Neighbourhood Arts 150: Celebrating Ottawa’s Communities

Ottawa, Ontario – AOE Arts Council today is proud to announce an exceptional community arts engagement project called NEIGHBOURHOOD ARTS 150 Celebrating Ottawa’s Communities, as an official recipient of the Government of Canada’s  Canada 150 Fund. Artist-lead projects will occur in ten diverse Ottawa neighbourhoods outside the downtown core from Cumberland to Kanata. The project aims to provide over 150, 000 residents with multiple free opportunities for celebrating what it means to be Canadian during Canada’s sesquicentennial.

“The NEIGHBOURHOOD ARTS 150 – Celebrating Ottawa’s Communities project will invite the region’s residents and visitors to enjoy memorable experiences and appreciate the talent of local artists. The 150th anniversary of Confederation in 2017 will be an inspiring year that brings people together. Get inspired and join the celebration!” said the Honourable Mélanie Joly, Minister of Canadian Heritage.

NEIGHBOURHOOD ARTS 150 will involve inclusive participation from Ottawa residents of all ages and backgrounds while enhancing the visibility of our vibrant local arts scene. This program will highlight some of Ottawa’s original artistic talent, bring artists and communities together, create a variety of commemorative arts experiences, and help build communities through the arts.

“During the 150th anniversary of Confederation, Canadians will have the opportunity to participate in local celebrations in the heart of their communities. Thanks to this project by AOE Arts Council, Ottawa communities will be able to celebrate Canada’s artistic and cultural diversity through the rich and unique contributions of their population. The Canada 150 fund is pleased to support this initiative in the amount of $253, 918,” said the Honourable Andrew Leslie, Member of Parliament (Orléans).

AOE Arts Council acted quickly to apply for the Canada 150 Fund and other sources of funding as it saw unprecedented potential to activate the Ottawa Arts Community. The Arts Council hopes to see a legacy of helping to build new audiences and establish relationships with community groups and businesses by fostering collaborative initiatives.

“This program is building on the success we had matching non-profit organizations with artists working in communities as part of our artist-in-residence program, Art Place now in its third year,” said Lisa Cruickshank, President of AOE Arts Council. “We immediately saw how we could fulfill our mission to connect, champion and collaborate to bring together opportunities and resources that build a thriving Ottawa arts community through this program.”

Ten or more groups of professional artists will have paid opportunities to partner with residents of ten local communities to create special new works of art. The projects will be selected by an impartial peer assessment committee comprised of professional working artists that have shown excellence in their discipline.

“I’m thrilled to have been chosen to manage the NEIGHBOURHOOD ARTS 150program, this represents an exciting opportunity for me to work with my peers,” says Patrice Stanley, professional local visual artist and Project Manager for the program. “Artists need to constantly engage with audiences, they need validation, they need recognition but most of all they need paid opportunities.”

AOE Arts Council is launching an open Call the second week of October 2016 for local professional artists and arts groups to submit proposals based on established criteria (  Once artists, neighbourhoods and partners are matched, projects will run between late March and October 2017. Other partners will be announced by AOE Arts Council at an official launch event in late March 2017 when the selected community arts projects are unveiled.

Partnerships are currently being developed for NEIGHBOURHOOD ARTS 150 with local BIA’s, community associations, businesses and other supporters.

“We are looking for more partners to join this special once in a lifetime project,” adds Cruickshank, President of AOE Arts Council. “We invite communities to host projects at unique local and non-traditional venues and help promote the projects to increase local participation.”

These collaborative arts projects will be recorded and shared on an online component that will serve as a lasting legacy of community participation and artistic celebration of Ontario’s and Canada’s 150th year.

About the Canada 150 Fund
The goal of the Canada 150 Fund is to create opportunities for Canadians to participate in local, regional, and national celebrations that contribute to building a sense of pride and attachment to Canada.  To participate, celebrate and explore ways to be involved, visit the Canada 150 official website.

About AOE Arts Council
AOE Arts Council is an arts service organization with a 30-year track record of engaging Ottawa’s artists with the community. We strongly believe that the arts are creative catalysts that help build strong neighbourhoods through both community and economic development. We partner with local artists and local businesses to make arts experiences happen and are excited to do so for 2017.

For more information contact:

Patrice Stanley, Special Project Manager

AOE Arts Council

T 613.580.2767

C 613.983.0518

[email protected]

Rachel Crossan

Office of Andrew Leslie

T 613-834-1800

[email protected]