Did You Know?

Library ByLaw, 1894A library by-law was prepared and voted on, on June 26, 1894 and accepted by the largest majority for any proposal submitted to the citizens of Windsor at that time. 

Kenneth Saltmarche, AGW Director begins writing art criticisms for the local papers in 1948 under the pseudonym David Mawr. 

One of the first WSO concerts in Windsor was called “Concerts for Smokes” as they raised funds to send care packages such as candy and cigarettes to Windsor’s armed forces overseas during WWII.

In 1954 the WSO, the AGW and the WPL take part in Centennial celebrations for the hundredth anniversary of the City of Windsor.

The WPL borrowed an exhibit from the Royal Ontario Museum consisting of Egyptian, Roman and Chinese potteries, embroideries, and coins in 1922.

The price of borrowing art work from the picture lending collection in 1950 from the Willistead Art Gallery of Windsor ranged from $.25 to $1.25 a month.

The WSO’s first full-time manager in 1976 was Erling Alfee, also a double bass player.

The Windsor Public Library worked with the Windsor Star to microfilm the Windsor Star, the Windsor Daily Star, and the Windsor Record.  Patrons may view copies of these papers at the library.

The painting “Owl’s Head Mountain” is donated to the art gallery by W.F. Herman, Hugh Graybiel, W.L. Clark and Richard Graybiel of the Windsor Star in 1964.Krieghoff's Owl's Head Mountain

The comedy troupe, The Royal Canadian Air Farce teased the WSO’s musicians with threats to play a kazoo along with Dvorak’s Slavonic Dance at their 1987 joint concert.

The John Richardson Library was opened in November 7, 1928.  John Richardson was the first Canadian born author to receive international recognition.

Trespassers broke into Willistead Art Gallery in 1966 and punched a hole through a painting valued at about $1000.

Full access: Jazz singer, Joe Coughlin performed from a motorized wheelchair with the WSO, featuring songs from his album, Slow and Slower, in 2011.

From 1922 until the 1970s, the Walkerville Library, which was later named Willistead Library, was housed in Willistead Manor.

 Art in the Park, WArt in the Parkindsor’s annual outdoor art festival began by the AGW, enjoys its 3rd year in 1972, and over 25,000 visitors to Willistead Park.

The WSO welcomed guests John Allan Cameron, Hagood Hardy,  Hockey Night in Canada producer Ralph Mellanby, Phil Esposito and Don Cherry in a 1981 “Hockey Night in Canada” concert.  

 In 1955, thefts of books on technological subjects were on the rise, which included cookbooks.  Bibles were the second-most stolen books from the stacks.

An electrical fire temporarily left the gallery without power and the essential climate control system in 1991.

The WSO banned using real cannons during outdoor performances of Tchaikovsky’s 1812 Overture after one exploded during a WSO concert in 1980.  No one was seriously hurt.

Library Rule #20 in 1894 was: To protect the library against loss, and to secure to all a just and equitable share in its benefits, any person who detains a work (whether bound in one or more volumes) longer than the regulations permit, shall be fined three cents for each day of detention; and pay one cent for each mailed notice.

There were 2,900 pieces of art to transfer when the art gallery moved back to it 401 Riverside Drive West location in 2001.

WSO MusiciansThe branch manager of the Seminole Branch resolved never to repeat one year’s outdoor “fun day” activity on the branch’s property: a spaghetti fight for children, 1994.

The early Windsor Symphony Orchestra relied on teenaged music students to perform as soloists.

The volunteer committee at the AGW has their first garden tour fundraiser in 1989, which proved to be very popular and was held for many years.

By 1934 library membership was 28,000. The population of Windsor was 61,000.

Composer Brent Lee turned the tables on electronic music with his 2006 Symphony No.1:Chorea when he asked the live musicians to play sounds like synthesizers on their traditional instruments.


Back to top