Aidan Ware

Director and Chief Curator, Tom Thomson Art Gallery, Owen Sound ON

AIDAN WARE has more than seventeen years of experience in arts management, spanning four important provincial public art galleries. She is a passionate advocate for artistic engagement in the belief that creativity forms the foundations of thriving, strong, dynamic communities. Aidan joined the Tom Thomson Art Gallery as Director and Chief Curator in 2020.

Prior to joining the Tom, Aidan Ware was Director of Cambridge Art Galleries (2015 – 2020) where she oversaw the administration and artistic programming for three separate gallery locations. During her tenure in Cambridge, Aidan secured matching grants to undertake the renovation of the art vault to better meet the needs of the gallery’s unique contemporary textile collection and she established the first Art Collection Committee to guide the development of collection policy, mandate, and five-year plan. Under her leadership, Cambridge Art Galleries developed and delivered on a strategic plan that focused on diversity, inclusion, and access. She committed to Truth and Reconciliation by responding to the Calls to Action and by working with Indigenous leaders, Knowledge Keepers, and elders. She secured important project grants for ambitious initiatives such as Transformed Through Touch, which was a multi-sensory exhibition created by deafblind students that inverted the “look, don’t touch” expectation and transformed it into a contemplation of “what does it feel like?” Aidan also succeeded in negotiating a major Partnership Agreement with the University of Waterloo School of Architecture to present innovative joint programming.

As the Director & Curator of Gallery Stratford (2013 – 2015) she managed all financial and programming aspects of the organization and worked closely with the City of Stratford to develop and implement policies and to improve the facility. She created strong community partnerships and succeeded in many collaborative projects and compelling exhibitions. Prior to this, serving ten years (2003 – 2013) as the Coordinator of Education and Development at the Art Gallery of Guelph, Aidan undertook many large-scale community engagement projects, developed and delivered educational programs, and managed highly successful fundraising initiatives, campaigns, and membership programs.

In 2014, Aidan Ware was presented with the Stratford Woman of the Year Award for Arts and Culture and in 2011 she was a recipient of the 2011 Guelph Mercury Top 40 Under 40 Award. She is a member of the Canadian Art Museum Directors Organization and serves on many local committees and juries.