Ottawa Art Gallery and TD Announce Funding for Creative Space 

September 29, 2022

from the left: Alexandra Badzak (Director and Chief Executive Officer, Ottawa Art Gallery), Lee Rose (Manager, Community Engagement, TD Bank Group), Nathalie Weiner (District Vice President, TD Bank Group), Lydia Blanchard (Chief Development Officer, Ottawa Art Gallery). Photo: Amity Bradbury

OAG, with the generous support of TD, is expanding its art and wellness program to address more needs in the community. 

OTTAWA ON, September 29, 2022 – The Ottawa Art Gallery (OAG) is grateful and honoured to announce that TD Bank Group (TD) has made a donation of $120,000 toward the wellness initiative Creative Space, which features weekly art workshops designed for youth and adults carrying experiences of mental illness. Over the course of the next three years, with TD’s support, the Gallery will enhance Creative Space to and address gaps in communities served, reach new partners, and offer both on and off site activities as well as digital programming. 

“TD is proud to continue our support of the Ottawa Art Gallery and the expansion of Creative Space to benefit more youth and adults in our community. This innovative program is a wonderful example of the role that art and creativity can play in fostering a healthy sense of self, and we look forward to seeing the impact it will have.” 

– Nathalie Weiner, District Vice President, TD Bank Group 

The OAG is and has been at the forefront of the movement towards community-engaged art, with a strong history of wellness-oriented programming rooted in the local community. Art is key to maintaining health and wellness, and with Creative Space, OAG is blurring the lines between art therapy, art education and arts activism.  

“We are grateful to TD for their multi-year support of our Creative Space initiative, which allows us to expand this program and address the critical needs in our community onsite, off-site and online.” 

– Alexandra Badzak, Director and Chief Executive Officer 

Created in partnership with the Royal Ottawa Mental Health centre initially, and now including other social service organizations, the program is a powerful community building initiative that facilitates healing for people at the margins of economic, systemic, and structural inequality. This wellness initiative encourages mental health and social inclusion through free art-making workshops at OAG and online, and showcases the work of participants through exhibitions. Participants grow as artists by gaining new skills, discussing work together, and participating in community exhibitions and projects. For many, creating artwork collaboratively in a nurturing safe space for self-expression and connection through art contributes to a healthy sense of self. 

The demand and need for Creative Space keeps growing, with attendance jumping from 100 participants in 2017, to around 800 in 2019. Over 300 participants joined the virtual studio sessions during the pandemic, and there is an even greater need for mental health support in our community as we continue to emerge and recover from the devastating impacts of COVID-19 on the health and wellness of Canadians across the country. The program’s expansion will also provide concrete opportunities for empowerment of indigenous, immigrant, 2SLGBTQQIA+ and youth communities through workshops, art projects and exhibitions.  

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For media enquiries, please contact:

Véronique Couillard, Officer, Media, Public and Francophone Relations
vcouillard@oaggao.ca, 613-291-1358 

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. 

oaggao.ca 

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

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