I think that cultural institutions, such as art galleries, theatres, libraries and so on are the heart of any urban community. They bring people together for shared experiences and give the city a true sense of place. When I first saw Jerome Markson’s (Architect of the Varley Art Gallery) elegant new art gallery at the end of Main Street Unionville, I sensed this was going to be a truly important place for Markham. So I sent in my name, in response to an ad in the Economist and Sun. As a result I was asked to join the new Gallery’s Community Advisory Board, as it was then called, and stayed for ten years! I love the Gallery. I was delighted to be able to help the Gallery in its early years, and as a Foundation Board Member, to have a part in making the Gallery the wonderful visual arts hub that it has become. I have warm memories of all the staff, and wish to give a special nod to William Withrow (former Director of the AGO and Varley-Mckay Foundation Board Member), who added art establishment clout as an original Trustee in the early years.