June 29, 2020
Dear Friends of the MacLaren:
I want to take this opportunity to share with you some updates regarding the MacLaren Art Centre. As you may know, we temporarily closed our doors to the public on March 14, following the dictates of the Government of Ontario and public health authorities. A small core staff team have remained working to care for our facility and general operations. Our focus has been placed on planning for our recovery and reopening.
As a result, spring and summer in-person public events, receptions, festival workshops, art classes and art camps have been cancelled; we are not able to meet public health requirements. Instead, we have moved our education and exhibition programming online, where possible. Our original summer exhibitions have been postponed and replaced with collection shows. The Gallery Café will be closed through Labour Day. Most facility rental bookings have been postponed to 2021, as well. To abide by social distancing, our fall fundraising events are being redesigned, while we consider virtual venues. TV Bingo has been cancelled since Rogers closed but resumes July 7, and we launched a new and highly successful 50/50 raffle online.
Our plan is to reopen the Gallery in phases, starting by appointment on July 2. Our hours will be Tuesday to Friday 10 am to 5 pm and Saturday 10 and to 4 pm for exhibitions, the Gallery Shop and Framing Services. This graduated approach will help us to navigate this new reality, while meeting public health requirements. We are doing everything possible to ensure the safety and well-being of our employees, our volunteers and our visitors. We are deeply grateful to you for your continued patience and support.
And finally, I am retiring in July after thirteen years as your Executive Director. It has been my very great pleasure to serve our community in this role. Given social distancing measures, we are forgoing celebrations this season. However, I want to take this opportunity to thank you for your enduring commitment to the MacLaren. Supported by our dedicated volunteers, business sponsors, donors and members, and our tremendous team of professional staff, we have together developed an art museum respected nationally for its commitment to excellence, high standards of public service and innovative programming. You have helped make this possible! Thank you, from the bottom of my heart.
I look forward to seeing you at the Gallery in the future as our world reopens once again.
Carolyn Bell Farrell