UPDATE: More art gallery board members quit

UPDATE: More art gallery board members quit
Pictured are Roland Besner

CORNWALL, Ontario – Before the revolving door had time to finish spinning behind the entire board of directors that left in January, more make their way to the exit at The Art Gallery (TAG) of Cornwall.

Board member Mary Ann Hug has tendered her resignation, just days after chairman Roland Besner, vice chairman Eric Covington, and Marc Pilote walked away.

That adds to board member Greg Kielec who already jumped ship – on top of an entire board that resigned last term and nearly as many people the term before that.

Kielec was replaced by Kevin Lamoureux of KAV Productions.

Another board member, Brian Long, also appears to have quit.

Covington said in an interview he had issues with ensuring solid governance for the gallery and that “all the directors were acting in the best interests of TAG.”

According to an e-mail sent to Seaway News on Thursday night, the new TAG board consists of chair Wyatt Walsh and directors Lorna Foreman, Brian Schofield, and Lamoureux, in addition to executive director Sylvie Lizotte.

Lizotte could not be reached for comment.

Prior to the current board, every member of the previous body resigned. Before that it was all but one.

Last term’s TAG board members included Coun. Carilyne Hebert (president), Coun. Elaine MacDonald, Aline Gareau, Erynn Blackadder, Jose Martin, and Jenny-Lee Roy, as well as Jason Setnyk.

“I joined two years ago because the entire board before that, except for one member, walked out,” said Hebert in recent remarks to this newspaper.

When asked about an alleged “disconnect” between the TAG board and Lizotte, she refused to make any comment.

But Setnyk pointed out to Seaway News that is exactly what had taken place with the previous board.

“In my opinion there was a disconnect between the executive director and board members,” said Setnyk. “We had different visions for the art gallery.”

Lizotte has countered in recent comments by suggesting the departures are “normal,” using the Cornwall Community Museum and Your Arts Council (YAC) Cornwall & The Counties as examples.

“I want to clarify it’s not because of me. I did everything I could do,” said Lizotte. “Most people have a misunderstanding of how a board of directors works – they are my employer and I am the employee. They can fire me if they have cause.”

She attributed some of the turnover to self-interested volunteers.

“I personally had no problem with Sylvie,” said Covington.

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