New Windsor museum should bring shared benefits, say AGW and city officials

Tuesday, November 24, 2015 Morrison

Officials from the Art Gallery of Windsor and City of Windsor say the new Chimczuk Museum will help turn the art gallery building into a cultural hub which will create benefits for both organizations.

The upcoming city-operated museum was mentioned as part of AGW board president Peter Wasylyk’s annual appeal for donations Tuesday.

“We welcome the Chimczuk Museum on the ground floor of this building and look forward to the added community-driven element they bring to this location,” said Wasylyk.

The 401 Riverside Dr. building is owned by the city, which houses the AGW as the tenant of the second and third floors. The ground floor will be home to a new museum, at a renovation cost of $5.7 million.

Mayor Drew Dilkens said having a museum in the same building as an art gallery should help increase foot traffic for both institutions.

“People can come in and see the community museum, but when they’re here, they’ll have the opportunity to visit the art gallery,” he said. “There’s no better time than when you’re already in the building and you’re one floor below where all the activity is going on.”

AGW executive and fund development assistant Jude Abu Zaineh said the museum and the nearby Windsor International Aquatic and Training Centre bring up ideas for shared opportunities.

“It’s exciting to have another tenant in the building because we’re hoping to connect in ways that we can incorporate some of our tours so they include the museum and the gallery,” said Abu Zaineh.

Cathy Masterson, the city’s manager of cultural affairs, said work on the Chimczuk Museum is at the installation phase. The exhibits have been designed and now work is being done to have the artifacts ready for viewing, she said.

“For example, taking a native pot and making sure that a stand it goes on supports all the parts,” she said. “A lot of pots, especially old ones, they’re very fragile, so you want to make sure the base or the mount cradles it properly.”

An opening date for the museum has not been set, but Dilkens said he expects it to be ready early 2016. Council will ultimately determine the date.

Masterson said there will be a “soft launch” in order to tweak parts of the museum before the more public celebration.

The art gallery president’s appeal also included the launch of a new campaign called Think. Do. View.

The “think” portion includes panel discussions on topics relevant to the exhibitions. “Do” represents the activities offered in the art gallery building. The public tours offered make up the “view” aspect of the campaign. The art gallery offers free events in all three of these categories.

“It really is not just a building where you come in and it’s just unidimensional,” said AGW manager of development JoAnne Fletcher. “It has multi-dimensions to it, so think, do, view.”

Donations to the art gallery can be made online.