Unique…inspiring…home…Each word describes the Burlington Art Centre, a multi-faceted facility nestled next to Lake Ontario in the heart of Burlington, Ontario. It is a truly a centre for art, supporting artists, staging exhibitions, nurturing a nationally and internationally recognized ceramic collection, and serving the community.
Founded in 1978, the BAC reflects the unique vision of artists in many ways because it grew from the efforts of several Burlington visual arts cooperatives and guilds which recognized the need for a home for artists working in the region. Seven guilds now create within the BAC, using studios dedicated to photography, hand-weaving, spinning, sculpture, woodcarving, ceramics, fine arts, pottery and hooking craft.
Artists of all levels are inspired at the BAC. Talented instructors and fully equipped studios nurture not only guild members, but also art students of all ages from the community through studio courses and Hands On programs for schools and businesses. Artists and craftspeople are supported with professional development programs.
From its early foundation, the BAC also expanded to become home to a permanent collection of ceramics, vigorously acquired since1983. The BAC Permanent Collection of Contemporary Canadian Ceramics has achieved international recognition and is the largest such collection in Canada. It continues to grow in size and artistic depth.
The creation and gathering of art within the BAC is complemented by its ability provide a venue to art lovers and artists to come together through its exhibitions program. The BAC is the seventh largest public art gallery in Ontario and stages as many as 20 exhibitions throughout the year which showcase work from internationally recognized artists, national and regional artists, as well as local guild members. Guests can experience art by wandering the BAC halls and through the AIC Gallery, F.R. Perry Gallery, and Permanent Collection Corridor.
A Welcoming Environment
The BAC also boasts a beautiful conservatory, outdoor courtyard, a café and the Art Etc Gallery Shop, which features an art rental program and sells the work of Canadian artists, as well as meeting and event rooms for rent to the community.
As a not-for-profit organization, the BAC relies on sponsorships, donations and fundraising to continue its programs. It relies on dedicated BAC members who volunteer their time to work in the BAC and for its events throughout the year and on corporate partners which generously provide financial support.
The BAC’s Strategic Goals 2012 – 2014
The following strategic goals were developed in order to provide BAC staff and Board Members with a clear direction on where the organization is headed in the coming years.
1) Grow the demand for BAC programs and services
- Take a retail approach to program development
- Take a social approach to program development
- Market BAC programs through all demographics
- Build capacity for social media conversations
- Look for more outreach and collaboration opportunities
- Explore an Artist-in-Residence program
- Play a leadership role in Burlington’s cultural community
- Consider the concept of a creativity campus
2) Grow the BAC’s revenue sources
- Consider the issues around the BAC brand and identity (e.g., confusion with BPAC, etc)
- Acknowledge three main revenue sources
- Service revenues (City)
- “Earned” revenues (business units)
- Recognize that the City is interested in cost/benefit/performance
- Align BAC development with City’s overall plan and methods of operation
- Do cost/benefit analysis of existing business units
- Implement Branding and Marketing Plan
BAC Foundation to cover the following:
- Articulate BAC’s value proposition and its overall case for support
- Other revenues (donors and benefactors)
- Develop the case for annual fundraising
3) Build the BAC’s organizational strength and operating capacity
- Identify the desired outcomes for the institution
- Continue to clarify and align the roles of the Boards
- Focus on operational structure, succession, training and development, etc
- Identify ways to measure performance and accountability
- Develop a communications policy, strategy and plan with capacity to maintain it based on the brand and marketing strategy
4) Provide the best place to fulfill BAC’s mission and goals
- Build a digital presence
- Assess functioning and usage of existing space
- Work with the City regarding future of BAC site
- Develop goals and timelines for facility development