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SPAO Centre Launches Photographic Gallery


On May 11, 2018, the SPAO Centre will launch the SPAO Centre Gallery with the exhibition CANADIANA - Selections from the Art Bank Collection. Featuring Ed Burtynsky, David Craig, Denis Farley, Chris Gergley, Lorraine Gilbert, Angela Grauerholz, Mary Longman, Shelley Niro, and Greg Staats, it is the SPAO Gallery’s inaugural Canadiana Exhibition, an annual showcase of artists from across the country presented in partnership with the Canadian Tulip Festival.

Where: 77 Pamilla Street, Ottawa (Little Italy)

Opening Soirée: 11 May 2018, 5-9PM, remarks at 7PM

RSVP: via Facebook event page ( or by emailing with the subject line “SPAO Gallery RSVP”.

For more information about the SPAO Gallery, check out our YouTube series:


More about our exciting partnership:

In recognition of the fact that the Canadian Tulip Festival was created by the photographer Malak Karsh, the SPAO Centre is partnering with the festival for this important exhibition. An official Launch Soirée for the festival will be held in tandem with the Gallery launch at the SPAO Centre. The event is free and open to the public. The exhibition continues until July 1, Canada Day.

Thanks to a partnership with the Canada Council Art Bank, the exhibition is comprised of stellar works from their rich collection. Curator Johanna Mizgala says, “We are extremely grateful to the Canada Council Art Bank for this opportunity to explore their collection.” For the exhibition, Mizgala selected artists whose works, according to her curatorial statement, “trouble the idea of Canadiana by upending old mythologies and by telling new stories in their place.”

In conjunction with the exhibition, the SPAO Centre has commissioned Deborah Margo to create an Artist’s Garden on site, starting on May 11. It will grow and develop over a six month period as a part of Ottawa’s Garden Promenade. Inspired by the gardens in Little Italy, Margo’s installation will change configurations and heights as it is adapted to the growth of her selected palette of plants.

Johanna Mizgala, curator of the House of Commons Heritage Collection, is a curator, an educator and art critic who has lectured and published extensively on contemporary and photo-based art.

Deborah Margo is a faculty member in the Department of Visual Arts at the University of Ottawa where she teaches painting and sculpture. During the spring and summer months she works as a gardener.

The SPAO Centre Gallery is the Ottawa region's only independent and critical gallery space dedicated to lens-based art. Gallery programming includes exhibitions by emerging and established artists, working locally, nationally and internationally.



Designed with the generous support of Hobin Architecture, the SPAO Centre is a multi-purpose photo hub, which is the only one of its kind in Canada. Mere steps from Preston Street’s vibrant entertainment district, and Ottawa’s new light rail transit system, the SPAO Centre houses:

  • The School of Photographic Arts: Ottawa (SPAO), the world-renowned, independent, non-profit school of photographic arts, offering a two-year college diploma program, as well as continuing education opportunities in all aspects of contemporary, traditional and alternative photographic processes.
  • SPAO’s International Artist Residency, bringing both local and international photographic artists together to further develop and share their craft in Ottawa.
  • The only independent and critical Photographic Art Gallery in the National Capital Region. The gallery will showcase work by local, national and international artists.
  • A new, custom-designed, SPAO Space for events, performances, exhibitions, and receptions.

613.562.3824 WWW.SPAO.CA