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OAG Extends Access to Collections with Launch of New Online Database

February 29, 2024

Annie Pootoogook, Everyday Life, 2003, coloured pencil and ink on paper, 66cm x 50.8cm. Collection of the Ottawa Art Gallery: purchased with the support of OAG Acquisition Endowment Fund, 2018.

Since the founding in 1988, the Ottawa Art Gallery has fostered its’ Collections, collecting and caring for artwork connected to the region and different corners of Canada as a record of its makers and their creative practices. With the OAG standing as a community builder, these Collections reflects this, amassed by many hands including the Firestone Family, Directors, Curators, and Collections Managers, and in working collaboratively with the OAG Board, Donors, Artists, Funders, Volunteers, and Community Members. 

Housing over 3,200 artworks from both the Permanent Collection as well as the Firestone Collection of Canadian Art, the OAG has now made the move to increase access to these Collections through the launch of a new online database.  This allows members of the public, researchers, or students to access the Collections online while offering multi-lingual information and artwork images. This is an important step for the OAG who champions inclusivity and accessibility within the community. 

The OAG partnered with Axiell Collections for this project, giving the Gallery access to a market-leading solution developed to the latest industry standards. With Axiell handling the technical evolution of its collections management system (CMS), the Gallery can focus on its mission-driven work with the Collections.  

“This new database provides us with reliable and efficient infrastructure to manage our assets while we focus on extending access to the Gallery’s Collections for all types of audiences, physically and virtually,” says Jennifer Gilliland, Senior Collections and Building Manager for Ottawa Art Gallery. “As we continue to improve translations by providing all information in both French and English, our Collections will become even more accessible. We are grateful that Canadian Heritage – Museum Assistance Program has helped to fund these innovations.” 

Maria Wasing, Axiell’s CEO, expresses her excitement about this collaboration, stating, “At Axiell, we are committed to empowering cultural institutions with the tools they need to thrive in the digital age. The launch of our Axiell Collections platform for the Ottawa Art Gallery exemplifies our dedication to providing cutting-edge solutions that enhance accessibility, engagement, and the overall impact of cultural organizations in our communities.” 

With OAG’s goal to fuel the love of art and artists and this improved access to the Collections, the Gallery will also support artists through profile building with a dedicated Collections Stories series. Look for this monthly feature on the OAG’s social media channels. 

To view Ottawa Art Gallery’s online Collections, visit: https://oaggao.ca/learn/collections

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