WAG Our Story

Woodstock Art Gallery History

The Woodstock Art Gallery was founded by the Oxford County Art Association in 1967 as a Centennial project. The Gallery was initially housed in the downstairs of the Woodstock Library, but eventually both the Library and the Gallery required more space and the Gallery began to look for a new home.

An intense fundraising campaign, spearheaded by the Woodstock Public Art Gallery Volunteer Committee, allowed the Gallery to move to a refurbished manse located next door to the library in 1983. By this time, the Gallery’s permanent collection consisted of 80 works of art.

Until 1992, the Gallery was a department of the Woodstock Public Library. On November 19, 1992, a bylaw was passed and the Woodstock Art Gallery became a City of Woodstock cultural facility. An Art Gallery Advisory Committee was created so that Woodstock City Council could receive direct citizen input into the operation of the Gallery.

In 1995, the Gallery achieved a Category “A” Designation under the Cultural Property Export and Import Act, simplifying Cultural Properties designation applications.

By the late 1990s the Gallery had again outgrown the available space at its Hunter Street location. The small studio space was constantly filled to capacity and the permanent collection had grown to 1000 works, including 40 works by Florence Carlyle. On November 5, 2009, after receiving a $3.38 million dollar Build Canada grant, Woodstock City Council authorized staff to develop a plan to renovate the John White building to become the new Woodstock Art Gallery.

The Woodstock Art Gallery opened the doors at its present location at 449 Dundas Street, the former John White Department Store, on July 19, 2011. The City of Woodstock established a new governance structure in 2014 appointing the Woodstock Art Gallery Advisory Board and charging its members with the duty to guide the Gallery’s operations.

Contact Us

© 2017 City of Woodstock P.O. Box 1539, 500 Dundas Street, Woodstock, ON N4S 0A7

 

Phone: 519-539-1291
TTY: 519-539-7268
Email: General Information

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