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Photo courtesy of the Ottawa Art Gallery

The Ottawa Art Gallery is reopening to the public with new safety measures—09.07.20

By Greggory Clark on July 5, 2020

Image courtesy of the Ottawa Art Gallery.

After more than one hundred days of temporary closure, the OAG is ready to reopen with precautions to limit the spread of COVID-19.

Starting July 9, folks must reserve a 2-hour time slot for their visit. Attendance will be limited to 40 people in the building at any given time.

Hand sanitizing stations are being installed, new physical distancing measures will be in place, and the OAG asks that all visitors wear a non-medical mask. No problem if you’ve left yours at home—complimentary masks will be available at the check-in desk.

“The last few weeks have been dedicated to ensuring safety and cleaning measures are in place, and we are ready to welcome you back to the art,” says Alexandra Badzak, Director and CEO of the gallery. The five-storey building, including washrooms, will be cleaned every 30 minutes during visiting hours.

Russell Yuristy, Ulysses Leading Henry Bird to Atlantis #5, 1971, ink on cardstock, 57.3 x 72.4 cm, collection of the artist. Photo: Justin Wonnacott.

Almost all exhibition dates have been extended to make up for lost time. “Opening now means that we can allow visitors back inside to see the great exhibitions that we had to close down in March,” says Catherine Sinclair, Deputy Director and Chief Curator of the OAG. “We’ve been doing our best to share their content online, but nothing beats seeing art in person.”

리듬풍경 RhythmScape will run until January 3, 2021. Russell Yuristy: The Inside of Elephants and All Kinds of Things and Jennifer Dickson: The Credo Project will now run until February 7, 2021. The Firestone Gallery exhibition (Re)Collecting the Group of Seven: Celebrating 100 Years is extended until November 7, 2021.

For those who are not ready or not able to visit in person, we hope the gallery will continue its #OAGFromHome series (en français: #LaGAOàdistance) which has featured works from the OAG’s vast collection on Twitter.

“Reopening is important because art museums like ours are great public spaces where people can retreat, and where they can have a fun outing and find some mental stimulation; all entirely possible at a safe distance within our walls,” adds Sinclair. “It’s also hot outside right now, and we are happy to be able to provide a free, accessible and air conditioned building full of great content, to let people escape the summer heat for a few hours.”

Admission to the OAG is free, as always. A window between 10am to 12pm is reserved for seniors and immuno-compromised visitors. While the grand reopening is on July 9, the OAG has set aside July 8 for front-line workers especially.


The Ottawa Art Gallery’s new hours are from 10am to 6pm. Book your visit online via Eventbrite. Visit oaggao.ca/oag-reopening for the complete list of safety measures the OAG has planned.