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Spring Preview | A Message from OAG Director and CEO, Alexandra Badzak

April 11, 2024

Photo: Melody Habbouche

Afresh from the Canadian Arts Summit in Banff, it’s worth noting that “collaboration” emerged as a key thematic at this important gathering. Although the arts and culture sector in Canada is going through challenging times, it’s clear that we will emerge stronger by working together. Fortunately, OAG has built a lot of experience in partnership development, recognizing early that leveraging shared resources yields greater impact. Our spring vernissage perfectly encompasses this, not only we will celebrate the 50th anniversary of the Visual Arts Department at the University of Ottawa, but also our 15-year partnership with them providing a professional venue for graduate students’ master thesis exhibitions and mentorship in curation! Shaping and supporting the arts ecology of the Ottawa-Gatineau region has been the significant work of our two institutions and the exhibition Art School Confidential: Celebrating 50 Years of the Department of Visual Arts, University of Ottawa, curated by Penny Cousineau-Levine, shines a spotlight on the extraordinary talent and accomplishments of the artists who have studied and taught there. 

Continuing the theme of partnership, for Mental Health Month in May, we will celebrate almost ten years working with The Royal Ottawa through our Creative Space program, delivering free art making workshops and providing a space (onsite and online) for safety and community to thousands of participants. We are happy to acknowledge the support of the TD Ready Campaign as well as North Star Foundation for this important program. 

With funding from Canadian Heritage’s Strategic Initiatives Fund, OAG has also been working behind the scenes with our colleagues at MASSIVarts to lay the groundwork for further collaboration with arts organizations, businesses, and the City of Ottawa on a downtown renewal project which we will launch in June. Additionally, we will be working more directly with the National Gallery of Canada on key shared initiatives as we acknowledge and celebrate our respective roles in the arts ecology of this region. 

Finally, I encourage everyone to purchase a ticket to this year’s Paint the Town Pink Art Auction, not only do you support over 100 artists from our region, but also help to keep the OAG free and accessible! Plus, it’s the best art party of the season! 

Alexandra Badzak
OAG Director and CEO


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.