Mission & Impact


Inspired by the legacy of the iconic Canadian artist Tom Thomson, the TOM connects people to art and generates creative energy that sustains, enriches, empowers, and inspires the communities it serves.


The TOM will be recognized as the guardian of Tom Thomson’s story, his work and his legacy. The TOM will be his foremost authoritative interpreter.

  • The TOM will use the power of its permanent collection to expand interest in the importance of Canadian art.
  • The TOM will play a prominent and supportive role within the cultural realm at a local, regional and national level.
  • The TOM will generate recognized value for what it does from our stakeholders, donors and funders.

Core Purpose Statement:

The TOM is entrusted to preserve and present the life, work and ongoing legacy of Tom Thomson. The TOM will develop opportunities for meaningful connections to contemporary and historical art through exhibitions, education and programming. As the cultural anchor organisation for the Grey Bruce region, the TOM creates supportive collaborations and partnerships with other organizations.

Core Values

  • The TOM strives to meet the highest standards of excellence in all it undertakes.
  • The TOM is welcoming, accessible and inclusive.
  • The TOM believes in the power of art as a vital and integral part of everyday life.

The Tom Thomson Art Gallery is a regional public gallery and national cultural attraction with a top-notch and revolving program of contemporary and historical exhibitions, lectures, forums, films, concerts and workshops.

As a dynamic place where artists and audiences can meet and flourish, the Tom Thomson Art Gallery provides enriching experiences through art for a range of visitors, showing the art of today and influencing the art of the future. Exhibitions are accompanied by informative materials and scheduled tours are conducted by trained guides – all designed to bring a new dimension to visitors’ enjoyment and appreciation of art and its creation.

Established in 1967, the Gallery is named for the iconic Canadian landscape artist Tom Thomson (1877 – 1917) and houses one of Canada’s largest collections of his work. Thomson, who grew up and is buried in the Owen Sound area, was a maverick, a break-away artist who fused a passion for the wilderness with a new style of skillful and experimental painting.

An ambitious program of exhibitions by local and Canadian artists makes the Tom Thomson Art Gallery a focal point for opportunities to experience the ever-changing world of contemporary art. Enjoy new artistic media such as video, sound, performance and installation, alongside traditional fine arts such as painting, sculpture and craft, in exhibitions that showcase current tendencies in visual art.

The Gallery frequently collaborates with other Canadian and international institutions to produce touring exhibitions and artists’ publications, and has established itself as a vital link in a national dialogue on contemporary art.

Works by Tom Thomson – who inspired the formation of the Group of Seven through his transformative portrayal of the natural world – and his contemporaries are on permanent display in the Gallery’s Canadian Spirit Exhibition. Exhibitions of Thomson’s oil sketches, graphics, memorabilia and archival materials offer unique insight into one of Canada’s most influential artists of the 20th century

The Tom Thomson Art Gallery has its own collection of over 2,300 works of art, including paintings, drawings, prints, photographs, sculptures and craft. In addition to a rich base of works by Tom Thomson and the Group of Seven, the collection offers significant contemporary art by regional and national artists. The focus is on works relating to the landscape, and the many contemporary interpretations of that tradition.

Adults, teens and children can participate in an array of learning opportunities including art classes, school programs, workshops and other art activities. Lively and stimulating programs for all ages foster hands-on appreciation of contemporary art and culture. In addition to exhibitions, the Tom Thomson Art Gallery offers lectures by artists and critics, film screenings, readings by writers and poets, and fundraising events.