The National Gallery of Canada brings art to Canadians through outreach initiatives to further knowledge, understanding, and enjoyment of the visual arts.
Across Canada and around the world, we build relationships with the museum community to collaborate on exhibitions and through our active loans program. The loans program provides Canadians with access to the national collection. Art galleries and museums are invited to reach out to us to explore potential collaborations, and to inquire on borrowing works from the national collection. Contact us at [email protected].
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A. Requests should be made directly to Director and CEO Jean-François Bélisle, in the form of a letter. A PDF version of the letter should be sent via email to [email protected].
Alternately, your request and any supporting material may also be mailed to:
National Gallery of Canada
Attn: Director and CEO
380 Sussex Drive
A. The request should include your exhibition’s title and dates, exhibition description, associated publications, additional venues and dates if applicable, information on works requested (artist, title, date, media, etc.), and a staff contact.
Our loan assessment process requires all venues to provide Standard Facility Reports (SFR) and humidity and temperature charts (in graph form only). Charts should show prevailing conditions in the galleries in which NGC works will be exhibited, and must reflect the same season in which the loans will be displayed. Please note that the requesting institution is also responsible for submitting SFRs and humidity and temperature charts for all proposed tour venues.
A. An SFR is requested for each and every loan, in order to ensure that the NGC is working with the most current information available on the borrower’s facilities. Examples of key information include things such as any construction occurring during the loan period, upgrades or replacement of critical systems (climate or security systems), significant changes in resources available to manage the loans, changes in geographical profile (natural disasters). Such factors have an impact on the assessment of loan-related risks.
A. We require the following minimum periods in advance of your exhibition’s opening date, based on the number of works:
- 1–10 works: 12 months
- 10+ works: 18 months
Shorter timelines will designate your request a “rush.” Note, as well, that more complex works of art may require a lead time of more than twelve (12) months, in order for staff to accurately assess and prepare for a potential loan.
A. Unless otherwise specified, a formal response with a decision on your loan request should follow within twelve (12) to nineteen (19) weeks of the date the request was received by the NGC. This loan-review timeline is dependent on the volume and complexity of the works requested. This is why we require ample time to receive your request and assess the works.
A review of SFRs and environmental charts for all venues will be undertaken as part of the loan-review process. An SFR review can take several weeks to complete; receiving this information early in the process will help to expedite review of your loan request.
A. The Director and CEO, or his delegate, approves or rejects loan requests, based on the recommendation of the NGC Loan Committee. The committee reviews assessments from curators, conservators, insurance, security, and technical staff to determine whether or not the loan should be approved, and if any specific conditions must be met.
Loan requests will normally be rejected if the requested work is already on loan, scheduled for loan, or on the Restricted Loans List. Under exceptional circumstances, a request to borrow a work of art on the Restricted Loans List may be possible, although approval of the Acquisitions Committee of the Board of Trustees is required for any such loans.
A. The basic criteria are:
- Merit of project
- Availability of work
- Condition of work
- Risk to work (travel, handling, display)
- Environmental and security conditions at the borrowing institution
- Availability of NGC time and resources to prepare the work before the shipping date
A. If the loan is approved, or if you cancel the request after the assessment process has begun, the following fees will apply:
- Canadian museums: $125 for first work, and $75 for each additional work; OR $250 per work for a rush request.
- International museums: $250 (per work); OR $500 per work for a rush request.
- Cancellation: $150 per work. In addition, reimbursement of the costs for materials and labour (e.g., crating, restoration) may be charged if you cancel your request after an assessment has begun.
A. All costs related to transportation, crating, customs brokerage, security escorts, couriers, and any other extraordinary expenses are the sole responsibility of the borrowing institution. Loans are insured by the NGC for the duration of the loan, for which borrowers are charged a fee.
Depending on the work(s) requested, there may be additional costs involved in preparing the work for travel and display. Additional fees for glazing, custom mounts, and supplies for AV equipment may also apply. These costs will be estimated by the NGC for the borrower, once the works have been assessed. Borrowers are invoiced at the end of the loan period.
A. The NGC assesses the courier requirement for each loan on a case-by-case basis. The NGC may assign an in-person courier for the transit and/or installation of a work, “bookend couriers,” or a virtual courier, when necessary, depending on various factors.
A. You should receive an email acknowledging receipt of your loan request within two days of its receipt by the NGC. A registrar will be assigned to your request, and their contact information will be included. If you do not receive an acknowledgement in a timely fashion, please contact [email protected].