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Board of Directors

Recruitment Package

We are inviting members of the community to help shape the future direction of the MacLaren Art Centre.

This is an exciting time at the MacLaren Art Centre, as we have undertaken the development process of a new strategic plan, where we are introducing a framework to guide its future initiatives for the next 5 years. These are imperative and meaningful times as we search for new ways to actively work together through new collaborations and partnerships, as well as making space for diverse narratives in a way that values and empowers different worldviews and forms of knowledge. The strategic plan presents an opportunity for growth within the organization and allows MacLaren to push a focus on community engagement while implementing positive change.

To learn more about the strategic planning process Click Here

The MacLaren Art Centre is committed to equity and inclusion and encourages applications from members of culturally diverse communities, persons with unique abilities, and equity-seeking individuals. The MacLaren recognizes and affirms the traditional territory of the Anishinaabek, which includes the Odawa, Ojibwe, and Pottawatomi Nations, collectively known as the Three Fires Confederacy. The local bands consist of the Chippewa Tri-Council, who are made up of the Beausoleil First Nation, Georgina Island First Nation, and Rama First Nation. We also acknowledge the Wendat Nation (Huron) who occupied these lands prior to the middle of the 17th century.

Board members have important legal and fiduciary responsibilities that require a commitment of time, skill, and resources. We want you to be well-informed about the organization, and ensure that you have given considerable thought to your commitment before you agree to serve. This recruitment package will provide you with information about the MacLaren and what your role as a Board member would be.

Role of the Board

The Board of Directors is composed of representatives elected by the Gallery’s membership. Board members are the fiduciaries who steer the organization towards a sustainable future by adopting sound, ethical, and legal governance and financial management policies, as well as by making sure the organization has adequate resources to advance its mission. Typically, the members of the board focus on the high-level strategy, oversight, and accountability of the organization; however, there are situations that will require a more hands-on focus by the Board members or specific committees of the Board.

The Board of Directors is comprised of ten members of the community. Each member is elected for a three-year term and is permitted to be elected for no more than two terms in succession. The Board meets approximately ten times over the course of the year, in addition to the Annual General Meeting (AGM). There is an annual Board Retreat in January at which time the Board reviews accomplishments of the past year and identifies strategic priorities for the coming year. Each Board member sits on at least one Standing Committee, which typically meets four times a year. Current standing committees are: Program, Marketing & Development, Finance, and Governance.

The Board of Directors appoints the Director/Curator, who is responsible to the Board for the administrative and artistic direction of the gallery. The Director/Curator currently manages a staff of ten employees, including six permanent full-time, four part-time, and a number of casual and contract staff.

Members of the Board practice good stewardship of the gallery by:

  • Assisting with policy and planning by attending meetings, keeping informed on governance issues, identifying areas where Board policy is needed and contributing to deliberations on Board policies and plans before they are approved;
  • Regularly attending and participating in various MacLaren Art Centre activities;
  • Informally monitoring public and member reaction and response to the MacLaren’s work;
  • Advocating for greater public awareness and appreciation of the MacLaren’s goals and its programs;
  • Contributing to annual fundraising goals;
  • Connecting staff with potential volunteers and contributors inside and outside of our communities;
  • Encouraging and aiding the recruitment of volunteers for the MacLaren;
  • Helping to identify potential candidates to serve on the Board or Board committees;
  • Supporting the Director/Curator through building a culture of autonomy that allows them to carry out day-to-day operations, including managing staff;
  • Respecting the need for confidentiality and sensitivity related to information.

How to Apply

Completed Expressions of Interest should be submitted to by July 2, 2024.

Please fill out the attached expression of interest document:


The MacLaren Art Centre is a free public art gallery with over 4,000 works of contemporary and modern Canadian art in the permanent collection, and the gallery serves an immediate community of approximately 300,000 people across Barrie and Simcoe County. We approach our work with a regional responsibility and an appreciation for the national sensibility, responding to issues that matter in our immediate community within the broader context of the provincial and national cultural framework. We offer a variety of historical and contemporary exhibitions that focus on visual art and visual culture by Canadian artists of national and regional significance. The Gallery has a Permanent Collection of artworks held in trust for the public and presents a year-round program of innovative exhibitions, unique experiential art education activities, and special events. Educational programming provides the unifying link that activates our collections and exhibitions while fostering an understanding and appreciation of the visual arts.

The gallery receives funding from private donors, corporate sponsors, and ongoing public funding from the Ontario Arts Council, the Canada Council for the Arts, and the City of Barrie, as well as occasional project-based funding from the Government of Canada, Ontario Trillium Foundation, and the Ontario Attractions Fund. Other revenue is generated through our events, memberships, and art programs.


The gallery was incorporated in 1986 as the Barrie Gallery Project, a not-for-profit charitable organization. It opened a storefront gallery in 1988 at 17c Mulcaster. In 1989, local businessman Maurice MacLaren left his collection and residence at 147 Toronto Street to the City of Barrie and the Barrie Gallery Project, giving the Gallery a permanent home. In honour of his bequest, the Gallery was named the MacLaren Art Centre in 1990.

During the 1990s, the MacLaren gained wide-spread recognition for its innovative approach to programming. In 1997, the Gallery attracted 100,000 visitors for Joe Fafard’s Field Project. The design, the image of a horse, was planted with crops in a 50-acre site with the help of local farmers and two hundred volunteers. Responding to the new Ontario public school curriculum, VanGo was introduced in 1997, employing regional artists to deliver subsidized in-class studio programs across Simcoe County.

In 1997, 1998, and 1999 the MacLaren was awarded the Lieutenant Governor’s Award for its exceptional private-sector and community support. The MacLaren moved to a new, state-of-the-art facility in 2001 that combined Barrie’s first public library, historically opened in 1917, with its newly renovated modern addition. The building, designed by Siamak Hariri of Hariri Pontarini Architects, garnered significant critical acclaim, including the 2003 Ontario Architects Association Award of Excellence for Best Building (under 10 million) and the National Post Design Exchange Award of Merit.