I’m Bill Kingston with today’s commentary. There’s a saying that “helping is hurting and hurting is helping” and for too long the City of Cornwall has been “helping” The Art Gallery with funding. For too long TAG has been a dysfunctional mess with late applications only to receive funding the same as other outside agencies that followed the rules. Then the revolving door that was the board of directors for TAG, twice incarnated. It’s no wonder some councillors are spooked about giving money to the organization. Too bad it took nearly five years for the lights to go on around the council table when on Monday afternoon some councillors said enough is enough and said the $13,500 TAG got this year would be it. And this is where hurting is helping. TAG has been thrown in the deep end now and it’s sink or swim. How could TAG make up for that funding? Maybe start by boosting its membership roll to something bigger than 87 members. You only have to add 2,200 people in a catchment area of nearly 100,000 people in Cornwall and SD&G. Surely two per cent of the population supports the arts. If the arts community is so cohesive and together for a common goal then it should be no challenge for The Art Gallery (TAG) to get those people on board with their dues. Or maybe this is the push TAG needed to talk with other arts groups about merging and working together. This should also serve as a wake-up call for other outside agencies. Things are not going to get easier in 2016 and the time to be self-sustaining is now.
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