Strategic Plan

Ottawa Art Gallery Strategic Plan:

An Iterative and Ongoing Process

Ottawa Art Gallery’s Strategic Plan is rooted in its commitment to a continued conversation in the face of an ever-changing landscape. Affected not only by the pandemic, but the surfacing of deep seeded societal rifts, and the need to recognize the importance of remaining agile and considerate in our thinking, we engaged the Board of Directors, staff and community members to mobilize a plan across an operational, strategic and governance level. We convened international thinkers, leaders, and bright minds, across many constituencies to ground our thinking and to explore the future of the institution, of our cities and places, and of the digital environment and technology.

The work, and our road ahead may change, but the conversation will continue to evolve through the pillars, objectives and actions outlined below. We remain rooted but opportunistic, open but engaged, and ready to meet the opportunities and challenges ahead.

Pillar 1: Inclusive Lens

Adopting an Inclusive, Equity-Seeking and Anti-Racist Lens

Objectives and Actions

1.1 Recruit and Retain

OAG is taking active steps to recruit and retain staff and board members from the Black, Indigenous, racialized, francophone, 2SLGBTQQIA+, and disability-identified communities and will annually conduct equity training.

1.2 Annual Audits

OAG commits to an annual audit of our collections, programs and operations to identify gaps, systemic barriers and challenges in order to prioritize decision making around resource allocation (i.e. annual acquisition priorities).

1.3 Shared Platform and Continued Dialogue

A commitment to partnership development, collaboration, on-going engagement and in some cases shared authority with members of the Black, Indigenous, racialized, francophone, disability-identified and 2SLGBTQQIA+ communities.

Pillar 2: Fueling the Love of Art and Artists

Rooted, Diverse and Globally Engaged

Objectives and Actions

2.1 Support for Artists

A commitment to supporting artists across their life cycle, with specific approaches for emerging, mid-career, and mature artists, along a spectrum of strategies and resources including mentoring, exhibition support, profile building, and other means to enhance an artist’s continued evolution.

This action includes launching and retaining strong careers for regional artists, while recognizing that inclusion in OAG’s programming can be viewed as a substantive and significant boost for an artist’s career.

2.2 Acquisition Growth

A commitment to substantially growing our acquisition budget, through a mix of annual budget allocation, gifts, acquisitions-specific fundraising, annual donations, grants and endowments.

2.3 Expanding Audience

A continued commitment to art education and a particular focus on demystifying ‘art’ and ‘the gallery’, and shedding the elitism often associated with it without shying away from complex, challenging, and important works.

Pillar 3: Multi-Channeled Posture

On-Site, Off-Site and Online

Objectives and Actions

3.1 Deepening Partnership

Create space and opportunity on-site, in the community and online (web and social) for shared authorship or partnership on community exhibitions, programs, events and projects but also draw out further engagements that broaden our reach, and deepen our use of the new tools.

3.2 Data Oriented

The creation of a data strategy for the OAG to grow literacy and resources around the increased use of data to drive meaningful decisions. This includes continued efforts to refine our existing databases for target patron identification, stewardship, and tailoring our approaches.

3.3 Digital Strategy

Building on efforts during the COVID pandemic, invest and commit to the use of technology to fuel accessibility, and meaning-making in our exhibitions, engagement, and physical infrastructure including an investment in a new OAG web site that heightens brand, allows for digital engagement and story telling, and allows for engagement outside of the building.

Pillar 4: Resilient

Green, sustainable, and risk management.

Objectives and Actions

4.1 Enterprise Risk Management

OAG adopts an enterprise risk management system as an ongoing practice with a mechanism to identify risk (positive/ negative) through internal and external means across all aspects of the organization (Legal, Safety and Security, Reputation, Resources and Infrastructure (including HR and IT), Programs and Strategy) with mitigation planning and implementation at the governance and operational level.

4.2 Growing Philanthropy and Support

Grow a major gift and planned giving structure that is ethical, democratic and properly scaled to support and enhance OAG’s mission. Continued build-up of funds (contingencies, endowments, restricted, planned giving) to fuel financial agility and resiliency.

4.3 Green and Well-Being

OAG is committed to the resilience of our communities, including an ongoing focus on mental health and therapy, as well as through the ongoing care and support to our staff and to the arts communities. This action includes efforts to further green practices throughout the building and operations, including a net-zero audit and plan to minimize waste produced by the OAG’s programs and administration.