In December 2015, the Sobey Art Foundation and the National Gallery of Canada announced a new partnership in which the Gallery, starting in 2016, would become the organizing institution for the Sobey Art Award, Canada’s prestigious contemporary art prize. Building on the success achieved by the award’s founding partner institution, the Art Gallery of Nova Scotia, the new partnership will chart an ambitious new global course for contemporary Canadian art.
The National Gallery of Canada is home to the most important collections of historical and contemporary Canadian art. The Gallery also maintains Canada's premier collection of European Art from the 14th to the 21st century, as well as important works of American, Asian and Indigenous Art and renowned international collections of prints, drawings and photographs. In 2015, the National Gallery of Canada established the Canadian Photography Institute, a global multidisciplinary research center dedicated to the history, evolution and future of photography. Created in 1880, the National Gallery of Canada has played a key role in Canadian culture for well over a century. Among its principal missions is to increase access to excellent works of art for all Canadians. For more information, visit gallery.ca and follow us on Twitter @gallerydotca.
The Sobey Art Foundation was established in 1981 with the mandate to carry on the work of entrepreneur and business leader, the late Frank H. Sobey, who was a dedicated collector of investment quality Canadian art. The Sobey Art Foundation continues his work of preserving representative examples of 19th and 20th century Canadian art.
One of the finest private collections of its kind, the Sobey Art Foundation has assembled exemplary examples from Canadian Masters such as Cornelius Krieghoff, Tom Thomson, J. E. H. MacDonald and David Milne. The collection is housed in an intimate setting at Crombie House, the former home of Frank Sobey and his wife, Irene, in Pictou County, NS. Tours are regularly scheduled throughout the summer months and by appointment year round.
In 2002, the Sobey Art Foundation created the Sobey Art Award and, in the few short years since its introduction, it has become Canada’s pre-eminent award for contemporary Canadian art. It is an annual prize given to an artist under 40 who has exhibited in a public or commercial art gallery within 18 months of being nominated. A total of $100,000 in prize money is awarded annually: $50,000 to the winner, $10,000 to the other four finalists, and $500 to each of the long-listed artists. According to Sobey Art Foundation Chair, Rob Sobey, the Award is intended “to stimulate interest, discussion and debate regarding contemporary Canadian art and to shine a spotlight on the creative minds across this country whose energies and passions are devoted to creating that art."