Acquisitions Process

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Collections Mandate:

Our permanent collection must allow us to fulfill all objectives outlines in our mission and statement purpose. To that end, the Gallery will collect the following:

  • Fine art or historical objects of international, national or local significance that enhance our ability to educate the public about the visual arts or the history of art internationally, nationally or locally;
  • Fine art or historical objects that enhance our ability to create awareness and celebrate our region's rich and diverse art originating in all our communities - Indigenous, Francophone, Anglophone and all other ethnic and cultural groups that call Sudbury home;
  • Fine art or historical objects that strengthen our relationship to Franklin Carmichael's artistic legacy, and emphasize the importance of the Group of Seven to our region.. 

It is also important to outline at this juncture what the Gallery will not collect:

  • All art and objects collected by the Gallery must be consistent with the Gallery's mission and purpose. 
  • Objects in exceedingly poor condition that cannot, through the intervention of a professional conservator, be returned to acceptable condition.
  • Objects that the Gallery does not have the capacity to store or care for according to professional standards.
  • Objects that are unknown of provenance.
  • Objects the donation of which is dependent upon the Gallery agreeing to meet restrictive terms (especially terms requiring perpetual display).

An acquisition consists of the transfer to AGS of title to a object, either by purchase, gift, bequest or exchange. Our collections mandate promotes the development of the permanent collection and is directed to enhance the strengths in the areas of historical and contemporary works of Canadian art, with emphasis on the art of the Greater Sudbury Area and the wider region of Northern Ontario.

Criteria of acquisition:

  • Quality 
  • Cultural significance
  • Historical significance
  • Significance to art, locally or in the whole of Northern Ontario.
  • Relevance to the collections
  • Authenticity
  • Certainty of provenance
  • Certainty of legal title
  • Condition
  • Costs associated with the care of the object, including restoration, conservation and/or maintenance
  • The ability of the Gallery to properly care for and store the object
  • Terms of donation
  • Uses to which the object may be put, namely, exhibition, study or research, loan or exchange for other object

The Acquisitions Committee:

The Committee is appointed by the Board of Directors and is composed of at least three members of the gallery, one of whom is a member of the Board of Directors. The remaining of the Committee members consist of board-appointed members of the public, chosen based on their expertise in the areas of strength within the permanent collections. The Director, Curator or Acting Curator, and an individual trained in collections management and conservation (if available), will be ex officio members of the Committee and will not vote upon the acquisition, but will act in an advisory role. 

Acquisitions Process:

  • All works of art under consideration shall be presented to the Acquisitions Committee by the Director, Curator, or Collections Manager as designated. The presentation will include a curatorial qualitative assessment, based on the criteria mentioned above, art historical, provenance and biographical information. 
  • Following the presentation, the Committee will deliberate, and vote on the recommendation that will be provided to the Board of Directors.
  • Final authority for acquisitions rests with the Board of Directors. 
  • This process can take up to one year to complete.


Any object donated to the Gallery that may have a greater value than $500 must have an arm's length appraisal completed for insurance purposes. 

How to Donate Artwork as Cultural Property:
The artwork must be donated to a designated institution or public authority (which includes a select number of public galleries, museums, universities and public authorities across Canada). The donor must have a signed deed of gift provided by the institution prior to December 31 of the taxation year in which the donation is made. The designated public institution or public authority receiving the gift, must apply with the donor, or on behalf of the donor, to the Review Board to have the gift certified as Cultural Property. This application must contain documentation of the work's cultural significance, and a current Fair Market Value appraisal must also be provided.” (Art Dealers Association of Canada website, Appraisals, This process can take up to two years to complete.