Open Call for Art Purchases part of Canada Council Art Bank Milestone Celebration

August 10, 2022

Ottawa, August 10, 2022—The Canada Council is pleased to have launched an open call by its Art Bank for the purchase of new artworks from artists in Canada. With a dedicated purchase budget of $600,000, this next Art Bank purchase, which is part of the Canada Council's strategy to establish a collection that is truly representative of Canada, has been timed to coincide with the Art Bank’s 50th anniversary celebrations.

Individual artists (groups and collaborations) and artists’ representatives are encouraged to apply by September 14, 2022, for the opportunity to become a part of the Art Bank’s next 50 years.  To be eligible for purchase, their artworks must have been created within the last five years and be by living Canadian artists or permanent residents of Canada. Submissions must be made directly by the artist or the artist’s representative to the Art Bank. The purchase program guidelines and the submission forms are available for download from the Canada Council Art Bank Purchase Program webpage; those interested in applying may also email the Art Bank directly for more information.

In addition to prioritizing the acquisition of works by artists that are not currently included in the Art Bank collection, the current open call strives to acquire artworks by artists who self-identify as Indigenous, Black, racialized, Deaf, or having a disability, from official language minority communities, youth, 2SLGBTQ, gender-diverse and women, including artists at the intersections of these identities.

“I am thrilled by this open call for purchases. Our intention with it is to address the historical inequities in the current collection. It gives me great pride to advance on the commitment to greater inclusivity emphasized in our strategic plan, Art, now more than ever—as part of the 50th anniversary of the Canada Council’s Art Bank. The addition of new works to the collection will honour the artistic vibrancy, resilience and strength of people and communities across Canada.”

—Simon Brault, Director, and CEO Canada Council for the Arts

“I can’t think of a better way to kick off the Art Bank’s 50th anniversary than with this announcement of a new call for art purchases paired with the exhibition, Looking the World in the Face. And this is only the beginning of our 50th Anniversary celebrations. The year ahead will be filled with opportunities to celebrate the collection, to reflect on its history and impact, and to contemplate the future and set it into motion.”

—Amy Jenkins, Head of the Art Bank

This is the first open call for Art Bank purchases since 2011. The last call selected from 1,875 submissions and resulted in the acquisition of 52 new works by Canadian artists, including paintings, photographs, sculptures, and drawings, worth a total value of $303,025.

On June 16, 2022, the Art Bank kicked off its 50th anniversary celebration with the promise of this current open call for art purchase at the exhibition opening of Looking the World in the Face, an exhibit that will remain open at Âjagemô throughout this year and into 2023.

As the Art Bank celebrations continue to unfold, the public is encouraged to follow and use the hashtag #ArtBank50.

About the Canada Council for the Arts

The Canada Council for the Arts is Canada’s public arts funder. The mandate of the Canada Council is to “foster and promote the study and enjoyment of, and the production of works in, the arts.”

The Canada Council’s Art Bank operates art rental programs and helps further public engagement with contemporary arts through exhibition and outreach activities.

The Canada Council’s investments foster greater engagement in the arts among international audiences and within Canada. This contributes to the vibrancy of a creative and diverse arts and literary scene and supports the presence of this scene across Canada and around the world.

Media Relations

Canada Council for the Arts

Communications and Engagement


1-800-263-5588, ext. 5151