Community Initiatives


Mine the Gap riffs off Britain’s transit warning « Mind the Gap » referring to the gap between the train and the platform. The Ottawa Art Gallery (OAG) uses it to refer to the generation gap between seniors and youth. By mining this gap through creative exchange between seniors and youth, we are all enriched in a meaningful way!
Mine the Gap  was a monthly programming series developed by the Ottawa Art Gallery (OAG) that explored the potential for creative exchange and learning between older adults and youth in the Ottawa/Gatineau region. OAG’s Artwise; a group that creates OAG programming that promotes intergenerational engagement with the arts teamed up with OAG’s youth council and co-created
(with local senior and youth groups) a new series of monthly intergenerational activities at the Gallery from September 2018 through March 2019.

Music and Portraits
Wednesday, September 19, 2018


The first event brought members of the PAL Ottawa Community, the Ottawa
Chinese Community Service Centre, and visual arts students from Canterbury
High School to the Ottawa Art Gallery. Students and senior members of
Ottawa’s Chinese community collaborated on creating dynamic works of Art.
Traditional musical and dance performances were incorporated into interactive
sketches. Creativity provided a rich medium for communication between the
generations, despite the language barriers.



Meditating on Art
Wednesday, October 24, 2018



Seniors with 4Churches and students of The Ottawa School of Art, as well as
members of The Canadian Council of the Blind participated in a tactile and
interactive tour of The Ottawa Art Gallery’s exhibitions. Through techniques
of visual description, touch and physical embodiment, OAG’s staff invited
individuals with low or no vision to experience and meditate on artworks in a
new way. The event highlighted the importance of inclusivity and accessibility
within artistic practices and institutions.




Trading Stories
Wednesday, November 21, 2018


Members of L’association des femmes immigrantes de l’Outaouais (AFIO)
and students from L’Outaouais CEGEP had the opportunity to cross the river
to Ottawa and perhaps visit the Ottawa Art Gallery for the first time. The
Gallery tour focused on the Firestone Collection of Canadian Art, the work
of Egyptian/Canadian designer Karim Rashid and Metis Acadian artist Eric
Walker’s commissioned tactile work: Comment j’m’ai rendu icitte à Ottawa /
How I came to Ottawa. Seniors and youth participated in a creative workshop
inspired by Eric Walker’s practice that encouraged story-telling about their
own immigration experiences. A communal lunch was an important part of
this exchange.



Postcards from the Heart
Saturday, December 8, 2018

Tours in Arabic, English and French greeted seniors from the South Nepean
Muslim Community, the Catholic Centre for Immigration as well as families
and youth from Refugee 613 at the Ottawa Art Gallery. Participants were
encouraged to share their experiences with friends and family through the
creation of exhibition-inspired postcards. After a tasty communal meal people
lined up to talk about their creations to rounds of enthusiastic applause.





Sankofa Drumming Circle for all Seven Generations
Saturday, January 19, 2019


An intergenerational exchange between Ottawa’s Indigenous and Black
Communities was organized with the help of Young Leaders Advisory Council
(YLAC). Elders from the respective communities opened the event with an
Open Prayer and Libation Ceremony, bringing together a sense of mutual
respect within a shared space. The history and the power of Drums in Indigenous
and African, Caribbean, and Black Culture were featured in an everwidened
community drumming and storytelling circle with A7, Gen Cultural Arts
Studio of Afro-Caribbean Dance, Flo’s Seniors and Black Speculative Arts Movement
(BSAM). Young and old learned the basics of drumming and the significance
of preserving the tradition. We enjoyed cultural snacks and together
sounds were recorded to create a collaborative community piece, reflective of
our shared vibrations.



Queer Human Library
Thursday, February 7, 2019


The Queer Human Library had members from Ottawa Capital Pride’s Youth
Council and members from Ottawa Senior Pride Network come together as
open books to the public. This event happened during the first ever Winterpride
and folks were stationed throughout the Ottawa Art Gallery, sharing
stories and answering questions about their lived experiences as members
of the LGTBQ2+ community. A broad cross-section of youth and seniors were
included. Various publics interacted with them including CEGEP students and
adult gallery-goers.






OAG offers free hands-on creative workshops for children in collaboration with the Ottawa Public Library. Look for us over the March break and during the summer holidays at a branch near you.





This studio program is designed for youth and adults carrying experiences of mental illness. Developed collaboratively by the Ottawa Art Gallery and the Royal Ottawa Mental Health Centre, the program aims to foster holistic wellness by providing multidisciplinary creative exploration in an open and supportive environment.

Royal Ottawa Logo



OAG also offers subsidized creative workshops and other programming for community groups across Ottawa-Gatineau, such as:

  • The Ottawa Mission
  • St. Joe’s Women’s Centre
  • City of Ottawa: Acquired Brain Injury/ Post Stroke Day Program
  • Ottawa Innercity Ministries
  • Mouvement d'implication francophone d'Orléans
  • YWCA
  • Girl Guides of Canada


For more information, please contact us by email or call 613-233-8699 +245.


The Canada Life OAG Art Tent is a mobile art studio that travels to festivals and community events during the warmer months. The tent provides a fun, friendly and bilingual space for adults and kids of all ages to explore their creativity.

Art tent activities are always free!

This is an all-ages activity. Children must be accompanied by an adult

For more information
613-233-8699 +245

Sponsored by Canada Life

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