History / Background:
Founded in 1974 and incorporated in 1977, the White Water Gallery (WWG) was originally created to facilitate opportunities for local artists in need of professional development who were unable to find accommodating venues for their research and dissemination projects.

This need, combined with the dedication of many local artists, founded an institution devoted to the support of artistic development prioritizing research, risk-taking and experimentation in the arts. Today many of Canada’s most established and successful artists acknowledge the role WWG has played in advancing their careers.

WWG Founders:

  • Jane Agnew
  • Keith Campbell
  • Ford Colyer
  • Michael Couchie (absent from photo)
  • Dennis Geden
  • Brian Maycock
  • Jill Maycock
  • Jane Perry
  • Lillian Thalheimer

MISSION: White Water Gallery is a not-for-profit Artist-Run Centre committed to supporting artistic practices that prioritize risk and innovation. Understanding the need to advance the public’s threshold for viewing contemporary art the gallery encourages outreach programming that promotes accessibility and shared knowledge.

MANDATE: To advance the public’s appreciation of the arts by producing public art exhibitions and presentations, and by providing a forum for qualified artists to exhibit, present, or perform their artistic works through participation in such events.

Brief History:

  • 1974: White Water Gallery (WWG) is founded by nine local artists,  becoming the first public art space in North Bay.
  • 1977: WWG is incorporated as a not-for-profit Artist-Run Centre (ARC).
  • 1980: WWG receives charitable status.
  • 1980: WWG is one of the first ARC’s to receive operating funding from Canada Council for the Arts (CCA).
  • 2007: WWG loses operating funding from the CCA.
  • 2008: Re-envisioning process begins, culminating in a three-year Strategic Plan.
  • 2010: A new Programming Document is developed through the OAC Compass Program.
  • 2010: WWG receives a three-year funding commitment from the Ontario Trillium Foundation to hire a full-time Executive Director after running for two years with volunteers.
  • 2011: WWG receives its first grant from the CCA in five years.
  • 2012: WWG diversifies its staff to include both an Administrative Director and Director of Programming.
  • 2013: New three-year strategic plan developed with Jenny Ginder of Ginder Consulting through the CCA’s Flying Squad Program.
  • 2013: WWG brings in Young Associates through the OAC Compass Program to assist with financial management and bookkeeping training.
  • 2013: WWG begins an archiving digitization project with funding from the Ministry of Culture.
  • 2013: WWG re-applies for CCA operating funding
  • 2020-2022: The Covid-19 Pandemic sees WWG newly without a physical location, and most programming is forced online for the next several years. The WWG adapts.
  • 2023: WWG re-opens at a new downtown North Bay location.