Earlier this week, the Province of Ontario announced a regional approach to Stage 2 of reopening businesses, which includes those operating in the Region of Waterloo. Under Stage 2, the Kitchener-Waterloo Art Gallery is now permitted to reopen to the public, with restrictions in place to ensure the safety of visitors and staff alike.
Preparations to re-open the Gallery have been underway for some time and we look forward to providing a safe environment in which visitors can renew their connection with art and its ideas. This experience will undoubtedly be different from the KWAG you will remember, and we hope we can count on your patience and understanding as we adapt our operations to meet our new reality.
Ever since we first closed our doors in March, KWAG Members have been reliable and loyal friends who remained unwavering in their financial support of the Gallery – even at a time when the many benefits of membership were unavailable to them. As a special show of our appreciation and thanks, Members will be invited to visit the Gallery by appointment from Tuesday 23 June in order to preview our current exhibitions: By Your Own Stars: Works from the Permanent Collection and Soundings: An Exhibition in Five Parts, a major touring exhibition curated by Candice Hopkins and Dylan Robinson featuring works by Indigenous artists that take the form of scores calling for decolonization. We will also be inviting our Indigenous community to visit these exhibitions during this preview period.
The general public will be welcome to visit the Gallery starting from Saturday 27 June, during the opening hours of 11:00 am-5:00 pm from Tuesday-Saturday and 1:00-5:00 pm on Sundays. The following measures will be in place to ensure your comfort and safety:
- No more than ten visitors will be permitted inside the Gallery at any given time to ensure physical distancing within our exhibition spaces; entry will be managed on a first-come first-served basis
- Visitors exhibiting symptoms of COVID-19 are not permitted to visit the Gallery; visitors will be asked to confirm they are asymptomatic and provide contact information on entry to support contact tracing if required
- Plexiglass shielding has been installed at Front Desk to minimize contact between visitors and staff
- Visitors will be required to sanitize their hands upon entering KWAG
- Wearing of non-surgical face masks is strongly encouraged inside the Gallery
- Visitors are required to maintain physical distance of 6 feet (2 metres) from other guests throughout the Gallery, and are encouraged to navigate exhibitions by following the walls to your right-hand side
- High-touch surfaces throughout the Gallery including doors will be sanitized regularly by Gallery staff
- Gallery attendants will be on hand to sanitize headphones for video installations after each use
- Washrooms and drinking fountains will not be available to visitors at this time; however, our contactless water bottle filling station will remain available
- Visitors are encouraged to take home any print handouts used during their visit, or else dispose of these in the recycling bin provided on departure
- Visitors who develop symptoms of COVID-19 during their visit are asked to inform Front Desk immediately to seek assistance in safely leaving the Gallery or isolating on site until help can be provided
With these measures in place, we are confident that KWAG can provide a comforting refuge and space for learning through these challenging times. As we continue to adapt to these unpredictable circumstances, we encourage you to keep an eye on our website and social media for changes to visiting hours and policies that may be introduced as we proceed with re-opening.
Thank you for your understanding – we look forward to welcoming you back soon.