City’s new OPEN Card launches Wednesday

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Fun isn’t hard with Owen Sound’s new OPEN Card.

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The soon-to-launch OPEN Card grants cardholders free membership and access to The Owen Sound and North Grey Union Public Library, Tom Thomson Art Gallery, Billy Bishop Museum and Marine and Rail Waterfront Museum.

As an additional benefit, through the TOM’s affiliation with the Ontario Association of Art Galleries, the cardholder gains free admission to more than 100 Ontario art galleries including the McMichael Canadian Art Collection, MacLaren Art Centre, and Varley Art Gallery.

“I am thrilled to see this innovative, free membership program launch in Owen Sound. This great collaboration between these four local organizations will improve access to arts and culture for everyone in our community, and for all of the Union Library partner municipalities. I can’t wait to get my OPEN Card,” said City of Owen Sound Mayor Ian Boddy in a media release.

Anyone eligible for a library card may obtain an OPEN Card. The card officially launches Wednesday to celebrate International Museums Day.

“In 2021, the Tom Thomson Art Gallery established a new vision for our future: To be an open landscape for exploring art. This extraordinary collaboration between our cultural institutions is a remarkable step in creating that open landscape through barrier-free access to our institutions and programs. It also promotes creative cross-pollination, sharing, and partnership, which strengthens and grows our community and the regional cultural sector,” said Aidan Ware, director and chief curator of the Tom Thomson Art Gallery on behalf of the OPEN Card partner organizations.

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In celebration of the OPEN Card, the Tom Thomson Art Gallery will host a reception Wednesday from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m.

The reception will feature a musical performance by local band G.R.I.N.D., complimentary refreshments, and a cash bar. Capacity for this event is limited – RSVP to Hillary Weppler (

For more information on how to obtain a free OPEN Card, visit or visit one of the four partner institutions.

“It is wonderful to work with other community-focused organizations to deliver 21st-century services locally. The library is excited about this new partnership and we look forward to helping our current and future members enjoy the benefits now available,” said Tim Nicholls Harrison, CEO and chief librarian at the Owen Sound and North Grey Union Public Library.

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