2013-2014 Fiscal Year Brings Record Successes at WAG

Winnipeg, MB, Friday, June 27, 2014: At its Annual General Meeting on June 26, the Winnipeg Art Gallery announced a surplus of $385,716 in its 2013/2014 fiscal year, the largest surplus in WAG history.

Much of the surplus and continued WAG success stems from 100 Masters Only in Canada, a Centennial exhibition that ran from May to September 2013.

  • The popularity of 100 Masters Only in Canada positively affected membership, which nearly doubled to 4,500 over the course of the exhibition.
  • Revenues from admissions and memberships doubled from 8% of the WAG’s annual budget in 2012/13 to 16% in 2013/14.
  • 50% growth in social media communities with 12,000 Twitter followers and 3,200 Facebook followers, as of March 31, 2014.
  • For the first time ever, the Gallery Shop opened a satellite location in the galleries. The 100 Masters Only in Canada Shop was a huge success and generated $120,000 during the exhibition run.

“Due to 100 Masters, this has been an incredible year for all of the departments at the WAG, including Education,” comments Dr. Stephen Borys, WAG Director & CEO. “Between April 2013-March 2014 we engaged with over 9,000 young people on tours. The 100 Masters Only in Canada exhibition was a real highlight for the Education department. The exhibition Math & Art saw more than 2,000 students come to the WAG specifically to see this show, not to mention the additional 2,000 that would have seen it as part of another program.”

100 Masters Only in Canada garnered numerous awards and nominations for the WAG. The WAG received the Canadian Museum Association’s national award for Outstanding Achievement in Marketing for the 100 Masters exhibition. The 275-page illustrated publication accompanying the 100 Masters exhibition also received the Manitoba Book Award’s Manuela Dias Book Design of the Year Award.

The WAG exhibition was announced as the runner-up for a Winnipeg Tourism Award of Distinction in Marketing and runner-up for the Winnipeg Free Press Entertainment Story of the Year, as voted by WFP readers, coming in second to the Paul McCartney concert at the new stadium in Winnipeg. Most recently, 100 Masters was nominated for the 2014 Tourism Industry Association of Canada Tourism Awards in the Marketing Campaign of the Year Award category.

“Beyond the record attendance, school outreach, membership growth, huge revenues, and national media attention and honours for 100 Masters, what was most rewarding for me was to see how the public responded to seeing and experiencing the original works of art. In an era filled with reproductions and replicas of all kinds in all places, it is a powerful reminder that people still want to see the real thing – masterworks created by men and women over the ages,” adds Borys.

The WAG welcomes Dr. Ernest Cholakis as the new Chair of the Board of Governors. Cholakis obtained his DMD in 1982 from the University of Manitoba and his MBA in 2002 from the University of Chicago Graduate School of Business. Dr. Ernest Cholakis is an Assistant Professor and Co-Director of Dental Practice Management Studies. He is also the Founding Chairperson of the Deans Advisory Board, Faculty of Dentistry, University of Manitoba. Dr. Cholakis conceived and founded the Manitoba Dental Association's "Open Wide" Campaigns that have provided free dental care to thousands of disadvantaged Manitobans. He was a recipient of Her Majesty's Golden Jubilee Medal for his contributions to the dental profession and his community. In 2012, Dr. Cholakis was the recipient of the Queen Elizabeth II Diamond Jubilee Medal for his "significant professional achievements and philanthropic contributions to the province of Manitoba.”

The Gallery extends sincere thanks to Jim Ripley who completed two terms on the Board, serving six years. Additional new members include: Jeff Baigrie, Partner, Pitblado Law; Herbert Enns, Professor of Architecture, University of Manitoba and Director, CISCO Innovation Centre, University of Winnipeg; Frederick G. Ford, President, Manitoba Inuit Association; and Lisa Meeches, Executive Producer & President, Eagle Vision Inc.

The WAG is pleased to announce the appointment of Patricia Bovey, WAG Director from 1999-2004, as Director Emeritus. While at the WAG, Bovey advanced the mandate of the Gallery, presenting an exhibition program of regional, national, and international significance. Current Chair of the Board of Governors of the University of Manitoba, Bovey teaches 20th Century Canadian Art and Cultural Management at the University of Winnipeg. Her book Pat Martin Bates: Balancing on the Thread launched in Winnipeg on June 23, 2014. She is researching and writing Impacts and Turning Points: The Western Voice in Canadian Art.

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For more information, please contact:
To arrange interviews and for additional information, please contact:
Tammy Sawatzky
Public Relations Coordinator
Winnipeg Art Gallery
204.789.1295
PublicRelations@wag.ca

Catherine Maksymiuk
Manager, Media and Marketing
Winnipeg Art Gallery
204.789.1767
Media-Manager@wag.ca

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