Message from Carolyn
The MacLaren Art Centre is pleased to announce its new five year strategic plan for 2019 to 2023, Enhanced Engagement, with three key directions: to enhance ways to share our stories; to enhance our curatorial focus; and to enhance our engagement with new and diverse communities.
With generous support from the County of Simcoe’s Arts, Culture and Heritage Grant Program and the Ontario Arts Council’s Compass Program, we were able to hire cultural consultant Micheline McKay to assist with the planning process. In June, McKay led board members, artists, service volunteers and other community stakeholders through a series of facilitated sessions and interviews with community leaders. We also organized an online survey emailed to our subscribers.
During these community consultations, we reviewed our mission; our strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and challenges; the changing demographics of our community; our current and potential audiences; and ways to measure and evaluate our progress. Responses were very positive and indicated that the MacLaren is viewed as well managed, highly resourceful and responsive. Focus was largely placed on the need for enhanced accessibility, inclusivity and outreach, specifically: increasing physical and intellectual access to the Gallery, to our collection and to our artworks on view; developing a more focused curatorial direction embracing regional art and issues while exploring new ways to engage local artists; and building new partnerships to extend programming in the community. We look forward to developing these new initiatives, and to sharing our outcomes with our community.
As a public art gallery, we strive to bring people to art and art to people in ways that are engaging, enriching and enjoyable. Our hope is that this new strategic plan will help us to identify, prioritize and design contemporary visual arts experiences that are meaningful, representative and inclusive for new Canadians and culturally diverse audiences and that foster a sense of belonging. We are excited about what our future holds and deeply grateful to all those who helped to shape this vision.
Carolyn Bell Farrell