Explore the art that adds warmth and vibrancy to the streets, parks and plazas of Ottawa–Gatineau. Temporary exhibits in Canada's Capital Region showcase artistic achievements from across the country, celebrate our diversity and highlight significant milestones in Canadian history.
Art in the Capital
Many factors contribute to shaping an impressive capital region and public art is one of them. The Art in the Capital program showcases public artworks created by Canadian artists. These exhibits are temporary and change regularly.
A number of thought-provoking, evocative and fun installations will be exhibited in Ottawa and Gatineau in 2021.
Birds of a Feather New
Birds of a Feather aims to question the quality of what brings us together. Is it our appearance? Our beliefs? Our experiences? Or is it the intention of the journey ahead of us? What makes a country remarkable in the variety of people that move it forward? Presenting three iconic Canada geese in multiple colours, amid a stream of plants, flowers and growth, this artwork invites us to think about how we “flock together” despite our differences and how we can celebrate Canada’s singular plurality.
This work is a collaboration between two Toronto-based artists, Caitlin Taguibao and Andrea Manica, whose individual works share a focus on personal experience and self-reflection. Caitlin is a freelance illustrator, mural painter and graphic designer, whose work draws on plant lore and personal stories. Andrea is a freelance illustrator, mural painter, and artist, whose work is inspired by feelings, symbols, and purpose.
This work was inspired by “Singular Plurality,” the slogan of Canada’s Guest of Honour presence at the Frankfurt Book Fair in Germany. Birds of a Feather can be seen at the York Street steps in the ByWard Market.
Art Puzzle: Birds of a Feather
Print and assemble the puzzle pieces of Birds of a Feather, a public art piece by Caitlin Taguibao and Andrea Manica that aims to question what brings people together.
The concept of Unity is simple and symbolic. The houses represent humans and the pathways represent nature, but together they symbolize unity, among ourselves and with nature. The houses gradually increase in number starting from a single house at the bottom, showing the connection between the individual and the community. This colourful and playful image is not meant to look realistic, but rather to suggest an idea of unity that can be found anywhere, in the past, present, and, most important for us, the future.
Yasaman Mehrsa is visual artist, born and raised in Tehran, Iran, and now based in the Greater Toronto Area. She has a passion for public art and strives to create works that are distinctive, engaging and memorable. Her goal is to inspire those who see her work to look more carefully at the world around them and to discover beauty in unusual places.
This work was inspired by “Singular Plurality,” the slogan of Canada’s Guest of Honour presence at the Frankfurt Book Fair in Germany. Unity can be seen at the Plaza Bridge steps linking the Rideau Canal and Senate of Canada.
Art Puzzle: Unity
Print and assemble the puzzle pieces of this playful, engaging, eye-catching and welcoming public art piece.
Winner of 3 prestigious awards, including the People’s Choice Award.
The Gather-Ring is a new public artwork inspired by two iconic symbols that are deeply rooted in Indigenous traditions, the Tree and the Dream Catcher. Trees have always played a vital role across the land on which Canada was founded, bearing witness to our histories. Dream Catchers have the power to capture our positive thoughts, dreams, and visions, offering to lead us towards a bright future. The Tree, represented here by the circular cedar base, and the Dream Catcher, by the patterned canopy with hand-blown glass pendants above, are both brought together within The Gather-Ring.
Manuel A. Baez (Designer, Architect (New York)) and Charlynne Lafontaine (Artist) created The Gather-Ring as an interactive art piece meant to evoke diverse cultural interpretations and offer a symbolic circle for cultural exchange, storytelling, discussion and reflection. At night, The Gather-Ring is illuminated, providing a memorable visual experience!
We invite you to discover this original artwork, located on the Portage Bridge Plaza in Ottawa, until August 2021.
Our Shepherds depicts two shepherds standing face-to-face atop two sheep. The figures are notably connected by a long Pinocchio-like nose, a seeming indication of their deceitful intentions. The playful blue colour and simple, symmetrical structure of the sculpture act as an enticement to consider deeper meanings. Our Shepherds speaks of those who take power and those who are led, inviting viewers to question who are the shepherds and who are the sheep.
Our Shepherds was created by Montreal artist, Patrick Bérubé. It will be displayed at the Tin House Courtyard in the ByWard Market in Ottawa until June 2021.
Nākatēyimisowin - Taking Care of Oneself
This mural exhibit is in the recreational pathway tunnel under Wellington Street near the Portage Bridge. Nākatēyimisowin - Taking Care of Oneself (translation from Plains Cree), highlights the work of four Indigenous artists from different regions of Canada.
This exhibit explores how vulnerability and reflection are both integral and beneficial to active resistance. The selection of artists and exhibit content was coordinated by Joi T. Arcand, a photo-based artist from Muskeg Lake Cree Nation – Treaty 6 Territory in Saskatchewan, currently living in Ottawa. The artists include:
- Glenn Gear, who is of Inuit ancestry, was born in Newfoundland and Labrador and currently lives in Quebec: Ommatik – Heart (translation from Inuttitut, Labrador)
- Tara-Lynn Kozma-Perrin, who is of Cree ancestry and lives in British Columbia: We Are Resilient
- Cedar-Eve Peters who is Anishinaabe, Ojibwe, was born in Ontario and currently lives in Quebec: Shifting of Energies
- Michelle Sound, who is a member of the Swan River First Nation and Red River Métis and lives in British Columbia: Kahkiyaw acāhkosak – All the Stars (translation from Plains Cree).
This project is a joint undertaking in partnership with Crown-Indigenous Relations and Northern Affairs Canada. Nākatēyimisowin - Taking Care of Oneself will be displayed until October 2021.
The tall, slender silhouette of the work’s two-part structure contrasts with the strong horizontality of its setting. While the pure lines of these sculptural forms create space for multiple interpretations, their arrangement also evokes an exchange between two monumental figures. Their curves entwine in a movement recalling a pair of witnesses, dancers or sentinels leaning on each other for support.
Light sources emanating from within the two figures create a fluid, rhythmic dialogue, inviting us to linger.
Dialogue is an installation created by multidisciplinary artist Florent Cousineau. It can be seen on the upper plaza near the Alexandra Bridge in Ottawa until 2021
Art in the Courtyards
The Sussex Courtyards are a sequence of five courtyards located in the ByWard Market in Ottawa. They are popular during the summer season and offer an oasis of tranquility and shade for visitors and locals, as well as providing seating areas, café terraces and boutiques.
The Art in the Courtyards program showcases Canada's artistic excellence and enriches visitors' experience of the Capital by presenting exhibits on a range of themes.
Telling Stories, Sharing Worlds
This exhibit features works by 16 Canadian women artists. These artworks are part of the Global Affairs Canada Visual Art Collection. Global Affairs Canada circulates this collection of nearly 7,000 original artworks among Canada's embassies, consulates and official residences in over 100 cities as a means of celebrating Canadian excellence in the arts and promoting Canadian values internationally. These values include a commitment to initiatives aimed at empowering women and girls and advancing gender equality.
Telling Stories, Sharing Worlds can be seen in the Clarendon and York courtyards until March 2021.
This exhibit is presented by Canadian Heritage in collaboration with Global Affairs Canada.
Château Laurier Terrace Exhibit
Overlooking the Ottawa Locks of the Rideau Canal, with views of Parliament, the Ottawa River, Canadian Museum of History and the Gatineau Hills, the lower terrace of the historic Fairmont Château Laurier is the ideal location for an annual outdoor exhibit.
Plaza Bridge Photo Exhibit
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