Michael Snow
Clothed Woman (In Memory of my Father) 1963
oil and lucite on canvas
152 x 386.2 cm
Purchased 1966
National Gallery of Canada

International Museums Day

Ottawa - May 14, 2009

Free admission to the National Gallery of Canada on Monday, May 18

Enjoy the new exhibitions and the latest additions to the Gallery’s collection. Immerse yourself in the visual arts and take part in the Gallery’s festivities for the entire family.

On Monday, May 18, thousands of museums will be celebrating International Museums Day all around the world. In honour of this occasion, the National Gallery of Canada (NGC) will offer its visitors free admission to its collections of Canadian, Contemporary, Indigenous, European & American Art, and Asian Art collections from 10:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. The NGC will also host a wide variety of activities for all ages and all tastes including a Book Fair, the Artissimo booth, Mini Paper Garden and Sun Prints activities, and guided tours of the contemporary photography exhibition – Scott McFarland: A Cultivated View. Visitors will also have a chance to win a one-year NGC family membership. Check out all the details at www.gallery.ca/18may, the Gallery’s Web site devoted to this day of festivities, or call 613-990-1985 to speak to an information officer.

“International Museums Day is an opportunity for art lovers to discover – or rediscover – their National Gallery of Canada,” said NGC Director, Marc Mayer. “We have just installed a number of works from the NGC Collections that were previously stored in the Gallery’s vaults which will ensure that our visitors have many new pieces to enjoy. We are also inviting them to see our two recently-opened exhibitions Nomads and Scott McFarland and to participate in the many special activities happening at the Gallery that day.”

A very colourful program
A wide range of entertaining and enriching activities awaits! Here is an overview:

Book Fair (in the Tour group lobby) – On Monday, May 18, only, visitors will have the unique opportunity to purchase some excellent art and photography books as well exhibition catalogues at unbeatable prices.

Artissimo (in the Great Hall) – In addition to the new eye-catching red and green ‘pods’ that house the Artissimo program, many new activities have been introduced in Artissimo’s 10th anniversary. Art from Above allows families and friends to work together to recreate - on a large scale - a Gallery artwork with coloured fabrics. Three-dimensional Art Buddies and tactile Feely Boxes provide clues for children to find original artworks in the Gallery’s collection, as well as a self-guided tour called Animals at the Gallery.

Mini Paper Garden – Parents and their kids will be invited to create a miniature garden inspired by Scott McFarland’s photographs, with tissue paper and magazine images create a miniature garden.

Sun prints (on the Plaza near Maman) – Using light-sensitive paper and various garden elements, watch a composition appear magically before your eyes! This is a weather-permitting activity. If it is a cloudy day, participants  will be able to take this activity home with them.

Guided tours of Scott McFarland (at 11 am, 12, 1, 2 and 3 pm. In Contemporary Galleries B102 and B103) – CMCP interpreters will take visitors through this exhibition that explores beautiful utopian scenes of Vancouver gardens.

Guided tour of the NGC collection (at 2 pm. Meet in the Great Hall.) – Join in with this 45-minute introduction to artworks you’ve admired for years, with some you’ve never seen before. For adults who are deaf or hard of hearing, portable assistive listening devices are available for tours.

Bell Audioguides – Key Works from the Collection – Audioguides include the Canadian, European, Modern and Southeast Asian galleries. Highlights of the collection are presented in English, French German, Spanish and Mandarin. The Right Honourable Adrienne Clarkson, former Governor General of Canada, discusses her favourite works of art (English & French only). $6

Membership prize draws – On May 18, visitors will have the chance to win a one-year family membership at the National Gallery of Canada and enjoy exclusive benefits, including free admission to the NGC Collection and special exhibitions.

Have a bite at the Gallery
For tea, lunch, or just a snack, the Gallery offers three deliciously practical options:

Café L’Entrée – Overlooking the Ottawa River, the Café l'Entrée is located in the Great Hall, the focal point of the National Gallery of Canada. Perfect for lunch or afternoon tea, the Café's menu emphasizes elegantly prepared, light foods and fine pastries. Group Tour menus are available upon request for those enjoying guided tours of the collection. Open daily from 11:30 am to 3:30 pm. Reservations: 613-991-4060.

Cafétéria des Beaux-Arts – Located inside the National Gallery, this beautifully appointed room has its own glass rotunda, access to a private patio and an inspiring view of Nepean Point, the Ottawa River and Parliament Hill. The cafeteria is designed to serve families and groups in an informal, self-service atmosphere. Choose from two daily specials, salad bar, made to order sandwiches and more. Hours of operation follow Gallery hours throughout the year.

Sketches – Bring your own lunch! Located near the Gallery's main entrance, Sketches is a lunch room that opens onto a tree-filled sunken courtyard. Sketches' vending machines supplement brown-bag lunch offerings. Alternatively, bring your lunch onto the front plaza near Maman and bask in the sun. 

About the National Gallery of Canada
The National Gallery of Canada is home to the most important collections of historical and contemporary Canadian art in the world. In addition, it has pre-eminent collections of Indigenous, Western and European Art from the 14th to the 21st century, American and Asian Art as well as drawings and photography. Created in 1880, it is among the oldest of Canada’s national, cultural institutions. As part of its mandate to make Canadian art accessible across the country, the NGC has one of the largest touring exhibition programs in the world.

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For more information, please contact:

Josée-Britanie Mallet
Senior Media and Public Relations Officer

Claire Schofield
Manager, Communications and Public Relations