TAG to Auction Off Art Collection After City of Cornwall Doesn’t Respond JAN 12, 2017

Cornwall Ontario – The last stages of the end of the thirty six year old public art gallery of Cornwall are about to start.  The location itself closed in August.

The gallery’s permanent art collection; mostly collected during the 90’s in more friendly tax receipt days, will be going to auction.

During the closing of the Gallery this Summer certain historical artifacts were offered to both the city and Woodhouse museum without a single reply.

Two phone messages were left with the Museum, but Ian Bowering, the curator,  never responded to the clear messages to donate items.

Likewise, City Council or management never responded to the gallery’s offer of first refusal for items like the framed set of images commemorating Queen Elizabeth II’s visit for the opening of the Seaway, which was sold personally to one City Councilor after no response from City Hall.

The auctions will be taking place in Ottawa, Montreal, and Toronto with the proceeds being donated to charity as per Canada Revenue Rules.  The gallery’s Barrie Wentzell prints were donated to Musicounts, a Toronto based charity.

Since 1989, annual scholarships have been awarded to exceptional graduates enrolled in post-secondary Music Industry Arts Programs.

A few of the works of art were sold back to local artists prior to the closing of TAG Cornwall.

The board and membership of the gallery voted to close the gallery finally after the City refused to fund it for the second year in a row, (the city stipend & bingo earnings covered the gallery’s budget) no support from an alleged local Arts Council, which ironically has now seen it’s city donation slashed, and a strange and illegal take over attempt by members of the Focus Art group board of directors who picketed the gallery at an evening that saw over 30 people attend a meeting to try and save the only true community art assent the region had.

The gallery simply could not recover after evidence of illegal wrong doing by current City Councilor’s Elaine MacDonald and Carilyne Hebert (as well as her mother) led to their entire board resigning from the gallery.

The gallery did regain its footing implementing a new up to date charter, membership structure, new revenue streams, holding two major star attraction shows featuring political cartoonist Aislin, and famed Melody Maker photographer Barrie Wentzell who donated more of his work and subsequently joined the gallery board himself, but the negative and at times abuse that was going on simply made it unfeasible.

Board members were also threatened into leaving as well as one losing a contract for their personal business to a client that was allegedly leaned on by corrupt officials at City Hall.

A final appeal to Ryan Gosling who grew up in Cornwall failed as well.

The paint was on the canvas and as Director of Communications Jamie Gilcig stated:

We were able to find the money to keep the doors open from support from outside of the community, but the historical lack of local support for the arts in Cornwall, and abuse by people like Betty Healey, and the Focus Art board simply didn’t make sense to move forward. 

The gallery even saw former President of the Canadian Ass. of Journalists and Free Holder editor Hugo Rodrigues suggest that the gallery wasn’t a public gallery which made no sense as it was a registered public art gallery and charity for 36 years.

Local business simply failed the gallery as well including the Benson Group, Pommier Jewellers, Perkins Rona, OPG, Medical Arts Pharmacy, and several others, including the Chamber of Commerce, that were asked to help save the community asset.

While the city has made some noise at sugar plum fairy dreams of building a $10M plus art centre, there were similar plans in 1995 that never came to be.

The former location on Pitt Street is now home to a dance studio.



  1. Jamie there is no way in hell would I ever live in Cornhole nor do I intend to go down there even for a good laugh. The town is riddled with corruption and hate for the good people and the clique hates each other as well. That town is a terrible place to live.

  2. Shame they can’t auction them here in Cornwall

  3. Author

    Pete art isn’t supported here. The gallery has a duty to get as much as it can for the artwork. The shame is the gallery closing in the first place. The shame is City Hall allowing it to happen. The shame are the artists themselves not supporting the gallery enough. The shame is we live in a community that historically simply doesn’t support the arts.

    That’s a lot of shame for one community, and I find it sad.

  4. Jamie there are good reasons why Cornhole stayed way behind other communities and for good reasons. The people cannot see beyond their noses and educated people left a long time ago and never to return. I love art very much because when you are educated you appreciate it.

  5. there was a statement tag estimated the the collection was valued at $800.000. why not sell some to to foot the bill.or is it worth any real money.the city and the museum had no interest at all. if it had value it would not be passed over.they would have taken it for SURE

  6. Author

    Mike there were evaluations done in the 90’s when the gallery acquired the works. Most would not come close to those evaluations now. The most expensive items, the Wentzell prints, were donated. The gallery can’t officially close until all the assets are liquidated. Thus the auctions to clean out the collection.

    If City Hall and certain artists hadn’t been utter berks, the community would still have a gallery and cultural assets.

  7. Jamie, the clown from the daily wipe is blaming TAG for this. He’s never ever supported the arts. His only art piece has various numbers under the paint

  8. Author

    Yes, Hugo the Hack was busy. Am mulling whether to op ed it or not. It was so freaking weak and who writes a hatchet piece on the gallery without asking the gallery for comment? I mean it was based on this story being released. What an odd industry I work in…..no wonder so many consider traditional news, fake…

  9. Had Jamie not been on the board, this art gallery most likely would still have gotten their funding. thanks for making cornwall great lol

  10. Author

    Why would you suggest that Mr. Herrington?

  11. Jamie all the mainstream/lamestream media is fake and yours is the only one in that God Forsaken Town that is real and the idiots who live in Cornhole do not appreciate you. All news comes from AP and owned and controlled by a certain few and you know all about it.

  12. Jamie when the art gallery has gone to hell because of the town hall and its gang of gangsters and a sheeple who are brain dead and don’t want to change what good person wants to go there and become mayor of that god forsaken town. Nobody in their right frame of mind would ever want to touch it. The town is literally finished Jamie. When a people don’t want to improve and remain behind.

  13. Jason raises a valid point …that what killed The Art Gallery was the infantile pettiness of backward hicks running/ruining Cornwall.

    The obsession of Cornwall City Council and its bum boys and girls with ruining our only investigative journalist (for exposing dishonesty in their ranks) begs a new twist on an old adage, to wit… “they’ll cut off the community’s nose to save their own face.”

  14. There is another point that I made before and that is Cornwall is a hick town and losing more and more population and I told you all before that the signs were wrong. The Public School Board cutting and now the Catholic Board. Watch what is going to happen I predicted long ago and I am right. I have to credit myself for good predictions. Watch out for the very high taxes to come.

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