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Ottawa-Gatineau in the 1930s and 1940s through the eyes of local painter Wilfrid Flood 

January 26, 2023

Part of the programming celebrating the 5th anniversary of the 2018 inauguration of the Ottawa Art Gallery’s new building, a new OAG exhibition highlights an important overlooked Ottawa painter. 

OTTAWA ON, January 26, 2023 – The Ottawa Art Gallery (OAG) presents Wilfrid Flood (1904–1946): A Passion for Pictures, an exhibition of works by the prolific Ottawa artistWilfrid John Flood, a well-known painter during his time, who’s work had largely been hidden away until it was re-discovered in the late 1990s by family. Part of a generous donation from Frances Flood, Wilfrid Flood’s daughter, as well as some pieces donated by John Flood, Wilfrid Flood’s son, to the OAG, many of the pieces shown have rarely been seen by the public, or not exhibited in recent times. The exhibition is a unique opportunity to view Ottawa and Gatineau during the 1930s and 1940s, a time of significant change for the region.

“It is hard to believe that in the spring of 2018, OAG opened the doors to its new facility. Although the pandemic affected the momentum of those first, successful years, there is much to celebrate during our 5th Anniversary including a special focus on the short but extraordinary life of Ottawa painter Wilfrid Flood. His sensitive renderings of everyday life during a seminal time in Ottawa encourages us to slow us down and view our environment in different ways, creating a quite space of contemplation in contrast to our busy, contemporary lives.”  -Alexandra Badzak, Director and CEO, Ottawa Art Gallery  

Wilfred Flood found inspiration in urban scenes, the Gatineau Hills and rural villages. Whether done in oil, pencil, pastels, or watercolour, and imbued with a sense of warmth and vitality, his work often featured people engaged in everyday activities, while others depicted the natural landscape or buildings, some still recognizable today. Of note, Flood’s largest known painting, The Cloister, which he completed in 1937, will be part of the display and has not been exhibited since 1947. 

Wilfrid John Flood was born in England and immigrated to Canada in 1924 to settle in the Ottawa region. Employed as a draughtsman and cartographer at the Department of Mines and Resources by day, Flood also maintained a productive painting practice and contributed to the city’s vibrant arts community.  

Wilfrid Flood (1904–1946): A Passion for Pictures is presented at the Ottawa Art Gallery from January 28, 2023 to February 4, 2024, in the Firestone Gallery.  

Also opening in the Firestone Gallery, the exhibition Reference Point: Recent Historical Acquisitions showcases the contribution of collectors and donors and their role in the region’s art history and will mark OAG’s 35th anniversary as an organization. Drawing on works acquired in the last five years, it presents recent historical additions to OAG’s permanent collection ranging from the 1830s to 1986 in painting, drawing, sculpture, and printmaking. Artists represented in this exhibition include André Biéler, Eva Boros-Furesz, Mimi Cabri, Alma Duncan, Charles F. Gibson, William S. Hunter, Fran Jones, Kenneth Lochhead, Jane Martin, Norman McLaren, Art Price, Goodridge Roberts, Simon Tookoome, Tony Urquhart, and J.W.H Watts. 

Both exhibitions serve as the launch of OAG’s 5th anniversary programming marking the opening of its new building, at 10 Daly Avenue, in April 2018, with more events and activities to be announced. The public is invited to the vernissage on Sunday February 5th (details and RSVP link below).  

Listing information: 

Wilfrid Flood (1904–1946): A Passion for Pictures 

Ottawa Art Gallery, Firestone Gallery, level 1 

Exhibition dates: January 28, 2023 to February 4, 2024
Opening: February 5th, from 12:30 pm to 3 pm 

To RSVP for FREE: 

Reference Point: Recent Historical Acquisitions  

Ottawa Art Gallery, Firestone Gallery, level 1 

Exhibition dates: January 28, 2023 to February 4, 2024
Opening: February 5th, from 12:30 pm to 3 pm 

To RSVP for FREE: 


Ottawa Art Gallery
10 Daly Avenue, Ottawa, ON, K1N 6E2
Rideau O-Train Station 

Admission to the Ottawa Art Gallery is ALWAYS FREE.   

Gallery opening hours:  
Tuesday, Wednesday, Sunday: 10 AM – 6 PM 
Thursday, Friday, Saturday: 10 AM – 9 PM
Closed Monday 

Media images: 

Wilfrid Flood (1904–1946): A Passion for Pictures media images and captions:

Reference Point: Recent Historical Acquisitions media images and captions:

These exhibitions were realized with the support of the City of Ottawa, the Ontario Arts Council, and the Canada Council for the Arts.

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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.