Building Cultural Legacies

Finding and sharing the history of visual arts in Hamilton

The Building Cultural Legacies project will capture and broadly disseminate stories about this history of visual arts in Hamilton, through a digital storytelling approach. The Ontario Trillium Foundation’s investment will build online, social and exhibition platforms that will share these memories, hold community knowledge, and promote pride and understanding. Building Cultural Legacies will ensure that today’s generation of artists and residents value the significant contributions made by their predecessors, and will set the stage for Hamilton’s continued cultural growth.

The Building Cultural Legacies portal, while archival, is a place for Hamilton artists and creatives to share their work, stories, and experiences.





We are excited to announce that Alexis Moline has started as the Content Curator for the BCL project. Her education in museum studies and recently completed work at the Doris McCarthy Gallery makes her a great addition to the project.

Expect to see and hear from her as we develop the BCL App and website. She can be reached at

Artist Video Interviews

We have now completed 11 artist video interviews with Robert Ross, Nora Hutchinson, Jim Riley, V Jane Gordon, Mansaram, Donna Ibing, Judi Burgess, Robert Yates, Catherine Gibbon, Cees and Annerie van Gemerden, and Bryce Kanbara. I want to thank the Hamilton Public Library for use of their sound room and for transcribing the interviews.

Each interview will be edited at full length and included on the BCL app, but is also being used as a jumping off point for the several local writers currently working on developing feature sections based on these 11 artist’s experiences.



The Hamilton Arts Council is pleased to announce this call for curators/writers to produce feature sections to be included in the Building Cultural Legacies website. The Building Cultural Legacies: Visual Art digital storytelling website aims to build community knowledge, understanding, and pride, by engaging citizens from different communities and generations in the sharing of knowledge about the history of the Visual Arts in Hamilton. There are THREE (3) opportunities for curators, artists, collectives, writers, researchers. Please download the PDF for full details.

  • DEADLINE: November 30, 2018 - CLOSED



Annette Paiement, Executive Director, Hamilton Arts Council (905) 481-3218 or

Christopher McLeod, BCL Project Director, Hamilton Arts Council (905) 481-3218 or




It was my pleasure to have the Building Cultural Legacies project invited to the Ontario Art Education Associations Conference, Moving Forward this past October.

The conference looked to emphasize student-centred, inquiry or project-based pedagogy supported by classroom practice. Our goal at the conference was to directly connect with visual arts educators and to discuss the Building Cultural Legacies project.

We used this opportunity to offer ‘Cupcakes for Comments’ as a fun way to get the attention of the teacher attendees. With custom made cupcakes from Bitten on Locke, it worked wonderfully as we received constant feedback and comments during our time at the conference.


Here is a sample of the form we used to collect comments:



  1. Does the Building Cultural Legacies website sound like a resource you would use in your lessons?  Yes: _____  No: _____ 


  1. Would curated or ‘themed’ categories within the website be useful?

Yes: ______No: ______Comments: _________________________________________

  1. Based on the projects description, is there any specific feature you would like to see on the website?


Thank you! If you are interested in being involved with community engagement or diversity working groups for Building Cultural Legacies, contact


With the information we received, we will be creating a dedicated ‘For Educators’ section within the Building Cultural Legacies website. While still under development, our goal is to offer focussed and themed lesson plans for students and teachers in the visual arts, grades 9-12.



MEDIA RELEASE - March 23: Celebration & Collage Party 


This program is made possible by a Ontario Trillium Foundation Grow Grant.