The National Gallery of Canada is governed by two pieces of legislation: the Museums Act and the Financial Administration Act.
The Museums Act declares that the heritage of Canada and all its peoples is an important part of the world heritage and must be preserved for present and future generations and that each museum established by this Act
(a) plays an essential role, individually and together with other museums and like institutions, in preserving and promoting the heritage of Canada and all its peoples throughout Canada and abroad and in contributing to the collective memory and sense of identity of all Canadians; and
(b) is a source of inspiration, research, learning and entertainment that belongs to all Canadians and provides, in both official languages, a service that is essential to Canadian culture and available to all.
The Museums Act also outlines the purposes, capacity, and powers of the National Gallery of Canada.
The Financial Administration Act provides legislation for the financial administration of the Government of Canada, the establishment and maintenance of the accounts of Canada and the control of Crown Corporations. The National Gallery of Canada’s status as a federal Crown Corporation dates from 1990, when the Museums Act was proclaimed.