Indigenous Art Centre
Through the Indigenous Art Centre, Crown-Indigenous Relations and Northern Affairs Canada (CIRNAC) is entrusted with the care, development, and maintenance of the Indigenous Art Collection, one of the most important collections of contemporary Indigenous art in Canada.
On this page
Indigenous Art Centre book
In the summer of 2018, the Indigenous Art Centre released a new book called "The Indigenous Art Collection: Selected Works 1967-2017".
Created to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the collection, this stunning volume and first major monograph published by the Government of Canada about the collection, highlights the richness and the importance of Indigenous cultures and heritage as an essential part of Canadian culture.
To order a copy, visit the National Gallery of Canada Boutique.
This 383-page hardcover book is an important tribute to the incredible work that has been done by Indigenous artists and curators, as well as the Indigenous Art Centre's continuing efforts to honour and promote Indigenous artwork in Canada and internationally.
The book project was chaired by Lee-Ann Martin, and included jury members Simon Brascoupé, David M. General, Viviane Gray, Dr. Heather Igloliorte, Gerald McMaster, Sherry Farrell Racette, Arthur Renwick, Ryan Rice and Dr. Carmen Robertson. These individuals reviewed 4,288 works of art in the Indigenous Art Collection and chose 164 pieces to represent the development of the collection through its inception up to the present day.
CIRNAC features pieces from the collection at the Indigenous Art Centre Gallery through rotating exhibitions.
COVID-19 Gallery closure
Due to the coronavirus outbreak, the Indigenous Art Centre Gallery is currently closed to visitors.
Learn more about past exhibitions and events by visiting the exhibition schedule.
The Indigenous Art Centre Gallery is found in the lobby of CIRNAC headquarters located at 10 rue Wellington in Gatineau, Quebec.
About the Indigenous Art Centre
The Indigenous Art Centre was created in 1965 to support the creation, preservation and promotion of contemporary Canadian Indigenous art.
The centre is home to the Indigenous Art Collection of more than 4300 Indigenous artworks. The collection features works by prominent and emerging Indigenous artists acquired through a peer-juried process. With help from the Indigenous community, the centre shares Indigenous culture and stories through Indigenous artwork.
Pieces in the collection were obtained through various acquisition and exhibition programs, gifts and donations. The collection also includes:
- Alberta Art Collection: acquired in 1990 from the Alberta Indian Arts and Crafts Society auction. The collection includes 200 pieces such as paintings, drawings, prints, and sculptures
- Archival Collection: includes artworks and original art books that are available for on-site research purposes only (not for loan)
- Dewdney Collection: 181 pieces of various works of art including pieces by renowned artist and author, Norval Morrisseau, as well as correspondence between Morrisseau and Selwyn H. Dewdney, editor of the book, Legends of my People: The Great Ojibway (1965)
- Inuit Art Collection: contemporary pieces in a variety of mediums including photography, printmaking, sculpture and tapestries
- Resource Collection: various pieces of traditional artwork, commercial prints and posters of contemporary artwork, documentation, videos and audio tapes that are used for educational purposes such as school visits and demonstrations
All images of the artists' artworks in the Indigenous Art Collection are protected by Canadian Copyright Law and require the artist's written permission for reproduction and exhibition. Canadian Artists' Representation fees are paid to artists for reproduction and exhibition rights.
Art acquisition program
Call for submissions is now closed
The call for submissions for the 2020 to 2021 Indigenous art acquisition program is now closed. Submissions were accepted at the Indigenous Art Centre until September 8, 2020.
The Indigenous Art Centre at CIRNAC continuously strives to expand the Indigenous Art Collection to further preserve and promote Indigenous art in Canada. As part of this process, the Art Centre manages an active, bi-annual national acquisition program. Indigenous artists are encouraged to submit their works for consideration. During each nation-wide call for submissions, hundreds of works are reviewed by an Indigenous-led peer-jury comprised of members of the Indigenous arts community. Upon review, specific pieces are selected and purchased by CIRNAC for the collection.
Additional year-end funding sometimes allows the Indigenous Art Centre to purchase art works through a direct acquisition process. These one-time funds allow for the acquisition of works primarily from artists who may not have been purchased in previous acquisition cycles, and is overseen by the Art Centre's director, in consultation with advisors from the Indigenous arts community.
Learn more about the results of previous art acquisitions programs, including a complete list of jury members and descriptions of all acquired pieces:
Learn more about the First Nations, Inuit and Métis artists featured in the collection.
CIRNAC promotes Indigenous art by sharing the collection with the public.
The Indigenous Art Centre lends artwork for exhibitions at arts and cultural institutions, including art galleries and museums across Canada and internationally.
Review the exhibition loan history.
To find out more about the art lending program, please email the Indigenous Art Centre at: firstname.lastname@example.org
The centre is also home to the Resource library where Canadians can find various materials about Indigenous art in Canada.
Available materials include:
- files for artists in the Indigenous Art Collection
- 35 mm slides and digital images of the Indigenous Art Collection
- exhibition catalogues from 1959 to the present
- reports and studies on Indigenous art
- art magazines, periodicals and publications on Indigenous art and culture
- audio (cassette) and video (VHS) and DVD tapes
While resource materials are available to all, they cannot be borrowed and must be viewed onsite by appointment only.
Contact the Indigenous Art Centre
Indigenous Art Centre
Crown-Indigenous Relations and Northern Affairs Canada
10 rue Wellington
Gatineau QC K1A 0H4