• By: Samantha Lapierre

The Ottawa Art Gallery Blossoms

Photo courtesy of Dwayne Brown.

Accomplished writer and visual journalist Sara Angel presented a beautiful speech about the importance of art, kicking off the Ottawa Art Gallery’s Capital Campaign Art Now – L’art ici.

The campaign looks to expand the Ottawa Art Gallery, with hopes to build a place that fuses together cutting edge art to Canadian artistic heritage.

The campaign has reached the halfway point to achieving its goal, with just over 2 million dollars in donations.

Lawson Hunter, Jim Watson and Alexandra Badzak. Image courtesy of Dwayne Brown.
Lawson Hunter, Jim Watson and Alexandra Badzak. Photo courtesy of Dwayne Brown.


The campaign began with a media breakfast, taking place at the Westin Ottawa Confederation Ballroom. Mayor Jim Watson introduced Angel to the noteworthy crowd.

City Councillor Mathieu Fleury was in attendance, along with Lawson Hunter (Board Chair of the Ottawa Art Gallery), Marco Manconi (Manager of Design & Construction for Buildings & Parks), Hugo Germain (Director of Development: Group Germain Hotels), and Derek N.O. Nzeribe (DevMcGill Condos).
The new OAG will have a gallery dedicated to Ottawa’s art, displaying works from the OAG’s Permanent Collection. The Permanent Collection is quickly growing, including work of local artists telling Ottawa’s story.

Another gallery will give visitors access to the historical Firestone Collection of Canadian Art, collected by Ottawa residents O.J. and Isobel Firestone.

Photo 2
Phot courtesy of Dwayne Brown.

The expansion includes enhanced spaces for workshops, mentorships, special events, and family and youth programs. The OAG looks to use the new spaces as a place to gather, creating the next chapter in Ottawa’s cultural history.

The expansion also includes plans for a café, a gift shop and a banquet room. A multipurpose room is also included, featuring retractable seating for 245 people. The room can be used for film screenings, community events or festivals.

Currently, the OAG is one of the smallest municipal galleries in Canada. The limited space has restricted the OAG’s operations. The new gallery hopes to be completed in 2017, in time to celebrate Canada’s 150th anniversary.

OAG Child 1
Having fun during Ottawa Art Gallery’s Creative Sunday. Photo by Zara.

The OAG is offering many ways for art enthusiasts to become involved in the expansion. The gallery is offering upcoming events (including exhibition openings, artist talks, workshops and activities), as well as opportunities to volunteer.

You can also donate to support the new OAG. Donations can be made by using PayPal, telephone (613-233-8699), as well as by mail (you can address your letter to OAG ART NOW Campaign Office, 2 Daly Ave., Ottawa, ON K1N 6E2).

You can connect with the OAG on Twitter and on Facebook. Creative Sunday is a free event running every Sunday from October to May, from 1:00 pm to 3:00 pm. You can find out more about it here.