Founded in 1895, La Biennale di Venezia is the oldest and most widely recognized contemporary art event in the world. A constellation of national pavilions serve as exhibition spaces for a global survey of the world’s foremost contemporary artists. The 56th International Art Exhibition, titled All the World’s Futures, curated by Okwui Enwezor, included the representation of 136 artists from 53 countries, 89 of whom showed for the first time.
Canada began participating in the Biennale in 1952, sharing space in the international section of the Esposizione internazionale d’arte della città di Venezia. In 1958, at the invitation of the City of Venice, Canada opened its own pavilion, under the auspices of the National Gallery of Canada. Designed and built by the celebrated Studio BBPR of Milan, the Canada Pavilion is considered an important architectural feature of the Giardini to this day, and enjoys special heritage designation.
Canada’s representation at the Biennale has played an important part in shaping the role and place of Canadian contemporary art on the world stage. The Canada Pavilion has helped to launch the international careers of many of our most celebrated artists.
In a shared fundraising strategy with the National Gallery of Canada, the Foundation has established the following three national fundraising initiatives intended to provide long-term financial stability to the Canadian presence at the Venice Biennale:
Capital naming opportunities at the National Gallery of Canada are available in recognition of major gifts to these initiatives. Join us now in supporting premier Canadian artists.