Kitchener Waterloo Art Gallery seeks founders from 60 years ago

The Kitchener Waterloo Art Gallery is turning 60 in January and wants to throw a party for its founding members; unfortunately, there's a problem with the guest list.

Gallery hopes to honour 10 men and women with a founders dinner

The Kitchener Waterloo Art Gallery is turning 60 in January and wants to throw a party for its founding members.

But there's a problem with the guest list. 

Executive Director Shirley Madill has pored over the early minutes and has identified 10 men and women as the gallery's founders, but each individual is mentioned by last name only. 

So she is asking the community to help identify the remaining members. Their names are:

  • Mrs. W. H. Sims.
  • Mrs. R. Ashton.
  • Mrs. A. M. Shaw.
  • Mr. D.M.C Shaw.
  • Dr. D. W. Whaley.
  • Mr. W. W. Foot.
  • Mr. J. Schlachter.
  • Mr. and Mrs. A. G. Magee.

"At this point, the only names that are familiar to us are Mr. and Mrs. G. E. Eastman, because Elizabeth Eastman's works are in our collection," Madill says. 

Madill says the founders had big ideas for their small-town gallery, wanting to rival the likes of the Art Gallery of Toronto and the Montreal Museum of Fine Arts. 

KWAG Executive Director Shirley Madill is hoping to find the 10 founding members of the art gallery in time for the gallery's 60th anniversary. (Melanie Ferrier/CBC)
 "They were innovative and they were visionaries, but they were also fearless," she says, adding that the gallery would not exist as it does today without their foresight. 

"They were going to do this and it didn't appear in the minutes at all that there was anything that was going to hold them back."

Madill wants to honour these men and women with a founders dinner in early 2016, to kick of the gallery's 60th anniversary. 

Anyone who recognizes one of the names above is encouraged to contact Madill at, Judith Stephens-Wells at, or Kris Schumacher at   


To encourage thoughtful and respectful conversations, first and last names will appear with each submission to CBC/Radio-Canada's online communities (except in children and youth-oriented communities). Pseudonyms will no longer be permitted.

By submitting a comment, you accept that CBC has the right to reproduce and publish that comment in whole or in part, in any manner CBC chooses. Please note that CBC does not endorse the opinions expressed in comments. Comments on this story are moderated according to our Submission Guidelines. Comments are welcome while open. We reserve the right to close comments at any time.

Become a CBC Member

Join the conversation  Create account

Already have an account?