Canada Council Art Bank

Canada Council Art Bank
Ottawa, Canada

The Canada Council for the Arts established the Art Bank in 1972 to raise awareness of the remarkable breadth and quality of Canadian art being produced at the time. The aim was to purchase works and make them available to a wide public across the country.

Since then, Canadian art has continued to grow and earn acclaim nationally and on the world stage. The Art Bank collection has grown too - it now includes 17,000+ paintings, prints, photographs and sculptures by over 3,000 emerging and established artists, including those from Indigenous and culturally diverse backgrounds. The collection is currently valued at over $71 million.

More than one-third of the collection is on view in public spaces and private organizations across Canada, through art rentals, loans, and outreach programs.

In 2012, the Art Bank celebrated its 40th anniversary with a special exhibition of 40 artworks representing each year of its existence.  Over 650 people came to see the special anniversary exhibition during the open house weekend in September. Guests were given the opportunity to travel through 40 years of contemporary Canadian art, search through the Art Bank racks and ask staff questions.  

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