Ontario Association of Art Galleries

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Dear Members,

We are closely monitoring the evolving situation regarding COVID-19, with the health and well-being of our staff, community and collaborators in mind.  OAAG has closed its office and is working remotely. We will keep you updated through our ongoing communications and also any calls to action. We recognize the need to share information and collect data on the impact.

Call for Action Plans

It is important to share information and if you have any action plans and anticipated impacts, please can you send them to Jessica Lukas so that we can post this information on our website for the benefit of all our members.

Please follow the links below for government updates on COVID-19:

Government of Canada

Government of Ontario


Canada Council for the Arts on COVID-19

Ontario Arts Council on COVID-19

COVID-19 Impacting the Art World

COVID-19 Fact Sheet



- FRIDAY, MARCH 13, 2020 - 


As you are all aware at this point, the coronavirus, and specifically COVID-19, has spread around the world affecting many including here in Ontario. As of Wednesday, March 11th, the World Health Organization (WHO) has categorized it as a “pandemic.” 

OAAG is monitoring the situation surrounding COVID-19. We are encouraging OAAG members to properly strategize how to deal with COVID-19 and their galleries. 

OAAG Recommends the following: 
  • Postpone any major gatherings, programming activities, and exhibition openings. Even with March Break activities beginning next week, it is important to consider limiting the amount of in-person gatherings your institution holds as a preventative measure
  • If you are open to the public, keep to your regular hours of operation
If you choose to keep to your regularly programmed March Break Activities, please consider the following:
  • Strict exclusion policies for children/individuals exhibiting symptoms of COVID-19
  • Increasing desk/work distance between participants
  • Staggering the schedule to limit the numbers of students/children in attendance at one time (e.g. staggered lunch breaks)
  • Dividing classes into smaller groups
  • Extra vigilance in preventing sharing of supplies and cleaning of supplies between uses (e.g. paint brushes, work spaces, other materials, etc.)
(Source: Health Canada)
Also recommended: Public health guidance for schools (K-12) and childcare programs (COVID-19)

We have compiled many useful resources to create a thorough plan specific to your situation.

We will continue to monitor and update as needed should the situation here in Ontario change or worsen.  

For OAAG's full COVID-19 announcment and resources, please visit here.



About OAAG

OAAG's History

OAAG is a registered charitable organization. Established in 1968, OAAG was incorporated in Ontario by letters patent on October 9, 1970. The Charitable Objects from the Letters Patent are:

  • To encourage co-operation between member galleries and museums
  • To encourage cooperation with the Ontario Arts Council and similar agencies
  • To assist in the development of visual art centres in the province of Ontario
  • To promote high standards of excellence and uniform methods in the care and presentation of art
  • To serve as an advisory body in matters of professional interest in the province of Ontario.

Our Vision of the Future

The Ontario Association of Art Galleries (OAAG) will be an essential and sustainable art service organization serving Public Art galleries.

OAAG will be recognized as a leader in Canada’s cultural sector, whose voice is respected and trusted by stakeholders. OAAG will be enterprising in its delivery of services that members value.  It will enable member connections through a state of the art digital platform. Members will be in ongoing contact with each other, to share resources and to develop the capacity of each individual and organization. OAAG and its partners will provide relevant, groundbreaking professional development courses to members.  

Our long term vision is when our members and the entire public art gallery sector are thriving, art galleries will be contributing to the well-being of their communities through innovation and inspirations to move beyond the status quo. The art gallery as a site of learning will be at the centre of civic conversations, fostering curiosity and understanding. Galleries of all sizes occupy beautiful, functional facilities (physical and virtual) that inspire and display new creative forms. Galleries are sustainable because they are supported by members of the community and all levels of government.  

Our Mission

Through advocacy, professional development, and network-building, OAAG advances and empowers Ontario public art galleries.

OAAG gratefully acknowledges the financial support of its members, donors, corporate sponsors.





Statistical Profile of Art Galleries in Ontario

The Statistical Profile of Art Galleries in Ontario is a quantitative analysis of 47 Ontario-based, non-profit and charitable art galleries in 31 municipalities across the province. The report presents a clear picture of Ontario’s public art galleries as incredible dynamic, motivated and engaged visual arts producers, working all across the province – from Thunder Bay to Temiskaming Shores to Ottawa to Toronto to Windsor and back to Owen Sound.


Order a copy of the 2013 OAAG Data Exchange here. For more information visit our publications page.

Tel: 416-598-0714
Fax: 416-598-4128
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History of OAAG

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© 2004 Ontario Association of Art Galleries