History of GOG

In 1947 the Southern Ontario Gallery Group was formed by four galleries for the purposes of developing exhibitions to exchange among the participating centres.

By 1952 the original group had expanded to a point that the Art Institute of Ontario was formed, the purpose of which was to continue the exchange of exhibitions and also to increase the number of communities with access to the visual arts.

By 1967 the demand for Art Institute programs had grown to such an extent that the Extension Services of the Art Gallery of Ontario undertook the responsibility of developing and circulating exhibitions.

In 1968 the Galeries Ontario / Ontario Galleries (formerly known as the Ontario Association of Art Galleries) was formed with the following purposes:

  1. To encourage close cooperation between Galeries Ontario / Ontario Galleries and the Province of Ontario Council for the Arts [now the Ontario Arts Council] and other similar agencies.
  2. To assist in developing visual art centres in the Province.
  3. To promote high standards of excellence and uniform methods in the care and presentation of works of art.
  4. To serve as an advisory body in matters of professional interest.

Galeries Ontario / Ontario Galleries was incorporated as a non-profit organization in 1970 when the office of the secretariat was opened in Toronto.

Founding Members of GOG:
Agnes Etherington Art Centre, Kingston
Art Gallery of Hamilton
Art Gallery of Ontario, Toronto (formerly Art Gallery of Toronto)
Justina M. Barnicke Gallery (formerly Hart House), University of Toronto (Art Museum at the University of Toronto), Toronto
Kitchener-Waterloo Art Gallery
London Regional and Historical Museums (London Public Library and Art Museum)
National Gallery of Canada, Ottawa
Royal Ontario Museum, Toronto
Judith & Norman Alix Art Gallery (formerly Sarnia Public Library and Art Gallery)
Rodman Hall Art Centre (formerly St. Catharines and District Arts Council), St. Catharines
Art Gallery of Windsor (formerly Willistead Art Gallery)

Past GOG Executive Directors
1970 – Jeremy Watney
1973 – Rory O’Donal
1984 – Dr. Edwina Taborsky
1985 – Peeter Sepp
1987 – Anne Kolisnyk
1998 – Donald Brackett
1999 – Cheryl Smith
2001 – Demetra Christakos
2015 – Zainub Verjee

Articles on the History of GOG
Article by Kenneth Saltmarche, OAAG Bulletin, Spring 1969
Article by Jeremy N. Watney, Executive Director, c.1971
Looking Back: Nostalgia that Works
 by Pamela Wachna, Experience 1978 Project

GOG Publication and Studies Archives

1977 – Profile for the Ideal Public Art Gallery
1979 – Job Study (A General Comparison Study of Salaries and Benefits of Professional Groups to Public Gallery Workers)
1980 – Calculating the Economic Impact of Cultural Organizations
1981 – Gallery Guide (Directory of Public Galleries)
1981-82 – Art Gallery Handbook, Volume I
1982 – Tax Exemption Manual
1984 – Who’s Who Directory
1989 – Who’s Who Directory, Revised Edition
1989 – Viewing Art in Ontario
1990 – Art Gallery Handbook, Volume II
1990 – Legaleasy/Le droit à la portée de tous
1991 – Hand in Glove series
1991 – Artists & Entrepreneurs
1992 – Feasibility Study for an Ontario Arts Awareness Campaign
1994 – Mapping a Future: Report on Audience and Stakeholder Research, Report on Stakeholder Focus Groups, The Way People Look at Art Galleries, Tables by Demographics, Tables by Market Segments
1995 – Censorship and the Arts
2001 – Art Gallery Handbook, Volume III
2005 – OAAG Data Exchange, A Profile of Art Galleries in Ontario
2008 –
2010 – The Group of Seven Project 1920 -> 2005
2011 – Art Institutions and the Feminist Dialectic (
2011 –
2012 – Gallery Pal
2014 – Statistical Profile of Art Galleries in Ontario (Based on the 2013 OAAG Data Exchange)