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Building Cultural Legacies is a digital storytelling platform that aims to build knowledge, spark creativity and deepen connection by engaging citizens from diverse communities and generations in the sharing of stories about the history of visual arts in Hamilton between 1950 and 2000.

The stories told here have been shaped by many voices and provide an intricate and layered portrait of the city. The current vibrancy of the city owes much to the efforts of those who came before us, many of whom still work and live in the area. BCL provides a space for today’s generation of artists and residents to value the significant contributions made by their predecessors and sets the stage for Hamilton’s continued cultural growth.

The Building Cultural Legacies: Art in Hamilton 1950-2000 exhibition runs from November 23, 2019 - May 18, 2020 at the Art Gallery of Hamilton. Featuring works by local artists Jim Chambers, Roger Ferreira, Conrad Furey, Cees & Annerie van Gemerden, Catherine Gibbon, Hortense Gordon, V. Jane Gordon, Elizabeth Holbrook, Donna Ibing, Bryce Kanbara, Peter Karuna, P. Mansaram and George Wallace, along with archival materials from Hamilton's art history!

Building Cultural Legacies has been generously supported by the Ontario Trillium Foundation.

Presented by the Hamilton Arts Council, in partnership with the Hamilton Public Library and the Art Gallery of Hamilton.

Further support provided by Centre 3, City of Hamilton, Hamilton Artists Inc., Hamilton Arts & Letters, Hamilton Conservatory for the Arts, McMaster Museum of Art, Workers Arts & Heritage Centre and You Me Gallery.

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The arts have been a significant force in the shaping of Hamilton. Its current vibrancy owes much to the efforts of those who came before us, and yet this history is at risk of being lost or forgotten as individuals who lived and worked through these decades age and pass on.

Building Cultural Legacies will provide a space for today’s generation of artists and residents to value the significant contributions made by their predecessors and will set the stage for Hamilton’s continued cultural growth.

Questions? Please contact




Christopher McLeod has a BA in Studio Art from McMaster University and an MFA from Emily Carr University in Vancouver, BC. He has curatorially consulted for the Ontario Science Centre and is the Artistic Director for the Great Art for Great Lakes project as well as the Project Director for the Hamilton Art Council’s Building Cultural Legacies project. He has taught at McMaster University and was Artist in Residence 2 years at the Art Gallery of Mississauga. His work has been featured at Nuit Blanche, the Art Gallery of Hamilton, and at Supercrawl 2018 and 2019. His practice explores social engagement and interaction, focusing on ecological and cultural themes. 




Alexis Moline is a curator, writer and researcher who has worked in Vancouver, Toronto and Hamilton. She received her Master of Museum Studies in collaboration with the Sexual Diversity Studies program from the University of Toronto. She is currently the Content Curator for the Building Cultural Legacies project at the Hamilton Arts Council. Her research explores how art has represented sexuality and gender both explicitly and implicitly and how it has influenced social change through the lens of cultural heritage, gallery and museum spaces.

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