Corporate Art Collection Procedure

Purpose statement

To provide a framework for the acquisition, management, conservation, and deaccession of artworks that have been acquired by the town for inclusion in the Corporate Art Collection. (Collection).


This procedure applies to all artworks in the Collection, and to artworks that are under consideration for accession.



All artworks proposed for accession shall be evaluated according to the acquisition criteria based on that used by the Oakville Galleries.

The acquisition criteria shall apply to artworks that are acquired through purchase, commission, donation, gift or bequest.  Artworks that do not meet the acquisition criteria but have significant historical or cultural relevance may be considered for accession.

The accession of appropriate artworks shall be evaluated and approved by a staff committee convened by the Recreation and Culture department.

Official gifts

Any official gifts received or presented to the Mayor or Members of Council on behalf of the town, become the property of the Town of Oakville.  If the official gift is an artwork and meets the artwork acquisition criteria it may be accessioned into the Collection.

Collection management

All artwork is to be documented and entered into permanent inventory.  The inventory may be used for insurance purposes, location confirmation, maintenance schedules and contract agreements.

The inventory record is to include, where possible, the name of the artist, title, date of acquisition, value, media, size, and other appropriate details as deemed appropriate. A photographic archive of all artworks shall be maintained by the Recreation and Culture department.

Collection display

Artworks in the Collection may be displayed in appropriate town spaces at the discretion of Cultural Services staff.

Works on display should be framed if appropriate, mounted, and hung in accordance with professional museum standards.

Collection storage

As resources permit, the town shall provide appropriate storage facilities regarding environmental conditions and safety for all artworks in the Collection, in accordance with professional museum standards and as resources permit.                     

Collection insurance

The collection shall be valued every ten years.  Newly accessioned artworks shall be valued prior to accession. The collection shall be adequately insured for artworks on display, in storage, in transit and on loan.

Maintenance and conservation

Artworks shall be inspected by Cultural Services staff biannually and status reports shall be provided to the department director or designate concerning the condition of the artworks.

Missing or damaged artworks shall be reported to Cultural Services staff for appropriate action.

For purchased artworks, the artist shall be required to provide a detailed list of all materials used in the production of the piece.  The artist shall guarantee and maintain the work against all defects of material or workmanship for a period of three years following the purchase.

The artist, if required, shall provide drawings of the artwork’s installation with detailed instructions regarding routine cleaning and maintenance.

All repairs and restorations made during the artist’s lifetime shall be undertaken by mutual agreement between the Town of Oakville and the artist, and to the extent practical, the artist shall be given the opportunity to make such repairs.


Copyright of the artwork shall remain with the artist unless the town has purchased the copyright in full or has an agreement in writing for limited usage.

For direct purchases of artworks, the town shall negotiate with the artist to purchase full reproduction rights and the right to show, display or exhibit, to the public the artwork in any building or premise owned or leased and occupied by the town.


Cultural Services staff, in consultation with a staff committee, shall retain the right to deaccession any work of art purchased or commissioned.

Artwork considered for deaccession shall be evaluated according to the deaccession criteria based on that used by the Oakville Galleries.

Funds derived from any sale of deaccessioned artwork or from any possible insurance claims are to be used for maintenance of the Collection.

For the purposes of management, at least once in every ten-year period, all artwork should be evaluated for deaccession.

The Artist or his/her estate shall have the right of first refusal if an artwork is deaccessioned.

Town Council through the Community Services Committee (CSC) shall be apprised of all deaccessionings prior to the action being taken.


This procedure shall be managed by the Recreation and Culture department.

The Recreation and Culture department shall be responsible for evaluating artworks for accession and/or deaccession and for maintaining an inventory of the Collection.

Town Council shall have final authority on the accession and/or deaccession of artworks for the Collection.

Other town departments may provide services related to the security, maintenance, and conservation of the Collection.


Accession: The act of formalizing an artwork’s place in a collection through the creation of records of addition. Also, a process of increasing by addition (as to a collection or group); "the art collection grew through accession"

Acquisition: The act of obtaining ownership of an artwork through purchase, commission, donation, gift, or bequest.  Also, the asset that was acquired.

Artworks: Objects of applied, decorative, and fine art representing a variety of media.

Corporate art collection:  A collection of objects of applied, decorative, and fine art representing a variety of media for which the town holds clear title as well as objects that are the property of others but are held by the town conditionally on permanent or long-term loan.  The town holds intellectual property rights on all original and commissioned artworks in the Collection.  Corporate art collection pieces are displayed within town buildings and includes works in the Public Art collection.

Deaccession:  The act of permanently removing, relocating to another jurisdiction, or destroying artwork from a collection.




Oakville Galleries Permanent Collection Policy
Cultural Plan (2016 – 2021)