ottawa-arts-cropped

Ottawa city council has approved a proposal for the renovation of Arts Court. ((Google))

Ottawa city council has approved a plan to renovate the downtown Arts Court complex and move the Ottawa Art Gallery to a redeveloped Lansdowne Park.

City staff will now work on a request for proposal process for the $40-million project and report back to council in the fall.

The city had previously decided to allocate $12 million that for years had been held for a concert hall. But with no site for the hall, council decided the money would be better served on the Arts Court and gallery project.

The recommendation approved Wednesday calls for the city to continue to consider the concert hall and "engage with the Friends of the Concert Hall to assist them in identifying and acquiring a suitable site, and at the appropriate time, supporting the project."

The renovation of Arts Court, located on Daly Avenue in what used to be a courthouse, would include building a private tower in the parking lot beside the complex. It is home to dozens of arts groups, covering everything from theatre to dance.

The plan is contingent, however, on moving the OAG from the cramped space to a location at the redeveloped Lansdowne Park. Where the gallery might fit in the plans for Lansdowne Park is under discussion.

While the National Art Gallery is home to the visual art of the world, the Ottawa Art Gallery takes pride in its decidedly more local and national bent.

Its crown jewel is the 1,600-work Firestone Collection of Canadian Art, which includes work by A.Y. Jackson, Emily Carr and other prominent artists.