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City Hall Art Gallery

Location and hours

City Hall Art Gallery
110 Laurier Avenue West
Ottawa, Ontario
K1P 1J1


Open daily 9 am to 8 pm.

Free admission. Wheelchair accessible. Parking available.

Upcoming Exhibitions

From March 2014 to the fall of 2017, the Ottawa Art Gallery is operating a temporary satellite location, called the OAG Annex, at City Hall Art Gallery. 

While at City Hall, be sure to visit Karsh-Masson Gallery, featuring contemporary exhibitions by professional artists.

Upcoming exhibitions

October 13 to October 29, 2017
Terry Mosher – From Trudeau to Trudeau: Fifty Years of Aislin Cartoons
Vernissage: Thursday, October 12, 5:00 to 7:00 pm

Terry Mosher, working under the pen name of Aislin (his eldest daughter's name), has enjoyed a fifty-year career as a political cartoonist, primarily for the newspaper the Montreal Gazette. Often controversial, Terry Mosher has drawn over 13,000 cartoons. This exhibition is a selection of 150 of his favourites in honour of Canada's 150th birthday. In conjunction with Ottawa 2017.

Cartoon by Terry Mosher.
Terry Mosher, Justin Trudeau rides his father's car to Ottawa – shirtless, 2016, pen, ink and computer generated colour, 28 x 28 cm. Courtesy of the artist.


November 16, 2017 to January 7, 2018
City of Ottawa Art Collection – Recent Additions
Thursday, November 23, 5:30 to 7:30 pm

This exhibition features a selection of artworks added to the City of Ottawa Art Collection in 2017 through purchase, donation and commission. After the exhibition closes, artworks will be installed in municipal buildings throughout Ottawa's neighbourhoods. 

Malak Karsh, Man’s Creation Outdone by Nature, 1949, photograph on paper. City of Ottawa Art Collection. 2017-0003

Past exhibitions


  • November 29, 2013 to January 12, 2014
    David Barbour - Home 
    Discover the quiet of the winter urban landscape in this series of black and white panoramic photographs of Ottawa at night, taken with a large-format camera within walking distance of where the artist lived.
  • October 11 to November 17, 2013
    Raymond Aubin - Au jour le jour (Day by Day)
    Assuming the role of cyber-onlooker for one year, Raymond Aubin observed the daily flow of passersby on a Times Square sidewalk by way of a live web cam. Aubin carried out thousands of freeze frames muddled by the artifacts of digital compression. His photographic display extends beyond the gallery walls, occupying the entire space.
  • August 30 to September 29, 2013
    Recent additions to the City of Ottawa Fine Art Collection
    Featuring many of the 2012 acquisitions, including site-specific commissions and significant donations, this is an exhibition not to be missed! After the exhibition closes, artworks will be installed in municipal buildings throughout Ottawa's neighbourhoods.
  • June 14 to July 28, 2013
    Karina Bergmans - Ligaments and Ligatures
    The exhibition, Ligaments and Ligatures, connects textile organ sculptures with word association to common diseases. A tension is created by the seriousness of the subject matter and the tangibility of the materials.
  • April 26 to June 2, 2013
    Charles Stankievech - The Soniferous Æther of The Land Beyond The Land Beyond
    Presented by the City of Ottawa and the National Arts Centre, in collaboration with SAW Video and Ottawa Art Gallery, the exhibition features a looping film installation shot at the northernmost settlement on earth—Canadian Forces Station Alert, Nunavut.
  • February 8 to April 7, 2013
    Lorraine Gilbert & Christopher Varady-Szabo - Arbor Vitae
    Sharing an interest in the life of trees and in their value as channels for the flow of visible and hidden energies, Gilbert and Varady-Szabo have collaborated to create photographs of trees and tree-inspired photo-drawings that inhabit the gallery and sometimes dialogue in the same pictorial space.


  • November 30, 2012 to January 20, 2013
    Véronique Chagnon-Côté - La capture (The Capture)
    The garden is a closed setting, a development, a structure where men have decided to organize nature. It is a natural space created from scratch, constructed and shaped by humanity to capture the landscape.
  • September 21 to November 18, 2012
    Pedro Isztin - The River
    Pedro Isztin's photographic work discovers and uncovers moments of sacred natural beauty with diversity, sensitivity and depth. One of his most recent projects (2004-11), The River, features scenes from the Ottawa (Outaouais) River between Ottawa, Aylmer and Hull.
  • July 13 to September 9, 2012
    Close to Home
    This exhibition features works acquired in 2011 by the City's Fine Art Collection through commission, donation and acquisition.
  • May 11 to July 1st, 2012
    SAW Video - Tape Heads: Video Art & Technology in the 1980s
    The early days of video art in Ottawa will be highlighted in this historical exhibition marking SAW Video's 30th anniversary (1981-2011).
  • March 16 to April 29, 2012
    Jonathan Hobin - Little Lady / Little Man
    This photographic exhibition reflects on the death of a husband and wife through the use of lullaby, vintage photographs and life-size deathbed portraiture.
  • January 20 to March 4, 2012 
    Donna Legault - Cymatic Imprints
    By making sound visible through material, Cymatic Imprints is a delicate and poetic augmentation that makes for a subtle acoustic experience.


  • November 11, 2011 to January 8, 2012
    Ramses Madina - Night for Day: Road Crews
    Night For Day
    is a work in progress examining artificial light within the context of industrial nightshift operations. On exhibit is part one, entitled Road Crews, which focuses on nightshift road building.
  • September 2 to October 23, 2011
    Andrew Smith - Of the Appearance of Bees
    Abstract painting has the potential to portray an expansive and open-ended realm of reflection on what it might be like to see and feel a place that is of the order of the perceiving body. These paintings are spatial metaphors of the manner or characteristics of how we may relate to bees.
  • July 1st to August 21, 2011
    kipjones - interstices: an intervening space
    To think about space and to create an understanding of it must be to move between thinking of our built environments and our experiences of them.
  • April 22 to June 12, 2011
    Place and Circumstance: New additions to the City of Ottawa Fine Art Collection
    This exhibition features recent acquisitions, commissions and donations to the City of Ottawa's Fine Art Collection.
  • January 28 to April 3, 2011
    Paul Roorda - Take Notice
    Vintage encyclopedia pictures and Polaroid sky photos are nailed to utility posts, becoming weathered over time. Discovered on location or viewed as a collection in the gallery, they reflect the escalating anxiety about climate change that has replaced the fading optimism of unsustainable progress.


  • December 3, 2010 to January 16, 2011
    Perceptions: Reinterpreting the City of Ottawa's Fine Art Collection
    Non-traditional ways of experiencing works of art — from touch to sound — will be explored in this exhilarating exhibit, which demonstrates how arts and culture can be accessible and inclusive. The show coincides with International Day of Persons with Disabilities and includes works from the City of Ottawa's Fine Art Collection. Presented in collaboration with the City's Community Arts Program and community partners.
  • October 8 to November 21, 2010
    Susan Feindel and Paul Walde - Melting the True North
    Science and art are linked in this exhibit by a shared respect for the North, as a lived reality rather than an abstract idea. After separate journeys to Northern Canada and Norway, artists Susan Feindel and Paul Walde created artworks that show the fragility of the natural elements that make up the Arctic landscape.
  • July 23 to September 26, 2010
    Louis Helbig - Beautiful Destruction : Alberta Tar Sands Aerial Photographs
    Louis Helbig's aerial images teeter between documentary and abstract. The tension between their beauty and what they represent — the man-made alteration and destruction of a landscape — stimulates both thought and imagination.
  • March 11 to May 2, 2010
    Jennifer Stead - A long, drawn out story
    This evolving exhibit will result in a final image that is as much a discovery to the artist as to the observer. That's because from mid-March to the end of April, artist Jennifer Stead will turn City Hall Art Gallery into a studio as she creates a charcoal landscape that fills its walls.

Public consultation: 2018 exhibitions

Posted August 1, 2017

The City of Ottawa invites you to preview the exhibitions selected by the peer assessment committee for the Karsh-Masson Gallery and City Hall Art Gallery 2018 exhibition season. Members of the public may bring forward, within a 30 day period, any concern that the peer assessment committee did not follow the criteria and procedures as described in the Call for proposals. Please contact with your concern between August 1, 2017 and August 30, 2017.

More information about the 30 day public consultation process is included in section 4.2 of the Public Art Policy.

Selected exhibitions

Exhibitions selected by the 2018 peer assessment committee

Artist: Andrew Ooi
Working title: Anatomy of Resilience

Andrew Ooi, Trinity, 2015

Proposal synopsis: Anatomy of Resilience – an exhibit consisting of paper-folded paintings and sculptures – examines art as a kind of hardiness in overcoming hardship.

Image: Andrew Ooi, Trinity, 2015, gampi, acrylic and ink painting, 19 x 35 x 3 cm. Courtesy of the artist.

Artists: Anna Eyler and Nicolas Lapointe
Working title: void loop()

Anna Eyler and Nicolas Lapointe, beyond différance, and now

Proposal synopsis: void loop() hovers between the tangible world of objects and the fleeting structures of the virtual. This exhibition of recent works by Nicolas Lapointe and Anna Eyler focuses on ideas of frontier and utopia in the digital age, examining the relationship between idealism and technology. Ultimately, the artists take an ambivalent position on reality, behaving a bit like amateur archaeologists from an imagined future.

Image: Anna Eyler and Nicolas Lapointe, beyond différance, and now (installation view at aceartinc., Winnipeg), 2016, variable dimensions. Courtesy of the artists.

Artist: Benjamin Globerman
Working title: Call to Prayer

Benjamin Globerman, Call to Prayer - Bayview Centre

Proposal synopsis: Call to Prayer is an immersive, sonic installation drawing on the traditions of Judaism, Christianity and Islam. Presented as a three-channel audio installation, speakers are arranged in a triangle, inviting listeners to explore the piece. Beginning as separate threads, the voices of three local vocalists gradually become entwined, forming a tonal fabric that finds harmony in difference. Call to Prayer is an attempt to harmonize the music of religious thought and scripture, into an inclusive, visceral, and ultimately emotional experience.

Image: Benjamin Globerman, Call to Prayer - Bayview Centre (installation view), 2017, variable dimensions. Courtesy of the artist.

Artist: Cheryl Pagurek
Working title: Fragile

Cheryl Pagurek, Yellow Tea Cup / Paris (video still)

Cheryl Pagurek, Green Tea Cup / Damascus

Proposal synopsis: Consisting of three short videos and nine photo-based digital prints from the Tea Cups series, the Fragile exhibit explores the tenuous state of current world affairs. Made by projecting contemporary global news imagery into delicate vintage tea cups, these works evoke our own human fragility, the shattering of fragile notions of peace and social democracy, and the vulnerability of the earth itself to natural disaster. Recorded with turbulent news images and footage projected within them, the cups bring worldwide events ‘closer to home’, literally and figuratively.

Images (top to bottom): Cheryl Pagurek, Yellow Tea Cup / Paris (video still), 2016, digital print on semi-matt photo paper, 43.4 x 65 cm. Green Tea Cup / Damascus, 2016, digital print on semi-matt photo paper, 43.4 x 65 cm. Courtesy of the artist.

Artist: Jennifer Anne Norman

Jennifer Norman, Unrequited (installation view)

Jennifer Norman, Tape and Staples

Proposal synopsis: This exhibition conflates Norman’s site responsive practice with a series of contemporary memento mori inspired depictions of Ottawa and numerous other places where she has lived. The graphite and mixed media drawings that make up this exhibition depict reconstructed tree branches that have been assembled with local, found debris. The delicate and meditative drawings give shape to the fragility and fleeting quality of the biological and manufactured lives they represent.

Images (top to bottom): Jennifer Norman, Unrequited (installation view), 2016, variable dimensions. Tape and Staples, 2016, graphite and mixed media on paper, 48 x 61 cm. Courtesy of the artist.

Artist: Jordan Seal
Working title: Spirits Tangled in Vines

Jordan Seal, Installation of various drawings

Proposal synopsis: An art show filled with a mass of multimedium artwork of all shapes and sizes. Featuring drawings, paintings and sculptures. The art show explores spirituality through organic abstraction. It will be a creation of a metaphorical Eden overflowing with details, colours, curving shapes, floating glyphs, and expanding veiny lines. It will provide viewers with a celebration of the other worldly, for them to explore through dense visionary imagery.

Image: Jordan Seal, Installation of various drawings, 2017, watercolour, acrylic, ink and pencil on paper, variable dimensions. Courtesy of the artist.

Artists: Cynthia O’Brien and Barbara Brown
Curator: Judith Parker
Working title: Life Cycle: A Collaborative Dialogue with the Garden

Cynthia O’Brien, Skin & Bone Bouquet

Barbara Brown, Amaryllis-Endings

Proposal synopsis: In Life Cycle, O’Brien’s and Brown’s artwork - ceramic objects and photographic images – are entwined in an immersive installation. Their artistic collaboration creates a contemplative dialogue on themes of death, aging, human frailty and how the act of gardening is a form of memento mori, a reminder of the inevitability of death. 

Images (top to bottom): Cynthia O’Brien, Skin & Bone Bouquet, 2015, clay and yarn, 178 x 66 x 25 cm. Barbara Brown, Amaryllis-Endings, 2017, inkjet on cotton rag, 100 x 80 cm. Courtesy of the artists.

Artist: René Price
Working title: Art of City Building

René Price, Towers of Power

René Price, Reclining Low Rise Office Building

Proposal synopsis: Reacting to never ending controversial development plans in Ottawa, satiric artist René Price proposes to erect a model utopian city, Ottowa (sic), in the middle of the gallery space, zoning and/or the OMB permitting. Profit, growth, gentrification, the common good, human foibles and God, all play a part in mapping out of our likely collective future.

Images (top to bottom): René Price, Towers of Power (installation view), 2015-2017, mixed media, 300 x 400 (height x diameter). Reclining Low Rise Office Building (installation view), 2014, mixed media, 60 x 120 x 25 cm. Courtesy of the artist.

Call for proposals: 2018 exhibitions

Public Art Program – Karsh-Masson‎ Gallery & City Hall Art Gallery

Photos (left to right): Karina Bergmans – Ligaments and Ligatures, City Hall Art Gallery; Full Catastrophe, Karsh-Masson Gallery

Deadline: Monday, May 1, 2017

Information meeting: Tuesday, March 28, 2017 at 7 pm
Karsh-Masson Gallery, 110 Laurier Avenue West, main floor
A short presentation in English will be followed by a bilingual question and answer period.

The City of Ottawa invites professional artists and curators to propose exhibitions. Proposals are reviewed by a peer assessment committee and selected exhibitions will be presented at Karsh-Masson Gallery or City Hall Art Gallery in 2018.

Exhibitions at Karsh-Masson and City Hall art galleries feature the work of professional artists working in visual art, media art and fine craft, including solo, two-person and group exhibitions; curated exhibitions; exhibitions from the diplomatic sector, and circulating exhibitions from other institutions. Annual programming includes artist talks, tours and panel discussions as well as one exhibition of the City of Ottawa Art Collection and one exhibition of artwork by a graduating student from the University of Ottawa MFA program.

Karsh-Masson and City Hall art galleries are located on the main level at Ottawa City Hall, 110 Laurier Avenue West. Both galleries are open daily from 9 am to 8 pm. Admission is free.

A public gallery is a forum for the exploration of diverse ideas. The City of Ottawa exhibits artwork in all media that are of interest and importance to the community, that foster a sense of who we are, and that reflect current artistic practice. These exhibitions are presented in the public domain allowing for an appreciation, understanding and interpretation of our past and present through gallery programming.

Gallery Floor Plans

New this year!

All documents can be sent electronically via WeTransfer. 


  • This call for proposals is open to professional visual artists and curators who are emerging, mid-career or established, and working in visual art, media art, fine craft, design and other new art forms. A professional artist is someone who has specialized training in his or her artistic field (not necessarily in academic institutions), who is recognized by his or her peers as such, is committed to his or her artistic activity, and has a history of public presentation.
  • Applicants who have exhibited at Karsh-Masson Gallery within the last two consecutive years are not eligible to apply. City of Ottawa employees and elected representatives are not eligible to apply.

Only one proposal per applicant will be considered.

Artwork exhibited at Karsh-Masson and City Hall art galleries that requires electrical components must be approved and inspected in accordance with the rules defined in the Ontario Electrical Safety Code (OESC), as well as Canadian Standards Association (CSA) prior to acceptance by or installation at the Gallery. For more information, visit the Electrical Safety Authority at

The City of Ottawa supports cultural activity that is inclusive of Ottawa's diverse community, including people from diverse ancestries, abilities, ages, countries of origin, cultures, genders, incomes, languages, races and sexual orientations. The City of Ottawa recognizes the Algonquin Anishinabe Nation as Ottawa’s Indigenous Host Nation. Applications from artists and curators of diverse origins including First Nations, Inuit and Métis are welcome and encouraged. The City of Ottawa recognizes both official languages as having the same rights, status and privileges.


All eligible proposals are reviewed by a peer assessment committee based on the following criteria:

  • artistic merit and professionalism
  • regional importance and innovation
  • quality and cohesiveness of the artwork examples and the written proposal statement
  • appropriateness of the proposal to the public nature of the gallery space

Each peer assessment committee consists of three art professionals. Individual committee members first review the proposals independently then meet to review them together. The composition of each committee aims to balance representation of artistic specialization, practice, style and philosophy, as well as fair representation of official languages, gender, geographic areas and culture-specific communities. Peer assessment committee members are invited to participate by City employees based on their knowledge and experience, fair and objective opinions, ability to articulate ideas, and ability to work in a team environment. Committee members change with every competition. If you are interested in participating as a committee member, please email


Send your proposal by WeTransfer or by mail:

  • WeTransfer
    Send all support material electronically using WeTransfer to
  • Mail
    Send a CD, DVD or USB device containing your support material to the mailing address below. Include your name, mailing address, telephone number and email address on or with the CD, DVD or USB device.

Call for proposals: 2018 exhibitions
City of Ottawa Public Art Program
172 Guigues Avenue
Ottawa, Ontario K1N 5H9

Proposals can also be delivered in person to the Routhier Community Centre first floor customer service desk, 172 Guigues Avenue, 613-244-4470. Do not deliver your proposal directly to Karsh-Masson Gallery or to City Hall Art Gallery.

Proposal guidelines & requirements

  • A complete proposal must include the support material listed below.
  • Support material may be written in English or French.
  • Proposals are considered for both galleries.
  • Files must be saved in a format compatible with Windows 7.
  • To format a PDF document utilize Save as, or Export, from a Word or similar text based document.
  • Support material items 1, 3, and 4 can be saved as one PDF.

Support material

1. Proposal statement
Describe the proposed exhibition’s content and a coherent theme for your show. Two pages or 800 words maximum. Save as a PDF.

2. Proposal synopsis
Summarize the proposal statement. The peer assessment committee will refer to the synopsis as a quick reference during deliberations. 80 words maximum. Save as a PDF.

3. Artistic résumé
Include your name, mailing address, telephone number and email address. If multiple artists are involved, include each artist’s résumé and indicate one contact person. Three pages maximum (per artist). Save as a PDF.

4. Image/media list
Include the following information about each image/media file submitted: file number, artist’s name, artwork title, date of work (year), medium and support, metric dimensions, and duration of artwork (if applicable). One page maximum. Save as a PDF.

5. Digital images and/or video or time-based media files
Ten digital image files or ten minutes total of video/media content that support the proposal statement and follow the guidelines listed below.

  • At least half of the images/media files submitted must be artwork that will be included in your final exhibition should your proposal be successful.
  • Curated, two-person and group exhibitions: send ten files maximum.
  • Applicants who wish to include a combination of digital images and video/new media files: send ten files maximum with no more than ten minutes of content total. For each minute of video/media content, remove one digital image. 
  • Strict adherence to naming convention is necessary for images to be successfully viewed during the peer assessment committee meeting.

Image files must be:

  • Saved as JPG, TIFF or BMP
  • 72 dpi, no larger than 2 MB each. RGB format with a maximum of 1240 pixels (length or width).
  • Named with the corresponding image list number, artwork title, date of work (year), medium and support, and metric dimensions, each separated by an underscore. Do not leave a space before or after the underscore. For example:
    01_Xylophage_2014_wood and paint_20 x 30 x 40 cm.jpg            
    02_The Mountain_2014_graphite, acrylic and metal_96 x 106 cm.jpg
    03_Untitled 2_2013_chromogenic print on paper_206 x 122 cm.tiff
    04_Untitled 2 detail_2013_chromogenic print on paper_206 x 122 cm.tiff
    05_Untitled 2 alternate view_2013_chromogenic print on paper_206 x 122 cm.tiff
    06_Untitled 3_2010_LED and resin_1 x 4 x 7 m.jpg
    07_Untitled 3 view at night_2010_LED and resin_1 x 4 x 7 m.bmp
    08_Untitled 4 framed_ 2006_oil paint on canvas_85 x 95 cm.bmp
    09_Installation at Karsh-Masson Gallery_2005_mixed media_variable dimensions.jpg
    10_Reason Over Passion_1968_quilted cloth assemblage_257 x 302 cm.jpg

Video/time-based media files must be:

  • Saved as MP4, MOV, AVI or WMV
  • Viewable in Windows Media Player or VLC
  • No larger than 500 MB each
  • Named with the corresponding media list number, artwork title, date of work (year), medium, and duration, each separated by an underscore. Do not leave a space before or after the underscore. For example:
    01_Memorial_2012_looped video_2 min.mp4
    02_Echelles_2014_video_4 min 30
    03_Diaries_2014_video_6 min.avi

Support material that requires specialized software, plug-ins, extensions, or other executables that need to be downloaded or installed (e.g. website hyperlinks or presentations such as PowerPoint) will not be reviewed. Applicants are responsible for testing support materials to ensure readability. The City of Ottawa is not responsible for any loss or damage to support material. CDs, DVDs and USB devices will not be returned. Please retain a copy for your records.

Deadline and notification

Proposals must be received by Monday, May 1, 2017 or postmarked on or before this date. Late or incomplete proposals will not be accepted.

Receipt of your application will be acknowledged by email. This email does not confirm that your application is eligible. Applicants will be notified of the peer assessment committee’s decisions by email approximately three months after the proposal deadline. Artistic feedback will not be provided.


Exhibiting artists will be paid an exhibition fee as outlined by the 2018 CARFAC Fee Schedule.  Curators will receive a professional curatorial fee.

The City of Ottawa Public Art Program does not reimburse expenses related to travel, transportation of artwork and accommodation, nor are per diem fees paid.

Public consultation

Following the peer assessment committee’s deliberations, the selected exhibitions will be announced on Members of the public are invited to bring forward, within a 30 day period, any concern that the peer assessment committee did not follow the publicly announced criteria and procedures.

Confidentiality of information

Personal Information in your submission is collected under the authority of the City Council approved Public Art Policy.  

Personal information will only be used for evaluating your submission and administering the City of Ottawa Public Art Program. City of Ottawa employees and peer assessment committee members are required to treat both the content of submissions and the deliberations of the committee as confidential.

Copyright and moral rights

The artist shall retain the copyright of the artworks. Moral rights also remain with the artist. The City of Ottawa will seek copyright permission to reproduce images of the artwork for non-commercial purposes.

Contact us

Karsh-Masson and City Hall Art galleries are operated by the City of Ottawa Public Art Program.

Accessible formats and communication supports are available upon request. If you are unable to view documents or require alternative file formats, please complete an Accessible Formats Document Request Form.

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