Visit the Art Bank during Doors Open

Visit the Art Bank during Doors Open Ottawa
Saturday, June 2, 2018 (Saturday only)
10am to 4pm

Canada Council Art Bank
921 St. Laurent Blvd

Wheelchair accessible. Limited parking available.

Join us on Saturday, June 2 from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. for our second open house held as part of Doors Open Ottawa!

We’re thrilled to offer the exclusive opportunity to visit the Art Bank and see the largest collection of contemporary Canadian art. For the first time, the Art Bank brings together close to 100 works of art to explore the notions of public transportation, urban development, migration, borders, sustainability, and the environment.  With the construction of the Ottawa Light Rail Transit system, the expansion of commuter bicycle lanes across Ottawa, and the ever-present roadwork, we are regularly reminded of how our movement about the city impacts one another.

Take a guided tour, explore the collection vault at your own pace, and ask our expert staff about anything from artworks to art handling.

This activity is free and open to the public. Please feel free to share our Facebook event with your networks!

Planning on visiting the Art Bank on June 2? Share your experience with us on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram using the hashtags #DoorsOpenOttawa and #ArtBank.

Instagram: @artbank_banquedart

Twitter: @CanadaCouncil

Facebook: @CCartbank and @canadacouncil 



Constructed Identities: Unique Exhibition of Disability Art to open at the Canada Council for the Arts

The Canada Council for the Arts is pleased to announce the opening of a new exhibition – Constructed Identities – featuring the unique work of disabled artist Persimmon Blackbridge. Curated by Tangled Art + Disability, Constructed Identities is the first exhibition in the Âjagemô gallery that puts disability art at the heart of the presentation.

Constructed Identities marked the inaugural exhibit of Tangled Art + Disability in their new gallery space in Toronto; a groundbreaking moment for Tangled as an organization committed to cultivating Deaf, Mad and disability arts in Canada. Since then, this distinct display of Persimmon Blackbridge’s hand-crafted figures has toured around the country, landing in Ottawa for its premiere at Âjagemô.

CONSTRUCTED IDENTITIES by Persimmon Blackbridge

Exhibition Dates: January 24, 2018 to June 3, 2018 – 7am to 9pm – Free admission
Exhibition Opening: January 23, 2018 at 5:30pm to 7pm – A public opening reception will be held immediately following the Canada Council for the Arts Annual Public Meeting.
Location: Âjagemô 150 Elgin St, Ottawa

“The Canada Council for the Arts is committed to strengthening our support for the arts community by fostering a culture of participation, inclusion, and diversity. We are honoured to work with Tangled Art + Disability on this beautiful exhibition which contributes to a dialogue and celebration of difference.” – Tara Lapointe, Director of Outreach and Business Development, Canada Council for the Arts

“It has been a pleasure to once again share the unique artistry of Persimmon Blackbridge with a new audience. We welcome the vibrant conversations that will emerge from Constructed Identities’ exhibition at Canada Council for the Arts surrounding disability aesthetics and culture; affirming Tangled’s intent to boldly redefine how the world experiences art and those who create it.” – Barak adé Soleil, Artistic Director and Curator of Tangled Art + Disability

About the Exhibition
Constructed Identities features a large collection of small hand-crafted figures made from wood, metal, and found objects. Persimmon Blackbridge reshapes the meaning and aesthetics of disability as disruptive and satisfying. The figures reflect how disability and bodily difference, as well as race and gender difference, are essential to the aesthetics of the evolving human form. This accessible exhibition includes a tactile piece of art, ASL and LSQ vlogs, audio description, and works hung at a lower level in order to provide an experience inclusive of blind, low vision, Deaf, and disability communities.

About the Artist
From British Columbia, sculptor, writer, curator and performer Persimmon Blackbridge’s art has been shown across Canada, the United States and internationally.



Happy Holidays from the Art Bank

2017 was an exciting year at the Art Bank! Our Punctured Landscape exhibition travelled to the Art Museum of the Americas in Washington; we introduced many new rental clients across Canada, in London, UK, and in New York to contemporary Canadian art; we opened our doors to over 1000 guests for Doors Open Ottawa, and we helped galleries and museums with their Canada 150th exhibitions by loaning important artworks from the collection.

Wishing our clients, artists and supporters happy holidays! Looking forward to working with you in 2018!


Cultural showcase at the Lac-Leamy complex

Loto-Québec unveiled its latest collection of works at the Lac-Leamy complex this morning. The initiative demonstrates Loto-Québec’s willingness to make the works of art in its possession more accessible than ever before. In so doing, the Corporation continues to support creativity with innovative projects.

Cultural showcase at the Lac-Leamy complex
• Loto-Québec asked guest curator Jo-Ann Kane, art historian and President of the Association des collections d’entreprises du Québec, to take a new look at its collection in order to give it prominence at the Casino du Lac-Leamy, Hilton Hotel and Conference Centre.
• Ms. Kane got together with guest curators Claudio Marzano, Art Consultant at the Canada Council for the Arts, and Valérie Camden, Manager of Ville de Gatineau’s permanent collection and public art.
• They selected works from the Collection Loto-Québec (over 60), as well as 2 of the biggest collections in the region (over 10 from the Art Bank and 4 from Ville de Gatineau’s permanent collection). This selection replaces the works of art that have been exhibited at the Casino and Hilton Lac-Leamy up until now.
• All works exhibited at Arôme restaurant will be from Jean-Paul Riopelle’s Le Cirque box set.

From left to right, Simon Robert, Director of Social Responsibility, Loto-Québec; Claudio Marzano, Art Consultant at Canada Council for the Arts Art Bank; Valérie Camden, Responsible for Ville de Gatineau’s permanent collection; Alain Miroux, General Manager, Casino du Lac-Leamy and Pierre Lanthier, City Councillor and President of Ville de Gatineau’s Commission des loisirs, des sports et du développement communautaire. (CNW Group/Loto-Québec)


• “Loto-Québec continues to support the cultural scene, and wishes its collection to be accessible and close to the general public,” said Simon Robert, Director, Corporate Responsibility at Loto-Québec.
• “This initiative is part of the Gatineau region’s cultural contributions and enhances the overall experience enjoyed by Casino and hotel guests,” said Alain Miroux, General Manager of the Casino du Lac-Leamy.
• “We instantly agreed to participate in this project and are pleased to put the spotlight on ten works from our collection at the Hilton Lac-Leamy complex,” said Claudio Marzano, Art Consultant at the Canada Council for the Arts.
• “Ville de Gatineau is proud to contribute to the development of such a beautiful heritage project, generously offered by Loto-Québec and the Casino du Lac-Leamy to our citizens and the community,” added Maxime Pedneaud-Jobin, Mayor of Gatineau.

About the Collection Loto-Québec
One of Québec’s largest corporate collections, the Collection Loto-Québec brings together almost 5,000 works created by over 1,200 artists. Since its creation in 1979, the Collection has showcased the work of local artists and encompasses a priceless Québec cultural heritage. Several Collection works are now part of visual presentations in Québec’s Montréal, Charlevoix, Mont-Tremblant and Lac-Leamy casinos.

About the Art Bank
The Canada Council for the Arts established the Art Bank in 1972 to promote the incredible breadth and quality of Canadian art by making artworks accessible to a wider audience beyond museums and galleries.
The Art Bank includes over 17,000 artworks by more than 3,000 Canadian artists, both emerging and established. It is the largest collection of modern / contemporary Canadian art in the world, comprised of paintings, sculptures, works on paper, photography and fiber, including works by Aboriginal artists and culturally diverse artists. The Canada Council Art Bank makes contemporary artworks available through three programs: corporate/public sector art rental, loans to museums and outreach

About Ville de Gatineau’s permanent collection
The collection of artworks is currently comprised of nearly 3,800 works located in a variety of public places and municipal offices. It features a number of artistic practices from several schools and movements present throughout the history of art in Canada and worldwide. Works by local artists make up 47% of the collection. The mandate of the permanent collection consists in acquiring, maintaining, showcasing and disseminating 20th and 21st century works in order to preserve our artistic heritage for generations to come.



Art Bank contributes first Canadian artworks to the Art Museum of the Americas collection

I first visited the Art Museum of the Americas, the gallery of the Organization of American States (OAS), in Washington DC, during the launch of the Punctured Landscape exhibition. I was struck then, at how the visitors were so deeply engaged with the artworks and the topics they addressed.

Democracy, human rights, sustainability, security, our official and non-official histories. These topics are weighty. But they are timely, relevant and front-and-centre in the media, online and at our dinner tables – in both our countries.

It was deeply rewarding – as the director responsible for the Art Bank, and as a Canadian — to see how those works sparked such important conversations.

That event also sparked a conversation which led to the donation of 150 artworks from the Art Bank collection, to the Art Museum of the Americas. Each donated work is a copy of a work that remains in the Art Bank collection.

Artworks donated to the Art Museum of the Americas
installed at the Organization of the American States

This gift, from one neighbor to another, represents the first Canadian works in the AMA collection. We are delighted to donate works on paper by 99 artists from across the country, including notable artists such as Rita Letendre, Daphne Odjig, Claude Tousignant, Pierre Ayot, General Idea and Michael Morris. It will be shared with visitors to the AMA and potentially in other venues throughout the Americas through the museum’s active touring program.


About the Author: Tara Lapointe

Tara Lapointe is the Director of Outreach and Business Development at the Canada Council for the Arts. In her role, she oversees the Art Bank, the Public Lending Right program, as well as the Canada Council’s suite of Prizes.


Art Bank at Art Toronto: Sharing Canada’s contemporary art collection

Art Toronto, Canada’s largest international fair for modern and contemporary art, returns this fall from October 27-30. Now in its 18th year, Art Toronto will exhibit important artwork from an impressive lineup of Canadian and international galleries alongside a roster of cultural partners, art publications, and feature projects. Let’s just say, it’s the place to be if you are an art lover!

Visit our booth at Art Toronto!  The Art Bank will be at Art Toronto for the first time presenting works from the collection and answering all of your art rental questions.  We’d love to see you!

With a collection of over 17,000 paintings, photographs, sculptures, and works on paper by more than 3,000 Canadian artists, the Art Bank art rental program offers a unique opportunity for corporate collectors, real estate property managers, interior designers and clients looking to transform their workspaces with original artworks.

Metro Toronto Convention Centre
Art Bank Booth B19
October 27-30, 2017

Opening Night Preview: October 26

For ticket information, please visit: arttoronto.ca


Mark the Spot: Mediation as Medium

Visit this unique exhibition in the Canada Council’s Âjagemô Space and meet three leading artists as they create new works.

Each artist, selected by curator Wayne Baerwaldt, brings different experiences, approaches and practices, and all are skilled at engaging with the public through their art. Join painter Michael Morris (Vancouver/Victoria), performance artist Thierry Marceau (Montreal) and multi-media Métis artist Katherine Boyer (Winnipeg) as they each make Âjagemô their studio through a series of week-long residencies. Visit the website for more details on the exhibition, residencies and the many public activities. Organized by the Canada Council for the Arts as part of its 60th anniversary celebrations.

On view from September 18 – January 2, 2018
Âjagemô Space
Canada Council for the Arts
150 Elgin Street
Free admission

Michael Morris
The Letter Paintings, and Other Concerns
Residency and public program: September 18-23, 10 am – 5 pm
Artist tour: Friday, September 22 at noon
Exhibition: September 18 – October 22

This critically-acclaimed painter and winner of a 2011 Governor General’s Award in Visual and Media Arts will produce watercolour sketches for Ottawa Letter, a large-scale painting to be produced in 2018.

Thierry Marceau
The Great One’s Back
Residency and public program: October 30 – November 4, 10 am – 5 pm
Artist tour: Friday, November 3 at noon
Exhibition: October 30 – November 26

This performance artist will focus on his latest installation, comprised of a video re-creation of scenes from Wayne Gretzky’s wedding. Each day, Marceau will transform himself into a version of the hockey icon for photo opportunities and discussion with visitors.

Katherine Boyer
To Bead is To Visit
Residency and public program: December 7-14, 10 am – 5 pm
Artist tour: Wednesday, December 13 at noon
Exhibition: December 7 – January 2, 2018

This emerging artist will develop a work in the traditional style of Métis beading that will be created as the public joins her to bead, drink tea and explore the exhibition.



Calling All Curators!

The Art Bank and the Office of the Lieutenant Governor of Ontario are seeking proposals from individuals to curate an exhibition of works from the Art Bank collection.

The exhibition will be on the theme of the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals and will be hosted in the Lieutenant Governor’s Suite in Toronto, from March 2018 to February 2019.


Budget: $5000 (curatorial fee) and $6000 (exhibition fees)

How to Apply: Send proposal to Rebecca Huxtable, see info below.

Deadline for submissions: Friday, October 13, 2017 (3 pm EST).

For more information, please click on the request for proposals.

Please share this information throughout your networks.

Rebecca Huxtable
Art Consultant
Canada Council Art Bank




Celebrating 30 years of Inuit art: The Inuit Art Quarterly highlights works from the Art Bank collection

For three decades, the Inuit Art Quarterly has been introducing readers around the globe to the brightest and most promising artists the Inuit art world has to offer. As the only magazine devoted exclusively to Inuit and circumpolar Indigenous arts, it has been our great pleasure to share the beauty and vitality of Inuit cultural production both in print and online over the past 30 years. To mark this significant milestone, we have partnered with the Canada Council Art Bank to highlight a selection of works in their collection.

The Art Bank is the single largest collection of contemporary Canadian art, with more than 17,000 works including 600 works by more than 175 Inuit artists. Since its founding in 1972, the Art Bank has regularly acquired the work of Inuit artists and now counts some of the most prolific and celebrated artists, both historic and contemporary, amongst its collection including Kenojuak Ashevak, CC, ON, RCA (1927–2013), Pudlo Pudlat (1916–1992), Annie Pootoogook (1969–2016), Oviloo Tunnillie (1949–2014) and Joe Talirunili (ca. 1893–1976) among many others.

For this collection we have pulled together a small selection of pieces by artists working across the Arctic in numerous media and techniques to offer an introductory look at the breadth and depth of Inuit artistic practice. From our Fall 2017 cover artist, Qamani’tuaq (Baker Lake), NU-based Jessie Oonark, OC, RCA (1906–1985), we selected Kiviuk and the Grizzly (1981), a late linocut and stencil print that renders multiple narrative scenes in striking and delicate detail.

Jessie Oonark, Kiviuk and the Grizzly (1981), stencil

Similar narrative sensibilities are visible in graphics by Alootook Ipellie (1951–2007) Ben-Ho Wins the Biggest Race of his Life, Thumbs Down (2007) and Isaaci Etidloie (1972–2014) Untitled # 30 (Cape Dorset) (1976).

Alootook Ipellie, Ben-Ho Wins the Biggest Race of his Life, Thumbs Down (2007), ink on paper

Isaaci Etidloie, Untitled # 30 (Cape Dorset) (1976-77), felt pen and coloured pencil on paper

Sculpture in stone and bone is also well represented in the Art Bank collection, including works by Tukiki Manomie, Jaco Ishulutaq, Goota Ashoona and John Terriak.

Tukiki Manomie, Untitled/Sans titre (2010), soapstone

Jaco Ishulutaq, Mother and Child (1992), soapstone, ivory and antler

Goota Ashoona, Arctic Woman’s Tale (2009), beluga whale breast bone

John Terriak, Bird Island with Faces (2001), serpentine

Finally, our selection is rounded out by a sampling of textile works and photography by such notable figures as Annie Kilabuk (1932–2005), Irene Tiktalaaq Avaalaaqiaq and Jimmy Manning.

Annie Kilabuk, Walrus Hunting by Rowboat (1990-91), wool

Irene Avaalaaqiaq, Giant Fish Giving Birth to Humans (1992), felt on wool

Jimmy Manning, Gathering / Spring Fishing (1999-2000), photographs

We hope that you enjoy exploring this small sample of the hundreds of works under the care and stewardship of the Art Bank: IAQ Featured Collection. To explore these and other artists in our archive or to subscribe to the Inuit Art Quarterly, visit us at: iaq.inuitartfoundation.org

About the authors: Britt Gallpen and John Geoghegan

Britt Gallpen
is a writer and curator based in Toronto, Canada. Since 2015, she has been the Editor of the Inuit Art Quarterly. Britt has written catalogue texts for The Walter Phillips Gallery at the Banff Centre and grunt gallery, in addition to contributions to numerous publications including Canadian Art, esse art + opinions and Prefix Photo.

John Geoghegan is the Assistant Editor and Circulation Manager of the Inuit Art Quarterly. He has worked in collection management at several public museums and galleries including the Justina M. Barnicke Gallery and the city of Hamilton. Most recently, John contributed catalogue entries to the publication A Story of Canadian Art: As Told by the Hart House Art Collection.

Additional research assistance was provided by Monica Philpott, Editorial Assistant for the Inuit Art Quarterly.

The Inuit Art Quarterly is published by the Inuit Art Foundation. Established in 1987, the Inuit Art Foundation is a not-for-profit charitable organization that provides support to Canada’s Inuit arts communities and is the sole national body mandated to promote Inuit artists and art within Canada and internationally.


Artist Spotlight: Jimmy Manning (b. 1951)

Place: Born in Kimmirut; raised and lives in Kinngait (Cape Dorset), Nunavut

About the artist: Jimmy Manning is a self-taught Inuk photographer and an integral member of the Cape Dorset arts community. In the early 1970s he worked as a carving buyer with Kinngait Co-operative (formerly West Baffin Eskimo Co-op). He began to work with local artists and managed the printmaking studio soon after. Today he continues to act as an art-dealer, interpreter and translator for Inuit artists, while dedicating time and energy to his own photography practice. He manages the Kinngait Co-op store and is President of the Inuit Art Foundation.

Jimmy Manning, Gathering / Spring Fishing (1999-2000), photographs

About the artwork: Inspired by his grandfather, photographer Peter Pitseolak, Manning’s practice focuses on Arctic life, community and landscape. With both a narrative and documentary quality, his photos act as cultural records, like in this diptych of people gathering with snowmobiles and fishing gear. Through his lens, he captures the essence of contemporary Northern life.

Rent this artwork by Jimmy Manning for $240 per year.

Follow our Canada Scene Blog


Subscribe to the Art Bank Bulletin and stay in touch


back to top

Please Rotate Your Device

This site is best experienced in portrait