From a 2007 AGH funding brief
“The AGH’s level of annual funding received from City sources has remained steady at $1 million dollars since 2002. The Art Gallery did not ask the City for extra funding when it made its annual presentation to City Council on February 27th. Rather, the AGH simply requested that the same level of funding (i.e. $1 million annually) continue not only this year but through until 2016. The only change suggested was in the method of funding.”
From the AGH FAQs:
What is the annual budget of the Art Gallery of Hamilton?
The AGH’s annual budget is approximately $4.5 million.
What is the ratio of public/private monies in that annual budget?
About $1.5 million comes from federal, provincial and city monies. The rest the Gallery raises itself.
Who are the AGH outside partners, and why did they decide to contribute?
We have thousands of "outside partners", including 2,400+ AGH Members, major corporations, all levels of government, foundations, small businesses, and individuals. In the end, the decision to give is a highly personal one. Some give for the love of art or, in the case of sponsoring an exhibition, for the love of one artist’s work, for example; others like the fact that their contribution allows the Gallery to offer low-cost or free activities for families; others believe that their show of support helps revitalize downtown Hamilton
What is the number of annual visits to the gallery?
We currently welcome about 150,000 visitors to the Gallery – and downtown Hamilton – each year.
For sake of comparison, the KPMG audit shows that the AGH's neighbour Hamilton Place drew 199,591 attendees in 2010 (115,387 of whom bought tickets), and required a subsidy of around $985,000.
Copps drew 417,231 attendees in 2010 (323,907 of whom paid); I can't find a subsidy figure – I believe the venue was profitable.
No surprise here: It's the Convention Centre that's the lemon. But then when people talk about "getting conventions" they often mean "getting trade shows" (companies being smaller, conventions less common and more subject to the whims of electronic technologies than in the last century, and hotels more likely to have banquet rooms large enough to accommodate small-to-medium bookings), and that consideration is about market demographics as much as it is square footage. The Careport Centre is considerably larger than the Convention Centre, but the shows it books are generally sad, rinky-dink affairs; Mississauga, London and Niagara seem to fare much better on this count. It would be an extraordinarily expensive handicap to remedy, and any fixes are far from guaranteed to recoup the investment.