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It’s A Wrap! OAG celebrates 2021 highlights and announces new acquisitions, exhibitions and digital tools

December 7, 2021

Press Release

OTTAWA – December 7, 2021 – The Ottawa Art Gallery (OAG) is pleased to host an evening in celebration of the vernissage of new exhibitions; a major acquisition; funding for digital initiatives; and the return of in-person programming. The Gallery invites the community and media to attend It’s a Wrap, an in-gallery event to cheer OAG’s past season and the launch of new programming on Wednesday, December 15, 2021.

The critically-acclaimed exhibition Esmaa Mohamoud: To Play in the Face of Certain Defeat (December 4, 2021 – March 27, 2022) presents the work of London, Ontario-born artist Esmaa Mohamoud. This travelling solo exhibition, curated by Matthew Kyba and organized and circulated by Museum London, is a celebration of diversity and an urgent call to action around issues of racial marginalization. It is a plea to address the inequities driving contemporary sports entertainment systems, while envisioning agency, resilience, and collective strength.

The exhibition Vis-à-vis, in OAG’s Daly entrance lobby, showcases pencil, ink and collage self-portraits by local creative minds who have participated in Creative Space, an Art and Wellness program offered by the Ottawa Art Gallery in partnership with The Royal Ottawa since 2015. It encourages mental health and social inclusion through weekly drop-in art-making session. Starting this past September, OAG has been able to offer in-person workshops again, while also keeping virtual sessions open to accommodate more artists through this initiative.

Also being celebrated on December 15 is OAG’S annual winter showcase Art + Parcel: a Holiday Sale (13 November 2021 – 10 January 2022) in Galerie Annexe and OAG Shop. This annual tradition is a great opportunity for holiday gift shopping and a great way to support local culture as profits go back to the artists and to the OAG in support of programming. On display are affordable original artworks; ceramics; jewellery; homeware; kids crafts; art supplies; books, and more—created by local and Canadian makers and companies. 

The evening will also be an occasion to celebrate OAG receiving $100,000 through the Canada Council for the Arts’ Digital Now fund in support of building online and digital content, much of which will be shared on and applied to the production and content of OAG’s new website. The new platform will bring exhibitions; programs; talks; interviews, and events together—along with our news feed and artist stories—under one user- friendly, accessible digital roof. In addition to being bilingual, the site will feature an Anishinābemowin word pop-up translation tool and include access to OAG’s collections through a database with detailed artwork descriptions; better search options for research and re-written non-gendered descriptive language. Stay tuned for the launch of OAG’s new site in 2022!

“As we close out the year and reflect on OAG’s role during the pandemic, several lessons emerge. We have learned that acting as a resource and working in partnership with our community yields profound results, and that building capacity in the digital sphere and providing the rich content that people are looking for, allows us all to connect on a deeper level. It is with great pride and reflection that we invite you to celebrate all these accomplishments and to gear up for what we hope will be a safe, outstanding and inspired New Year at OAG!” – Alexandra Badzak, Director and Chief Executive Officer, Ottawa Art Gallery

As part of the evening, OAG will also unveil an important 2021 acquisition. Through a generous donation by the Lochhead Family, the Gallery has acquired 24 works by prominent Canadian artist Kenneth Lochhead (1926-2006) worth a total of $726,815. One of the forerunners of Canada’s modern art movement, Kenneth Lochhead was an influential artist both nationally and internationally who experimented with numerous styles and mediums throughout his career. This valuable addition to the Permanent Collection includes large abstract works and figurative and landscape paintings created while living right here in Ottawa.

It’s A Wrap! event information:

Wednesday, December 15, 2021 – 7:00pm to 10:00pm, Ottawa Art Gallery, in-person (registration required)

  • Discover the exhilarating new exhibit by Esmaa Mohamoud, To Play in the Face of Certain Defeat
  • Wrap up your seasonal shopping at the OAG Shop  – visit Galerie Annexe for our annual Art & Parcel holiday art sale
  • Experience the final days of the Filtered exhibition [March 2, 2021 – December 24, 2021]

Registration for the event:

It’s a Wrap! | Ottawa Art Gallery (

Press Images and captions for Esmaa Mohamoud: To Play in the Face of Certain Defeat:

Press Images and captions for Art + Parcel:

Ottawa art Gallery location and contact:
10 Daly Avenue, Ottawa, ON, K1N 0C5, CANADA | 613.233.8699 |

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For media enquiries, please contact:
Véronique Couillard, Officer, Media, Public and Francophone Relations, 613-291-1358

About the Ottawa Art Gallery (OAG)
The Ottawa Art Gallery is situated on traditional Anishinābe Aki and is Ottawa’s municipal art gallery and cultural hub. Located in Ottawa’s downtown core, the expanded Gallery is a contemporary luminous cube designed by KPMB Architects and Régis Côté et associés.

OAG receives funding from the Canada Council for the Arts, the Ontario Arts Council and the City of Ottawa. 


OAG is Open from 10 AM to 6 PM Tuesday, Wednesday and Sunday | from 10 AM to 9 PM on Thursday, Friday and Saturday. Admission is always FREE.