Docents are specially educated Volunteers who facilitate tour experiences for visiting groups of all ages. Each year, the AGH welcomes over 8,000 students for discovery tours, adult touring groups and public tours several times a week. All of which would not be possible without our knowledgeable and much-appreciated Docents happily donating their time and bringing art to life for everyone they meet. Docent Dialogue, a regular feature of The Magazine, introduces some of these dedicated individuals to our readers.
Meet Bill Manson!
Length of time you’ve been a Docent: 16 years.
Life prior to Volunteering at the Gallery: Educator; Curriculum Consultant and Coordinator; Hamilton Teachers’ Federation (OSSTF) President; Published Author; Theatre Designer and Director; Chair of the Hamilton Historical Board, Governance Consultant; Member of the following: Hamilton Arts Council, Information Hamilton, Hamilton Future Fund Board of Governors, Hamilton Municipal Heritage Committee, Hamilton Arts Commission, Hamilton Arts Council.
Favourite work from the AGH Collection to share with visitors: Sophie Anderson’s Toklihili: The Young Indian Princess from the Joey and Toby Tanenbaum Collection.(This striking work is featured in the exhibition Speaking for Herself, on view from March 10, 2018 to March 17, 2019 on Gallery Level Two.)
Most memorable tour: On the very last tour on the closing Sunday of William Kurelek: The Messenger, I toured 79 visitors including Kurelek’s daughter (whom, at the time, I did not realize was part of the crowd). She later said that she really enjoyed what I had to say about her father and his work.
If you could have dinner with three artists (of any era), they would be: Joseph Mallord William Turner, Vincent van Gogh and Salvador Dali.
Favourite local artist: Cathy Gibbon, both for her interest in the environment, and for her fantastic technical skill.
Other experiences (in downtown Hamilton or area) you think people would enjoy: The natural heritage including the escarpment and its waterfalls, the built heritage (that has survived), the downtown restaurants, the Art Crawl.
Best kept Hamilton secret: The fascinating and unique history and heritage of the city.