Once again this winter, the National Gallery of Canada (NGC) will be hosting fun and entertaining activities during Winterlude 2014. From January 31 to February 17, 2014, families and visitors of all ages are invited to warm up inside the Gallery.
Storytelling is the subject of a new installation of contemporary, video-based works at the National Gallery. Four Canadian artists – Isabelle Pauwels, Corin Sworn, Zin Taylor and Althea Thauberger – explore literature, folktales, legends and family stories, reshaping them to create new versions. In the process, they take us to a number of faraway places: the Fassa Valley in Northern Italy; the Scottish Highlands; the Belgian-occupied Congo; and London, England. Each video is presented alongside constructed artifacts and production stills, which suggest alternative ways of seeing or interpreting.
The NGC presents The Way Things Go (1987). Drawing crowds wherever it has been exhibited, the highly acclaimed 30-minute recording of a spectacular chain reaction of household and industrial objects was created by the Swiss artists Peter Fischli and the late David Weiss. Presented as part of How Things Go (1985–87), a video installation acquired by the Gallery in 2009, The Way Things Go is featured with two lesser-known films by the artists. These recount the often outlandish and improbable sequences of mechanical, chemical and material reactions Fischli & Weiss presented in their classic 1987 production.
The publicly and critically acclaimed installation Forty-Part Motet is back on display at the NGC. This brilliant sound sculpture by Canadian artist Janet Cardiff is a reworking of Spem in Alium by Thomas Tallis, a 16th-century English composer. Forty separately recorded choir voices are played back through 40 speakers positioned inside the NGC’s Rideau Chapel.
Artissimo, from 10 a.m. to 4:45 p.m. on Saturdays and Sundays, and on Ontario Family Day, Monday, February 17, 2014, until 4:30 p.m.
Join other families in making a massive fabric copy of Lawren Harris’s painting North Shore, Baffin Island II, an icy masterpiece from the Gallery’s Canadian collection. Families will have great fun using their creativity to make a person, animal, building or tree to add to the enormous collaborative mural A Wintry World. Help create a giant picture for the Artissimo Gallery wall. Go on an adventure with one of the Art Buddies – soft figures that are detailed replicas of people in the paintings. Take a voyage of discovery as you carry your Art Buddy through the Gallery, find the painting they live in, and learn about your Buddy and the artist behind the work. Artissimo is for children aged 3 and up, accompanied by an adult.
The self-guided Not Just Another Winter Tour is back, inviting visitors to explore the Gallery’s collection with a focus on winter landscapes, animals of the ice and snow, and other innovative works that will surprise and delight. Come discover – or rediscover –several works by well-known artists such as Krieghoff, Colville and Duchamp.
National Gallery of Canada audio tours open doors to art. Experts inside and outside the art world share their insights in focused theme tours for adults. Storytelling and conversation animate the visit for children. A special tour for Mandarin-speakers is narrated by Dashan, a.k.a. Canadian Mark Rowswell, dubbed “the most famous foreigner in China.” German- and Spanish-speakers can enjoy a collection highlights tour, and verbal descriptions bring artworks to life for people who are blind or partially sighted. New this year: a tour by NGC director Marc Mayer, who will be sharing his thoughts and comments on selected works.
To celebrate Ontario Family Day on Monday, February 17, the Gallery will be offering a series of special activities for the whole family. At 1:00, watch Junkyard Symphony perform their percussion, acrobatics and comedy show. Sip comforting hot chocolate* starting at 2:00. Artissimo activities will be happening all day. In addition, take this special opportunity to purchase or renew an annual family membership at a $20 discount, available exclusively for new memberships, gift memberships and renewals for families, purchased in person, by telephone or online on Monday, February 17, 2014. Annual family memberships give members and their family free, unlimited access to the collection and special exhibitions.
*while quantities last
We are open Tuesday to Sunday from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., and Thursday to 8 p.m. Also open on Ontario Family Day, Monday, February 17. Admission fees apply; free admission for Members and children under 12. On-site amenities include a parking garage, a bookstore and gift shop, a choice of restaurants, two instant banking machines and a free cloakroom. Courtesy strollers and wheelchairs are also available.
Tickets: $12 (adults); $10 (seniors and full-time students); $6 (youth aged 12 to 19); $24 (families of two adults and three youth). Admission is free for children under the age of 12 and for Members. For more information, call 613-998-8888.