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Ottawa Art Gallery Expansion: Celebrating Year One of Ottawa’s New Home for the Arts

April 26, 2019

Press Release

OTTAWA – April 26, 2019 – April 28th 2019 marks the first anniversary of the inauguration of the new the Ottawa Art Gallery (OAG), its expansion and new identity in the city. A year on, over a quarter million visitors later, more than 30,000 participants in education and public programs, and 50 community partners, OAG has many successes and premieres to celebrate.

Ottawa’s new home for the arts inaugurated its new address with a landmark exhibition honouring over 6,500 years of art making in Ottawa-Gatineau. During its inaugural year, the Ottawa Art Gallery hosted the first large-scale presentation in Canada of the work of internationally renowned and locally trained designer Karim Rashid, Karim Rashid: Cultural Shaping. In June, Canadian novelist and artist, Douglas Coupland, unveiled his never before seen work The National Portrait at the Ottawa Art Gallery which was commissioned and presented by fashion retailer Simons. And Wrapped in Culture, a collaborative exhibition between ten Indigenous artists from Australia and Canada, currently on view at OAG, will the Gallery’s first international travelling endeavour.

“Since opening just a year ago, the new Ottawa Art Gallery has exceeded expectations and achieved incredible success while having a significant impact on residents, visitors and the arts and culture community at large. It has redefined itself as a premier hub for our rich, vibrant and diverse Arts Community and it has truly become a beacon in Ottawa’s Arts, Fashion & Theatre District. I’d like to congratulate Ms. Alexandra Badzak, OAG’s Director and CEO, and her staff on reaching this important milestone and creating an exciting space to share Ottawa’s treasures with residents and visitors from around the world.’’
– Jim Watson, Mayor, City of Ottawa

”A year ago, the new OAG opened and what a year it was! We had a year of successes, we rose to the challenges, we had incredible volunteer and donor involvement, and public participation surpassed all expectations with over 350,000 visitors! I believe that the OAG proved that public galleries can be unique and vibrant destinations that can hold space for a multitude of voices and experiences with art and that having a rooted and localized cultural lens on the complex issues of our times is important.” 
– Alexandra Badzak, Director and Chief Executive Officer, Ottawa Art Gallery

Partnerships and exchanges play a key role in OAG’s programming and many new ones were formed during this inaugural year. OAG took part in the first ever Capital Winter Pride with a queer youth art mixer, is now the home of the Canadian Film Institute’s many film festivals, and of the popular CreativeMornings Ottawa series. A partnership with the Vancouver Art Gallery and the Art Gallery of Greater Victoria brought the work of Howie Tsui for his touring exhibition Retainers of Anarchy. Intergenerational collaborations were a key part of Mine the Gap grant-funded creative exchange series organised by Artwise, OAG’s senior art group and Départ, the youth council, with the contribution of 18 different community groups and organizations. 

New OAG initiatives for 2019 include extending the popular Creative Sundays throughout the summer, and switching OAG’s drop-in free childcare to Fridays evening, while continuing with its popular public programs such as multilingual exhibition tours (offered in Korean, Arabic, Spanish, and Mandarin), OAG Art tent, Yoga on the Terrace, Creative Space and more.

Last night, at 2019 Ottawa Tourism Awards, the Ottawa Art Gallery won the “New Visitor Experience” award just on time for its expansion anniversary.

OAG Expansion One Year Anniversary Events:

New OAG Anniversary weekend
Saturday April 27th and Sunday April 28th 2019
10:00 AM to 2:00 PM

Free and open to all
Ottawa Art Gallery
10 Daly Avenue

Activities, workshops, performances and more!
-Face painting; creative workshops; new exhibitions;
-10% off store-wide in the OAG Shop (20% off for OAG members)

Jackson special anniversary brunches
Drag Brunch ft. Kiki Coe
Saturday April 27th
10:30 AM to 2:30 PM

By reservation only:

Beats and Brunch ft. DJ Jas Nasty
Sunday April 28th
10:30 AM to 2:30 PM

By reservation only:

Cultural Shift: Changing the conversation on the arts in Ottawa
EVENT POSTPONED – new date will soon be announced
Free and open to all
OAG’s Alma Duncan Salon

A conversation on new initiatives in the arts with visual arts, music and film industry leaders:
-Erin Benjamin, President & CEO, Canadian Live Music Association
-Bruce Harvey, Ottawa Film Commissioner, Ottawa Film Office
-Alexandra Badzak, Director and Chief Executive Officer, Ottawa Art Gallery
Hosted by Tom Clark, with welcoming remarks by Mayor Jim Watson

Ottawa Art Gallery Expansion Year One Images and captions:

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Media enquiries:
Véronique Couillard
PR and Media
613-233-8699 +244

About the Ottawa Art Gallery (OAG)
OAG 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 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. Register for Summer Art Camps!