Fonds LA.SC057 - Workscene Gallery fonds

Identity area

Reference code



Workscene Gallery fonds


  • 1974-1996 (Creation)

Level of description


Extent and medium

1.32 m of textual records
953 photographs
2 photo albums
1 poster
1 video tape
1 address stamp
1 corporate seal

Context area

Name of creator


Administrative history

Workscene Gallery was a non-profit, artist-run co-operative gallery in Toronto, 1974-1995. It originally provided studio space and a venue for exhibitions of members’ works, later expanding to exhibiting other artists’ works and curated exhibitions. Members were responsible for all programming and administration with individual artists responsible for content, installation and promotion of exhibitions. Members were required to have a strong art practice, to provide financial support through membership fees and be committed to promoting the arts community.
The co-operative was incorporated May 16, 1974 as Workscene Co-operative Corporation with the following directors: Gissa Geraldine Gold, Ian James Shaw, James Henry Tiley, Robert John Varty and Badanna Bernice Zack. In May 1988, the corporation was re-activated by the current group of artist members who began operating the Workscene Galley at 1020 Queen Street West as an exhibition space. This storefront gallery was formerly the Ruby-Fiorino Gallery and the co-operative remained in this space until the lease expired at the end of August 1990. In September 1990, Workscene Gallery relocated to 183 Bathurst Street, a building which was a focal point at that time for Toronto’s arts community and housed other artist-run centres, arts organizations and magazines. Workscene Co-operative Corporation also produced a magazine as an independent program, Work Seen Artists Forum, to provide a forum for artists to write about their work and issues of concern. In the summer of 1992 the magazine became a separate entity with no ties to the Workscene Gallery, changing its name to Artword Artists Forum.
Workscene Co-operative Corporation was dissolved in February 1992. Workscene Gallery Art Association Toronto Inc. was formed in June 1992 with the following directors: Jocelyne Regina Belcourt Salem (President), Yvonne Maria Eva Singer (1st Vice President), Ian David Lazarus (2nd Vice President), David John Renaud (Treasurer), and Sheila Ann Gregory (Secretary). The final exhibition of Workscene Gallery ended January 28, 1995. Workscene ceased operations permanently in 1995.

Archival history

The first accession of materials now constituting the Workscene Gallery fonds was acquired by the E.P. Taylor Research Library & Archives, Art Gallery of Ontario in 1995 and was donated by E. J. Lightman. In 1996, Joyce Kline donated 5 additional slides. In the same year, Yvonne Singer donated 18 slides with slide list, 2 press releases and an exhibition brochure. A further large box of materials was donated by David Renaud in 1998.

Immediate source of acquisition or transfer

AGO Credit Line: Gift of Workscene Gallery, 1995.

Content and structure area

Scope and content

Fonds documents Workscene Gallery as an artist collective, artist-run gallery and publisher in Toronto, including photographs, negatives, slides , photo albums, one poster, newspaper clippings, invitations, guest books, log books, exhibition catalogues, one video tape, address stamp and corporate seal.
Contains series:

  1. Members and associate members files
  2. Exhibition files
  3. Executive Committee files
  4. Financial records
  5. Publications
  6. Correspondence
  7. Administration files

Appraisal, destruction and scheduling


No further accruals are expected.

System of arrangement

Material comprising this fonds was received in approximately 9 boxes. Artist files, Exhibition materials and Financial records were filed as distinct series but the rest of the material was received in boxes with files in no discernible order. The fonds has been arranged by the archivist following the original order of the creator where possible, retaining the distinct series noted.

Conditions of access and use area

Conditions governing access

Open. Access to Special Collections is by appointment only. Please contact the reference desk for more information.

Conditions governing reproduction

Materials for which Workscene held copyright are in the public domain. Other materials have various copyright holders. It is the researcher’s responsibility to obtain permission to publish any part of the fonds.

Language of material

  • Arabic
  • English
  • French
  • Italian

Script of material

Language and script notes

Physical characteristics and technical requirements

Allied materials area

Existence and location of originals

Existence and location of copies

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Notes area

Alternative identifier(s)

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Description control area

Description identifier

Institution identifier

Art Gallery of Ontario

Rules and/or conventions used



Level of detail


Dates of creation revision deletion



  • English



Archivist's note

Prepared by Wendy Gomoll, 2012
Uploaded and adapted by Nirvana Chainani, 2019

Accession area

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