SAW Capital Campaign
Slated to reopen in the summer of 2019, SAW will expand over two levels and triple its space to 15,000 square feet. In addition to expanded exhibition spaces, the new SAW will feature a state-of-the-art live performance venue, a new circumpolar artistic research space called the Nordic Lab and an outdoor courtyard completely renovated for the presentation of summer festivals and events.
With the goal of raising the $50,000 remaining to be secured as part of SAW’s ambitious $1M capital campaign, we invite community members to make their mark on the new SAW. For as little as $50, you can make a once-in-a-lifetime investment in the future of artist-run culture in our community and a meaningful contribution to SAW. Your name, written in your own hand, will be reproduced on SAW’s new donor wall. Your donation will ensure that boundary-pushing and thought-provoking ideas have a home like no other in the National Capital region. By undergoing a radical transformation in the heart of our city, SAW hopes to redefine the art-going experience by bringing audiences and artists closer together. We hope that you will join us on this remarkable journey by making a donation today!
All donations are tax-deductible and include a two-year non-voting membership.
SAW Charitable Registration Number: 119142040RR0001
Opening in the spring of 2019, the Nordic Lab is an initiative of Galerie SAW Gallery in partnership with the Canada Council for the Arts. A research and production space for artists from circumpolar nations, the Nordic Lab will be an integral part of SAW’s newly expanded 15,000 square foot centre in downtown Ottawa. In addition to programs in Ottawa, the Nordic Lab will forge collaborations and promote exchange between Indigenous and non-Indigenous communities in the North and the South along with partners in Scandinavia and other circumpolar nations.
In addition to providing a space for artists-in-residence, the Nordic Lab will be home to SAW’s educational programs, which will be geared in particular toward Indigenous youth. With established relationships in place, SAW is positioned to play a unique role in serving the Inuit community in Ottawa. The Nordic Lab’s new Annie Pootoogook Studio and workshop facilities will include digital workstations, screenprinting facilities and a large-format photography printer.
Every year, more than 1,000 artists and musicians perform at Club SAW at key moments of their careers. A flexible space accommodating an audience of 150, Club SAW is a defining feature of SAW and contributes significantly to the character of the centre as a whole. Equipped with a bar and a state-of-the-art sound system, it is used for screenings, concerts, artist talks, festival hubs, panel discussions, conferences, book launches, theatre plays, receptions and workshops.
Currently closed for renovations, our Club SAW space will double in size and have a new capacity of 285 people. Slated to re-open in the spring of 2019, it will feature a 100-mile bar, a deployable pop-up gallery, a green room for performers, an accessible stage, all-gender washrooms and a completely renewed courtyard.
An artist-run centre like no other in Canada
From its inception in 1973, the artist-run centre Galerie SAW Gallery has supported politically and socially engaged art, focusing on the performance and media arts. Many of the world’s best-known artists have exhibited at SAW in the early stages of their careers. Begun by a group of local artists, the gallery was originally part of the legendary café Le Hibou on Sussex Drive, hence the name SAW, an acronym for Sussex Annex Works. In 1981, the centre founded the SAW Video cooperative to support independent video artists and documentarists. During this time, the centre also initiated Club SAW, which has become the most important multidisciplinary space in the region. In 1989, Galerie SAW Gallery, SAW Video and Club SAW moved into the historic Arts Court building. Since 2001, Galerie SAW Gallery has operated as a distinct organization no longer legally affiliated with SAW Video, although both share a home at Arts Court and continue to collaborate on many projects. Galerie SAW Gallery aims to become a premier artist-run centre in Canada and the world, engaging in innovative programming, outreach and exchange initiatives. With over 30,000 visitors each year, SAW is a prime destination in the Ottawa-Gatineau region for contemporary art.
Cultural diversity at the core of our mandate
Galerie SAW Gallery promotes contemporary Canadian and international artists, both emerging and established, from diverse cultural backgrounds; presents a contemporary art program with a strong focus on Canadian performance and media art, with bilingual interpretative material produced for each exhibition; adapts to the changing nature of the contemporary arts by maintaining an evolving interdisciplinary presentation space comprised of SAW Gallery, Club SAW and the SAW outdoor courtyard; serves the needs of diverse communities through audience development initiatives; engages in collaborations with other arts organizations to increase opportunities for exhibiting artists and to outreach to new audiences; and commits to paying artist fees above CARFAC recommendations.
(613) 236-6181, extension 5
(613) 236-6181, extension 4
Nordic Lab Director
(613) 236-6181, extension 6
Club SAW Coordinator
(613) 236-6181, extension 3