As the point where three rivers meet, the Ottawa-Gatineau region has long been a site of exchange and interconnection. This historical role has influenced the design of the OAG expansion and the gallery’s programmatic and operational philosophy. Growing five times its previous size, the OAG represents a coming of age for Ottawa and its arts scene. Our unique approach to this major cultural infrastructure project—the partnership model and fundraising strategies—exemplifies how we do things differently and effectively at the gallery, working in concert with our community and responding to our many stakeholders while reflecting a diverse, progressive and humanistic view of society. When you walk through the doors of the OAG or view our programming online, I hope you feel a sense of connection not just with the art, but also the vibrant city in which it resides.
– Alexandra Badzak, Director and CEO
VISION AND MANDATE
The OAG’s mandate is to be the most vital visual arts institution in Ottawa. As a leader in the arts community, we present new ideas and provide a cultural meeting place to actively promote relationships and exchanges between artists and various diverse facets of our community. We explore and reflect on diversity and social change through a spectrum of visual arts practice, focused on but not exclusive to the region in a national and international context.
- Collections: Research, collecting and preserving primarily regional art in perpetuity for the citizens of Ottawa and the enjoyment of all
- Exhibitions: Interpreting and presenting art and other visual arts practices with a focus on Ottawa within a national and international context
- Public programs: Creating partnership and public programs that engage the community with art and culture
- Arts leadership: Creating a space for communing with art and celebrating culture in our city
KEY FEATURES OF THE NEW OTTAWA ART GALLERY
OAG spans five floors, with more than 55,000 square feet of programmable space, including:
- A dedicated gallery for the Firestone Collection of Canadian Art, which includes works by the Group of Seven
- A gallery for OAG’s Permanent Collection
- Two outdoor rooftop terraces, one approximately 2,500 square feet, and the other offering a view of the Peace Tower
- A large multi-purpose room with retractable seating for 250, or standing capacity for 380
- The OAG Studio for school programs, artist-led and community-led workshops, and intimate screenings
A PROUD HISTORY
The OAG is an independent, not-for-profit, charitable organization governed by a volunteer board of directors. It was founded in 1988 as the Gallery at Arts Court by a group of local artists and community leaders and renamed the Ottawa Art Gallery in 1992. That same year, the City of Ottawa transferred custodianship of the Firestone Collection of Canadian Art to the OAG. In taking on this nationally significant collection of 1,600 works of 20th century Canadian art, the OAG also received designation as Ottawa’s municipal art gallery. Over time, the OAG has built a significant permanent collection that now numbers more than 1,020 works including paintings, sculpture, graphic arts, photographs and new media.