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News: The Government of Canada Creates Opportunity to Host the Portrait Gallery of Canada


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The Government of Canada is soliciting proposals to find a permanent exhibition and programming facility for the Portrait Gallery of Canada This is consistent with the Government's desire to:

  • Maximize access to our cultural heritage for all Canadians
  • Seek support from the private sector and communities

Qualified developers are invited to submit proposals for a prominent and easily accessible site in one of the nine cities, and also to demonstrate significant support from the private sector and community. A successful competitive process will lead to the selection of a qualified developer, and an appropriate site.

In order to identify appropriate cities where the Portrait Gallery of Canada may be hosted, the Government has adhered to the following principles:

  • The Gallery needs a prominent location that will not only reflect the national significance and stature of this new cultural institution, but also reinforce its image in Canada and abroad.
  • The Gallery needs to be easily accessible by Canadians from all regions of the country.
  • The population and tourist potential at the location need to be large enough to ensure its financial viability and sustainability.
  • The Gallery needs to be in an environment conducive to cultural collaborations and financial support from the private sector, philanthropists, and individuals. Interest in supporting the capital endeavour, as well as the ongoing activities of the Portrait Gallery of Canada, will need to be clearly demonstrated.

The nine cities that have been identified as potential sites for the new Portrait Gallery of Canada are Halifax, Québec City, Montréal, Ottawa-Gatineau (National Capital Region), Toronto, Winnipeg, Edmonton, Calgary, and Vancouver.

A request for proposals (RFP) is being launched to solicit interest by developers. The bidding process will be managed by Public Works and Government Services Canada for Library and Archives Canada. All details and information relating to the RFP will be available on the government's online tendering system (MERX).

The new exhibition and programming facility for the Portrait Gallery of Canada is anticipated to open in the spring of 2012. In the meantime, the Portrait Gallery of Canada continues to provide a full array of innovative programming and outreach and share its collection through virtual exhibitions, touring exhibits and curriculum development. In the lead-up to 2012, the Portrait Gallery of Canada anticipates expanding its activities, acquisitions, and commissioning programs and continuing to build community, national, and international partnerships to support a vibrant relationship with Canada and the world.