Local Journalism Initiative
PORTAGE-DU-FORT – ArtPontiac held its annual general meeting, November 30 at the Stone School Gallery in Portage-du-Fort, chaired by Ellen Boucher of the Pontiac Community Development Corporation (CDC Pontiac).
ArtPontiac has been operating with minimal board members since last January, starting with Marcel Renaud’s resignation as treasurer due to health reasons. After a nomination
period, Maureen McAuliff, Stephanie Pete and Bryan Chen agreed to join the board and their roles will be determined at the first board meeting in January.
President Cheryl Beillard explained the organization has had “two successful years” since the COVID pandemic. “Going through old annual reports, I’m astonished by what this organization has achieved and the amount of work that has been done,” she added.
ArtPontiac has been working on exploring different disciplines, placing more emphasis on crafts, and creating a shop to help artists sell their work, which has been successful. In 2023, they foughtto maintain focus, keep the organization going, and expand by establishing new venues, among other things. For example, Brauwerk Hoffman in Campbell’s Bay created a gallery to be part of the MRC Pontiac’s new arts and culture map, and there’s a small gallery at Les Alpagas de Willow Lane in Bristol. They also expanded the number of exhibitions and types of artwork at Café 349 in Shawville.
Two issues the new board will have to deal with are finances and finding more volunteers. Every year, they need to secure enough funding to cover basic costs and more work is needed to obtain additional grants. There was talk of ways to lower operating costs and increase revenues; hosting more fundraisers, requesting larger grants from new sources, holding more workshops, and approaching the MRC Pontiac and Culture Outaouais for help.
More online communication and keeping websites and social media pages up to date were stressed as priorities to better promote the artists and their work.A resolution was passed to address some bookkeeping errors needing correction before January, but financial statements were sound.