83 ’til infinity: 40 years of hip-hop in the Ottawa-Gatineau region

New Ottawa Art Gallery exhibition traces the history of Ottawa–Gatineau hip-hop culture

Canadian Floor Masters, 1985. Photo: Steve “Buddha” Leafloor

The exhibition, built with contributions from the community, will explore hip-hop’s five pillars: breaking, emceeing, DJ-ing, graffiti, and knowledge through a timeline of art and archives.

The Ottawa Art Gallery (OAG) and SHIFTER are thrilled to announce the opening of 83 ’til infinity: 40 years of hip-hop in the Ottawa-Gatineau region, an exhibition exploring the stories, legacy, and experiences of hip-hop in the Ottawa–Gatineau region. It will be on view from July 8, 2023 to February 18, 2024 and will open with a summer party on July 8th.

Through a collection of art, borrowed materials, including photographs, posters, clothing, vinyl records, turntables and more, the public will embark on a journey that reveals how hip-hop’s values are deeply rooted in culture and community. Starting with the Canadian Floor Masters (CFM), a pioneering collective formed in 1983, who’s contributions have served as the foundation for the curators, the show highlights events, artists, and organizations that continue to shape culture and community. The items in the exhibition, shared by community members across the region, encourage appreciation for hip-hop’s rich history and its ongoing dynamic role.

Recognizing the contributions of past, present, and future artists, 83 ’til infinity will celebrate the craft and values embedded in hip-hop’s five pillars – breaking, emceeing, DJ-ing, graffiti, and knowledge – and pay homage to the vibrant creativity, innovation, and traditions that shape this influential movement.

Mique Michelle, mural detail. Photo: Mique Michelle

The exhibition coincides with many milestones such as the 40th anniversary of the Canadian Floor Masters, the 50th anniversary of hip-hop, the 30th year of the House of PainT festival, Cranium Festival’s 5th anniversary, and OAG’s 5th year in its new building. It will be launched with a public opening on July 8th starting at 7 pm, including performances by break dancers from the area and community awards presentations. To help celebrate, Cranium will be hosting a ticketed party at the OAG starting at 8:30 pm which will include the celebration of the Canadian Floor Masters, and the many excellent people who’ve contributed to our vibrant scene, with a rap battle, dance cypher and live performances from local artists. Click here to register.

83 ’til infinity will activate OAG from July to February, with activities and events throughout, such as:

  • Workshops led by exhibition artists such as breakdancing, industry professional
    development sessions, graffiti, and slam poetry
  • Hosting the House of PainT Knowledge Conference;
  • Mentored mural painting;
  • School workshops taught by exhibition artists;
  • Artist talks;
  • SND*TRK Vol. 2 Album Release

Stayed tuned to OAG’s events calendar for regular updates and new event listings.

Special thanks to our exhibition opening sponsor: RBC Foundation, and the RBC Emerging Artists program.

Ottawa Art Gallery (OAG)
50 Mackenzie King Bridge, Ottawa, ON, K1N 0C5, CANADA
613.233.8699 | info@oaggao.ca

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About the Ottawa Art Gallery
OAG is Ottawa’s municipal art gallery and cultural hub. Located in Ottawa’s downtown core, the expanded Gallery is a contemporary luminous cube designed by KPMB Architects and Régis Côté et associés.

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