up many of my days. Some days are quieter allowing me to spend hours on my computer sending emails, doing research, paperwork, and planning. If I am hosting an RMG Fridays or representing the RMG at a cultural event, I get to be social and interact with the community. The flexibility of my job caters to my multi-faceted personality. I love the diversity in my role!

The volunteer umbrella involves responding to volunteer requests, booking interviews, meeting with and assessing which department best suits new recruits, managing and posting new volunteer opportunities and keeping track of hours worked. As a member of multiple volunteer associations, I attend monthly meetings that provide professional development opportunities in the industry of volunteer administration. Thinking of new ways to incorporate the many skills that walk through the doors here at the RMG is always a priority.

RMG Fridays

RMG Fridays: Wonder Women

Planning RMG Fridays involves looking at curatorial schedules and building an event around exhibitions set to open or tour each month. I often choose a theme and try to connect all of the activities that are going on during an RMG Fridays: Live music, short films, exhibition tours, studio activity, community partners, food vendors. I love to add cultural elements that engage our audience by bringing in local theatre groups to perform a teaser of their show, a dance company, spoken word poet – just about anything that showcases the incredible local talent we have here in Durham and beyond! Booking musicians is typically the first element, and when possible this happens 4-6 months in advance. Sometimes artists reach out to me, other times I get suggestions from community members. I also try to find talent by attending local music venues, open mics and cultural events.

Short films for our Friday Film Features screening room at RMG Fridays get submitted through our website. These are viewed internally and 1 or 2 films are chosen to screen every 15 minutes throughout the evening. For food vendors, they are local, independent restaurants or caterers who put together a table of delicious eats to sell in the lobby, giving local entrepreneurs a chance to engage with the community and showcase their business. I typically contact them individually but encourage anyone interested to reach out to me as well.


Carla at RMG Exposed 2015

Community partners come from a variety of sources, some send requests, others are contacted based on the mandate of their organization and how it ties in to our event theme. After the details are nailed down, the next task is submitting the information to our Marketing Manager for promotional print materials and booking volunteers to help run all of the components of the evening. We typically have 8-15 volunteers behind the scenes making RMG Fridays happen, in tandem with our incredible audio engineer, DJ Lynz and dedicated RMG staff. When the big day comes, I spend the afternoon and early evening setting up tables, chairs, AV equipment, signage, printing schedules, shopping for supplies, greeting performers and partners. I then hold a meeting with our event volunteers at 6:30pm before doors open. The rest of the night involves hosting the event on stage. I, along with my colleague and co-host welcome guests, introduce the musicians, performers, and partners while sharing all of the awesome things happening in the building that evening!

The gallery shop is another component of my role including retail management, volunteer management (our friendly sales associates are all volunteers!), merchandising and researching consignment artists. Over the past year we’ve shifted the shop vision to include primarily Canadian consignment artists. This means I have to find talented artists whose work suits our local market. Some artists approach me, others I research, or find by planning volunteer outings with shop associates to canvas art shows/studios for promising candidates. Within the shop role is a lot of paperwork; Daily sales sheets, monthly shop deposits, quarterly consignment inventory and payouts as well as general correspondence. I host a monthly shop volunteer meeting to update our associates on new product, hear customer feedback and to build community amongst our volunteers.


RMG Shop Volunteer Trip

RMG: How did you get into this field?

CS: Having worked at the Nelson and District Arts Council, in on-air broadcast radio, teaching film programs and as a partner at Empty Cup Media, I’ve always invested my career in the arts and culture. One of these roles was producing video projects for The Robert McLaughlin Gallery, where I came to know the inspired team of staff that run this incredible space. The sense of community fostered here compelled me to be a voice in Oshawa’s expanding creative culture.

RMG: What skills or training do you need for your job?

It’s such a mixed bag, but I’d say…

  • Excellent written and communication skills
  • Creative thinking
  • Computer proficiency
  • Eye for merchandising and attention to detail
  • Organizational skills
  • Ability to recognize individual talents and abilities
  • Public speaking
  • Event management
  • Ability to teach and explain tasks well
  • Excellent social skills
  • Avid interest in being active in the cultural community
  • Strategic planning
group of people

Culture Meet Up

RMG: What’s your favourite part of your job?

CS: RMG Fridays! If you haven’t already been out to this awesome monthly event, I encourage you to come to the next one. Bands, artist talks and local partnerships create an atmosphere unlike any other you will find in Oshawa. I love the crowd it attracts and see it as an accessible, creative hub for entertainment, education and networking.

RMG: What are 5 things you couldn’t live without in your job?

CS: My top 5 are:

  1. Charity Republic – Volunteer database software
  2. Post it notes
  3. Google
  4. Coffee
  5. Amazing Volunteers
two women

RMG Fridays: HipHOpera

RMG: What do you get up to outside of the RMG?

CS: Outside of work at the gallery, I make films with Empty Cup Media. Our team has been working on a web series over the past couple years which means I’m heading to South Africa in October 2016 to film one of the latest episodes! I also spend time with my squishy faced pug Gryffin, have joined an adult ballet class after recently retiring from 5 years of roller derby, and love checking out local live music at Oshawa’s Memorial Park or The Moustache Club.

Museum Month: Visit our Neighbourhood Museums

In celebration of Museum Month, we’re shining a spotlight on the other galleries and museums around Oshawa and the Durham Region.

The Whitby Station Gallery and the Visual Arts Centre of Clarington also play important roles in the cultural community of Durham Region. The Oshawa Community Museum and Archives(OCMA), Parkwood Estate, the Canadian Automotive Museum and the Ontario Regiment RCAC Museum are sharing the cultural history of Durham Region.

The Oshawa Community Museum and Archives:


Oshawa Community Museum and Archives, Guy House.
Photo courtesy of the OCMA

The Oshawa Community Museum and Archives works to preserve and present Oshawa’s history and help the public better understand and appreciate the City’s heritage. The OCMA tells Oshawa’s story from the first native settlements and to the present day.

The OCMA holds a photograph collection from Thomas Bouckley, artifacts from the Henry, Robinson and Guy families, a medical instrument collection and vast artifact and photograph collection showing historic Oshawa. The Oshawa Historical Society administers the OCMA to ensure all funding received from the City of Oshawa goes to support the operation and administration of the OCMA.

The OCMA is a leader in promoting Oshawa’s history and connecting people and communities with their past. Now that the weather has gotten nicer the Heritage Gardens are perfect place to go to enjoy the history behind some of Oshawa.

Parkwood Estate:


Parkwood Estate, Oshawa.
Photo courtesy of Parkwood Estates.

Parkwood Estate is a mansion located in the heart of Oshawa, decorated in classic period representation of the early 20th century design. The rooms are made to highlight the lifestyle of a wealthy family and their guests. The collection is so complete it gives an impression that the family still lives there!

In 1915, the McLaughlin family had gained notability and achieved “First Family” status in Oshawa. They purchased Prospect Park to be the site of their new home, Parkwood Estate. The mansion was designed by Darling and Pearson, a team of architects who had a large influence on Canadian institutional architecture. The mansion began construction in 1915 and finished in 1917.

The gardens around the house provide an elaborate distraction for families and visitors to the estate. Parkwood Estate offers an opportunity to see the last and finest remaining residential gardens designed by Harries & Hall, Dunington-Grubb and John Lyle.

Whitby Station Gallery:

Whitby Station Gallery

Train car outside the Whitby Station Gallery.
Photo courtesy of the Whitby Station Gallery.

The Whitby Station Gallery started as a community gallery run by a group of art enthusiasts in Whitby as Whitby Arts Incorporated. The group, along with benefactors and supporters, purchased Whitby’s Grand Trunk Railway Station in 1969. The station was set to be demolished, but the purchase by the group saved the building and it was moved in 1970 and given the name Whitby Station Gallery.

The gallery’s permanent collection houses more than 300 original pieces, including works by Anne Meredith Barry, David Blackwood and Kim Ondaatje. The gallery is also about to start its SG Pop-up Studio, which brings free art experiences to events in the community. The events start on the weekend of May 14 at the Food Truck Frenzy in the Iroquois Park Sports Centre and Artfest on the Esplanade in Pickering.

Visual Arts Centre of Clarington:


The original Mill that was later turned into the Visual Arts Centre.
Photo courtesy of the VAC.

In 1973, the town of Bowmanville purchased the Mill, a historic landmark of Bowmanville with rich history, and council agreed to turn the building into a Visual Arts Centre (VAC). Mills were seen as a life source for towns in the past, and now that hasn’t changed, except the type of life it brings to the town. The VAC still brings life to the community in the form of art, something that most people didn’t have the luxury in taking part of in the past.

The VAC of Clarington is located along Soper Creek, along a path through the Rotary Centennial Gardens and along the Soper Valley. The VAC is currently exhibiting Maralynn Cherry’s Water Stations (a pilgrimage). Cherry is a non-status indigenous artists of Odawa heritage.

Ontario Regiment RCAC Museum:

CVRT Scorpion

A CVRT Scorpion on display at the Ontario Regiment RCAC Museum.
Photo courtesy of the Ontario Regiment RCAC Museum.

The Ontario Regiment RCAC Museum is home to Canada’s largest collection of operational military vehicles. They host a program called ‘Tank Sundays’ which lets visitors of all ages experience the world of tanks first hand.

The museum also hosts a static display to display their collection, including medals, manuscripts, photos, uniforms and more. The display tells the story of the Ontario Regiments 150 year history, spanning through the World Wars, the Cold War and modern times. The museum also focuses on the Militia’s evolution from the early 19th century, while highlighting the historical relationship between the industrial development of Oshawa, General Motors, and the Regiment.

Canadian Automotive Museum:


The historic Canadian Automotive Museum.
Photo courtesy of the CAM.

The Canadian Automotive Museum maintains a former car dealership from 1921 at 99 Simcoe St. South. While the main floor holds mostly European vehicles, the second floor keeps the history of automotive manufacturing in Canada. The museum is also home to an extensive library, and a lot for drive-ins and car shows.

The CAM currently has the European Masterpieces from the McDougald Collection on display on the main floor and the Cars Built in Canada – 1900-1980 exhibit on the second floor. Also the exhibit A Rolls-Royce for Royalty: Canadian Aristocracy after the Great War opened on May 5. The exhibit shows the story behind the 1914 Rolls-Royce Silver Ghost, the vehicle Edward, Prince of Wales used during his 1919 Royal Tour of Canada.

Spring into a Durham art gallery or museum!

This article was previously published on Oshawa This Week.

Donna Raetsen-Kemp, CEO of The Robert McLaughlin Gallery, on cultural treasures in your backyard

Photo of CEO Donna Raetsen-Kemp

Your Durham Region museums and galleries are gearing up for spring!

We’re all working hard to bring you the kind of programming you want — inspiring, challenging, engaging, thought-provoking and, heck yes, even entertaining. You might be surprised at the wild array of creative and cultural things to do right here in your own backyard.

At The Robert McLaughlin Gallery, we’re shining a bright light on our local community. We’re looking for meaningful, interactive ways to connect you with our arts programming and national calibre exhibitions. We’ve added unorthodox gallery programming like yoga and mindfulness sessions to our roster. Surprised? Surveys suggested it and we agreed — what better place than an art gallery for gentle movement and quiet reflection?

On a more traditional arts note, check out the meditative quality of working with clay at the Visual Arts Centre of Clarington.

On the flipside, art galleries can be amazing places for social gathering. The all-ages, RMG Fridays, on the first Friday of each month, and Station Gallery’s April Drawing for Art are great examples of amped-up cultural events that bring people together in celebration of art. Whether you like your arts and culture experience served up slow and quiet, full of energy and enthusiasm, or somewhere in between, your Durham Region art spaces have something in store for you.

If you know your public art gallery well, visit soon. If you never thought a public art gallery or museum was the place for you, give it a try! You might be surprised to find that there’s a whole lot more going on behind those doors than you imagined.

Your Durham Region galleries are free to visit, so drop by for 10 minutes or stay for an hour. Sometimes it takes a few visits to feel a connection.

Consider a gallery hop. Start your day at the RMG, SG or VAC and plot your course from there. You may want to add a visit to Parkwood Estate, the Canadian Automotive Museum or the Oshawa Community Museum.

And, finally, it may not feel like it right now but summer is just around the corner. If you’re looking for ways your kids can flex their creative muscles, public art galleries across Durham Region have a plethora of summer art camp options. Be warned, programming is top notch, so spots will fill up fast.

Check out the websites for more details – and then jump in with both feet.

Experiencing the RMG through Inartistic Eyes

Samantha Pender is a Durham College public relations student completing her winter placement at the RMG as a communications intern.


Before I came to the RMG as a communications intern, I admittedly knew very little in the way of art. Being artistically challenged myself, I had never thought to explore art before coming here. But taking one look around the gallery immediately changed my thinking about art and how to appreciate it, despite lacking my own artistic skills.

Being a communications intern, I don’t get to spend much of my time looking through the galleries of the RMG. When I have been able to sneak away, however, I am always taken aback by the art surrounding me. While looking at the manipulated art and beautifully shot landscapes from Holly King, the wondrous abstract of Painters 11, and the many other different kinds of art throughout the RMG, I realized that you don’t really need to know that much about art to appreciate it.

Yes, understanding the style, medium or perspective of the artist can be helpful, but when it comes down to it, art is art. It’s a beautiful and absurd peak into the creative mind of a talented soul, and that is something I won’t be overlooking again.

Interning at the RMG has opened my mind to many things, not just the beauty of art. Researching content for Museum Week, was able to catch a glimpse into the history of Oshawa and see the familiar streets of today as an almost completely different town in black and white. I learned about architecture and came to appreciate different aspects of a building, something I knew nothing about. My supervisor, Sam, broadened my horizons by instilling the importance of learning things outside my comfort zone, something not to be taken for granted.

Working for a non-profit organization so deeply rooted in the community has been a great experience for me, as giving back to the community is something I care very much about. Seeing how the RMG dedicates so much time to the community through RMG Fridays – I worked on the RMG Fridays 5th Anniversary – as well as weekend family activities like OPG Second Sundays has only grown my love and appreciation for the gallery over the past three months.

Samantha Pender, 'Ronnie the Bren Gun Girl' from the Other NFB

Samantha Pender, RMG Communications Intern, with ‘Ronnie the Bren Gun Girl’ from the Other NFB

RMG Fridays 5th Anniversary – What a Night!

Samantha Pender is a second year Public Relations student at Durham College and is completing her first communications placement at the Robert McLaughlin Gallery this winter. 


Now that RMG Fridays 5th Anniversary has come and gone and all the excitement has wound down for the week, I can finally look back at the awesome night we had.

With so much going on, from musicians to dancers to Museum Hack, just to name a few, it’s hard to pick my favourite moment. So instead of choosing just one amazing moment from the night that stood out, I’m going to reminisce about a few of my favourite parts from the RMG Fridays 5th Anniversary.

RMG Fridays

RMG Fridays 5th Anniversary. Photo by Linda Ryde.

The two musicians, Annie Sumi and Jamie Drake, captivated almost everyone in the gallery. The gallery was packed with so many people; I couldn’t even squeeze in to get pictures. To see everyone enjoying the music and back up dancers from O’Neill was so amazing.

Speaking of the dancers, the O’Neill Senior Dance Ensemble nailed their performance as they kicked off the night. Everyone was mesmerized and it was so awesome to see that level of synchronization and talent. I was pleasantly surprised to see different members of the ensemble dancing in place throughout the gallery, as I had forgotten about their stand still performances throughout the night. It was such a cool experience to see these different expressions of dance right here in Oshawa.


RMG Fridays 5th Anniversary. Photo by Mat Calverley.

The Living Room supplied the studio activity for the night, and it really turned up the party vibe. I saw so many people from kids to adults sporting handmade party hats throughout the night, and it really added a fun element to the whole party. To add to the party theme of the night, there were amazingly delicious and colourful cupcakes. What’s a party without cake? The cupcakes might actually have secretly been my favourite part of the night.

Museum hack Tour

RMG Fridays 5th Anniversary. Photo by Mat Calverley.

Some of the other events I didn’t quite get to see, like Museum Hack’s awesome and innovative tour of the galleries and the Friday Film Features screening of “Thank you for supporting the arts” from Eastdale C.V.I. and “7 Deadly Sins” from Sinclair Secondary Dancers, were packed with eager attendees as well. Art & Technique Academy of Hairstyling and Aesthetics mixed up their creativity on our faces too! I had a purple 5 on my face to celebrate the 5th Anniversary, and I saw other happily painted faces too!

Living Room

RMG Fridays 5th Anniversary. Photo by Bronwen Green.

The finished painting from JR Hunter was phenomenal. I was astounded at the end of the night, seeing how he encompassed every aspect of the event into his magnificent painting. It really captured the essence of the night.

RMG Fridays

Photo by Linda Ryde.

All in all, the RMG Fridays 5th Anniversary was an amazing night with so many awesome things happening. And as hard as it is to pick my favourite moment, I think the few I shared sums up what a wonderful time everyone including myself had. Happy five years, RMG Fridays!


RMG Fridays 5th Anniversary. Photo by Linda Ryde.


Top 5 Reasons to Volunteer at the RMG

Are you interested in art? Do you love helping with events? Do you have a passion for education? Then volunteering at the RMG is the place for you!

With countless opportunities to choose from, there are positions available for any age, skill set or interest. These are our top 5 reasons to volunteer, what are yours?

OPG Sundays

1. Give Back

Sure, volunteering at the RMG helps you to build a repertoire of skills. It also has a huge impact on our community. Did you attend art classes during March Break? Have you had a memorable RMG Fridays out with friends? Those experiences would not have been possible without our stellar volunteer team!


female volunteers

2. Be Creative

There is nothing better than leaving work and feeling inspired. The RMG offers a creative, relaxed and inspiring atmosphere where you can learn and grow. Sam Mogelonsky, Manager of Marketing and Communications, says “having volunteers is critical to keep our voice fresh. I love working with creative young minds who want to learn and bring their skills to the table.”

Carla Sinclair, Manager of Community and Volunteer Development, sums it up to a tee, saying that she “loves meeting new volunteers and hearing their interests, skills and talents to see how they can work with our team of staff. Volunteers have the ability to use their strengths, gain new skills and develop an array of contacts while donating their time to the gallery. Our staff has so much gratitude for all of the amazing energy volunteers give to this vibrant, cultural space called the RMG.”


RMG Exposed volunteers

Photo by Grant Cole.

3. Build that Resume!

Regardless of if you are completing your high-school community service hours, doing a post-secondary field placement or simply looking to give back to the community, we’ll have a spot for you! Volunteers work on everything from helping with events, to handling artworks to instructing young minds.

Are you interested in education? Help out with art camps or OPG Second Sundays and learn in our studio. Are you a social media whizz? Help us with marketing and communications and build our following. Do you live for music and live events? Get involved with RMG Fridays and help us bring new talent to Oshawa. Are you an artist or in a museum studies program? Our curatorial volunteers will get hands-on experience by helping with exhibition installations and archival research.

“No matter what the task, I always try to ensure that what a volunteer is working on will be helpful for their resume,” says Associate Curator, Sonya Jones. With multiple outlets for every skill-set, the RMG is the perfect place to lend your time and build your resume with relevant skills.


art gallery interior

4. Be Surrounded by Art

Beautiful, airy spaces full of art are only steps away! The stunning renovation by noted architect Arthur Erickson will to fill you with inspiration as you walk into the office everyday. We believe opportunities for teamwork, brainstorming and collaboration, so we have an open-door policy (or no doors at all!) We guarantee you’ll be showing up to work early just to browse the exhibitions.


RMG Fridays

Photo by Linda Ryde.

5. Create Contacts 

With multiple events, visiting artists, staff and volunteers, there is no shortage of contacts and networking opportunities at the RMG. With such a friendly environment, it’s easy to approach anyone for a casual chat. Stick around for RMG Friday and get to know people in the arts and Oshawa community and listen to great music with your new friends!


To apply now, click here and fill out our online application. For more information, please contact Carla Sinclair at, or call 905-576-3000. We look forward to meeting you!


Looking Back: Five years of RMG Fridays

What makes RMG Fridays so special? That all depends on who you ask. With so many different things going on at each RMG Friday, the gallery will still deliver, but the experience will strike a different cord with each person you ask.

We asked the wonderful staff at the RMG what they love and remember most about RMG Fridays as a tribute to five years of art, music, laughter and delight.

Our CEO, Donna Raetsen-Kemp recalls a mesmerizing moment watching one of our live music acts. “I’ll never forget the evening Birds of Bellwood created a magic moment. The room was mesmerized by their performance. It’s a beautiful thing to see a band bring a group of people together.”

boxing artists

A true art buff, Sam Mogelonsky, Manager of Marketing and Communications, has been star-struck several times by meeting her favourite artists at our events. “I have so many memories of RMG Fridays and love seeing the event come together each month. For me, it’s meeting the artists! I was so thrilled to get to meet and chat with Ron Shuebrook, who I had been following the work of for years. Meeting Coral Short was a real privilege as I was enthralled with her video Stop Beating Yourself Up during our Boxing: The Sweet Science exhibition. As well, meeting Wayne Petti of Greylands was a treat as Cuff the Duke was one of my favourite bands during undergrad!”

One of the main ladies behind RMG Fridays, Carla Sinclair, Manager of Community and Volunteer Development, remembers the charmed aura from December’s cozy holiday feel. “My favourite part of RMG Fridays is connecting with incredible people. This happens every month, be it conversations with visitors, volunteers or participating artists. One moment that really stands out is from our “Holiday Magic” event this past December. I had the privilege of witnessing singer Carolyn T from the first set of music join musicians Artemis and Dale in set two for an unrehearsed performance that filled the gallery with a sense of awe. The hushed room resonating with notes and harmonies created by a group of musicians who had only met a couple hours prior – another magical connection a la RMG Fridays.”

Linda Jansma, our Senior Curator, had an unexpected celebrity sighting when she realized how popular one of our performers had become since booking him as she saw swooning fans had filled the gallery! “I remember driving up to the gallery on a Friday evening and thinking ‘uh oh, there are so few cars here…’ and worrying about the turnout. When I walked in, the place was packed, and young women were sitting on chairs in the Isabel McLaughlin Gallery with no intent of moving before the second act. And the second act was Scott Helman. It was awesome that he and his band were booked before he really started to get media attention – and possibly beyond our budget! As we left that evening, cars were lined up with parents picking up their daughters who had been treated to an awesome evening in a perfect venue and an artist who has become something of a household name.”

scott helman

Our Associate Curator, Sonya Jones, reminisces about a magical and Celtic night last month. “Every RMG Fridays offers something different. I love it it’s always full of people of all ages. The January [event] was amazing; the film was excellent, Holly King was lovely, and the studio was chalk full of families painting fairy doors…not to mention the band, Ugly Horse, was great. It was a packed house with loads of buzz and activities!”

Cheryl-Ann, our Events Coordinator, sums up everything she loves most about RMG Fridays. “The RMG Fridays nights have certainly gone through many transitions over the last five years. The evening has become a place to meet friends before heading out to have dinner, or to enjoy a date night. The music is always entertaining and usually a fantastic surprise. The atmosphere is electric for a great evening. It’s always refreshing to talk to a first time guest one month and see them back the next. Meeting first-hand the community and guests from the surrounding area is joyous and very rewarding. It is an event we have every month and [is] very much anticipated by many staff and enjoyed by our supports; and it’s free, who doesn’t love that?”


Carla Sinclair, our Manager of Community and Volunteer Development said “My favourite part of RMG Fridays is connecting with incredible people. This happens every month be it conversations with visitors, volunteers or participating artists. One moment that really stands out is from our ‘Holiday Magic’ event this past December. I had the privilege of witnessing singer Carolyn T from the first set of music join musicians Artemis and Dale in set two for an unrehearsed performance that filled the gallery with a sense of awe. The hushed room resonating with notes and harmonies created by a group of musicians who had only met a couple hours prior – another magical connection a la RMG Fridays.”

In five years, RMG Fridays has grown into the hotspot for art and music lovers on the first Friday of every month. According to our staff, the nights are full of unforgettable music filling the Isabel, favourite artists peeking around the gallery, strangers who soon become friends, and a little bit of magic.

The RMG Fridays 5th Anniversary on Feb. 5th  will be short on nothing, and if you haven’t felt the magic yet, now is your chance.

Now that you’ve seen what our favourite memories are, what are yours? Tell us at RMG Fridays 5th Anniversary!

Keep RMG Fridays free with your donation on Giving Tuesday!

The RMG will be participating in Giving Tuesday Canada on December 1, 2015.All donations will help to keep access to RMG Fridays free for all. RMG Fridays is a rockin’ cultural coming together with art, music, films and fun on the first Friday of every month.

On RMG Fridays, the gallery buzzes with live musical performances, interactive art experiences, short films, open gallery spaces, studio activities, social mingling and more. It’s the place for music lovers, youth, families, artists, date nights, and culture-vultures. RMG Fridays is Free to attend and all ages are welcome.

Your donation will keep access to cultural activities at RMG Fridays free for everyone in our community. Help ignite culture and community!

Giving Tuesday is a national day of giving on December 1, 2015. It is a new Canadian movement for giving and volunteering, taking place each year after Cyber Monday. The “opening day of the giving season,” it is a day where charities, companies and individuals join together to share commitments, rally for favourite causes and think about others.

For more information and to make your donation visit

Meet our new CEO Donna Raetsen-Kemp

Donna Raetsen-Kemp is the RMG’s new Chief Executive Officer. Prior to joining us, she was managing the Station Gallery in Whitby. Stop by and welcome Donna to the RMG!

The RMG: What were you up to before the RMG?

Donna Raetsen-Kemp: For the past ten years I spent my days leading the arts and culture charge at Station Gallery in Whitby. I feel so fortunate to have had the opportunity to work together with the community to transform the gallery to a thriving people place. We set our sights on creating a warm and welcoming cultural hub. A gathering place with opportunities for people to engage with art in ways that were meaningful to them – a place for everyone. I’m immensely proud of the work we did there.

RMG: What drew you to the museum sector?

DRK: There were fascinating local and global things at play. Globally, the museum sector was on the cusp of a sweeping change. I found that notion exciting. Locally, there was a small, once bustling art gallery that I took classes at as a kid that had become quiet. It had just undergone a significant renovation. The opportunity to breathe life back into Station Gallery was compelling.

RMG: What is your favourite museum?

DRK: In 2012 I was part of a Canadian delegation of arts leaders on an exchange to Venice and Florence. We visited more museums than I can count, but the museum that left its mark was the Palazzo Strozzi in Florence. It’s one of those great museums that you’ve probably never heard of. Their approach is bold and innovative. They take a unapologetic stance about putting their community at the forefront of programming and redefining the museum experience. They invite the community to participate in simple and delightful ways. Palazzo Strozzi houses some of the most visited exhibitions — and has a reputation as the cool place to hang out. Their courtyard is open morning until evening with a wild array of activities that bring people together and connect them with artists and exhibitions. They bring stories to life. I still check in online regularly to see to what they’re up to.

RMG: What is your first memory of art?

DRK: It’s hard to pin down one defining moment. It’s a wonderful confluence of events and experiences.

RMG: What is one thing that you want to share with people about the RMG?

DRK: I simply want to invite everyone in. Our doors are wide open. Drop by for 5 minutes or stay for hours. Let’s get to know each other a little better. What would you like to see in your RMG? I can’t wait to get the conversation started.


Image: Donna poses a the RMG with Director of Finance and Administration, Olinda Casimiro.

Meet Carla Sinclair – the RMG’s new Manager of Community and Volunteer Development

Carla Sinclair is the RMG’s new Manager of Community and Volunteer Development. She has pursued her love of storytelling to build community across Canada working in radio, television and film. Stop by and welcome Carla to the RMG team!

RMG: What were you up to before the RMG?

Carla: I have been partner at Empty Cup Media for the past 7 years where I spent my time as a cinematographer, editor and graphic designer. My greatest accomplishment to date is having directed and produced my first independent feature documentary, a project that spanned 9 years!

RMG: What drew you to the museum sector?

Carla: Having worked with the RMG on a number of video projects, I came to know the inspired team that run this incredible space. The sense of community fostered here compelled me to be a voice in Oshawa’s expanding creative culture.

RMG: What is your favourite museum?

Carla: The Old Library of Trinity College Dublin. The architecture alone captivated my attention, but walking through the ancient volumes housed in this building, including the Book of Kells, was absolutely magical.

RMG: What is your first memory of art?

Carla: It was on a school trip to the Beaverbrook Art Gallery in Fredericton, N.B. I vividly recall standing in front of Savador Dali’s Santiago El Grande, mesmerized. I remember being struck by the size, beauty and majesty of the enchanting painting.

RMG: What is the one thing you most want to share with people about the RMG?

Carla: RMG Fridays! If you haven’t already been out to this awesome monthly event, I encourage you to come soon. Bands, artist talks and local partnerships create an atmosphere unlike any other you will find in Oshawa. I love the crowd it attracts and it’s accessible, creative hub for entertainment, education and networking. I’m thrilled that RMG Fridays will now include short film screenings in the Lookout. Enjoy popcorn and experience Friday Film Features!