Skip to main content
The Globe and Mail
Support Quality Journalism.
The Globe and Mail
First Access to Latest
Investment News
Collection of curated
e-books and guides
Inform your decisions via
Globe Investor Tools
Just$1.99
per week
for first 24 weeks

Enjoy unlimited digital access
Cancel Anytime
Enjoy Unlimited Digital Access
Get full access to globeandmail.com
Just $1.99per week for the first 24weeks
Just $1.99per week for the first 24weeks
var select={root:".js-sub-pencil",control:".js-sub-pencil-control",open:"o-sub-pencil--open",closed:"o-sub-pencil--closed"},dom={},allowExpand=!0;function pencilInit(o){var e=arguments.length>1&&void 0!==arguments[1]&&arguments[1];select.root=o,dom.root=document.querySelector(select.root),dom.root&&(dom.control=document.querySelector(select.control),dom.control.addEventListener("click",onToggleClicked),setPanelState(e),window.addEventListener("scroll",onWindowScroll),dom.root.removeAttribute("hidden"))}function isPanelOpen(){return dom.root.classList.contains(select.open)}function setPanelState(o){dom.root.classList[o?"add":"remove"](select.open),dom.root.classList[o?"remove":"add"](select.closed),dom.control.setAttribute("aria-expanded",o)}function onToggleClicked(){var l=!isPanelOpen();setPanelState(l)}function onWindowScroll(){window.requestAnimationFrame(function() {var l=isPanelOpen(),n=0===(document.body.scrollTop||document.documentElement.scrollTop);n||l||!allowExpand?n&&l&&(allowExpand=!0,setPanelState(!1)):(allowExpand=!1,setPanelState(!0))});}pencilInit(".js-sub-pencil",!1); // via darwin-bg var slideIndex = 0; carousel(); function carousel() { var i; var x = document.getElementsByClassName("subs_valueprop"); for (i = 0; i < x.length; i++) { x[i].style.display = "none"; } slideIndex++; if (slideIndex> x.length) { slideIndex = 1; } x[slideIndex - 1].style.display = "block"; setTimeout(carousel, 2500); } //

The Portrait Gallery is an independent non-profit looking to revive a Canadian institution dedicated to portraiture after the federal government killed plans in 2008 to build a new national museum in the former U.S. embassy building across from the Parliament buildings in Ottawa.

BLAIR GABLE/The Canadian Press

The Portrait Gallery of Canada is still homeless, but that is not stopping the virtual institution from naming its first director and unveiling exhibition plans.

The gallery announced Friday that it has appointed a retired federal civil servant and communications specialist as director: Joanne Charette has worked previously as official spokesperson for David Johnston when he served as Governor General; as director of public affairs at the National Gallery of Canada from 2001 to 2010, and more recently as vice-president of strategy and communications at the International Development Research Centre.

The Portrait Gallery is an independent non-profit looking to revive a Canadian institution dedicated to portraiture after the federal government killed plans in 2008 to build a new national museum in the former U.S. embassy building across from the Parliament buildings in Ottawa. The non-profit aims to build the institution as a public-private partnership with government support, but independent from federal control. Charette has been working with the Portrait Gallery since April.

Story continues below advertisement

In August, the organization will unveil its first online exhibition, a show curated by Darren Pottie and dedicated to self-portraits. ‘In Keeping with Myself’ will be posted on the gallery’s website from Aug. 19 to Feb. 1, 2022. The show will explore the artist’s sense of isolation and internal struggle, using photo-based self-portraits by contemporary artists from across Canada, including Seamus Gallagher, Laurence Philomène, Olivia Johnston, Dainesha Nugent-Palache and Rande Cook.

In 2022, the gallery will also unveil a solo exhibition devoted to the work of Winnipeg-based Indigenous multimedia artist KC Adams.

“Our work to secure a physical space in the National Capital Region continues,” said Portrait Gallery board president Lawson Hunter in a statement. “We hope that these two noteworthy online exhibitions will generate an interest in our ongoing efforts and that they will further ignite public conversations about the importance of portraiture and its power to tell Canadian stories.”

The portrait gallery project has a 20-year-history as a political football: In 2001, the Liberal government of the day announced that the former embassy building would house the portraiture collection held by Library and Archives Canada and immediately established this new institution online. However, the Conservatives cut the building project in 2008 and then merged the gallery’s website back into Library and Archives, eliminating its independent online presence and name.

In 2017, the Liberal government quashed hopes of a physical resurrection when it announced the Wellington Street building would be home to a new Indigenous centre. In response, the Portrait Gallery emerged as a citizen-led non-profit in 2019.

Sign up for The Globe’s arts and lifestyle newsletters for more news, columns and advice in your inbox.

Your Globe

Build your personal news feed

  1. Follow topics and authors relevant to your reading interests.
  2. Check your Following feed daily, and never miss an article. Access your Following feed from your account menu at the top right corner of every page.

Follow the author of this article:

Follow topics related to this article:

View more suggestions in Following Read more about following topics and authors
Report an error Editorial code of conduct
Due to technical reasons, we have temporarily removed commenting from our articles. We hope to have this fixed soon. Thank you for your patience. If you are looking to give feedback on our new site, please send it along to feedback@globeandmail.com. If you want to write a letter to the editor, please forward to letters@globeandmail.com.

Welcome to The Globe and Mail’s comment community. This is a space where subscribers can engage with each other and Globe staff. Non-subscribers can read and sort comments but will not be able to engage with them in any way. Click here to subscribe.

If you would like to write a letter to the editor, please forward it to letters@globeandmail.com. Readers can also interact with The Globe on Facebook and Twitter .

Welcome to The Globe and Mail’s comment community. This is a space where subscribers can engage with each other and Globe staff. Non-subscribers can read and sort comments but will not be able to engage with them in any way. Click here to subscribe.

If you would like to write a letter to the editor, please forward it to letters@globeandmail.com. Readers can also interact with The Globe on Facebook and Twitter .

Welcome to The Globe and Mail’s comment community. This is a space where subscribers can engage with each other and Globe staff.

We aim to create a safe and valuable space for discussion and debate. That means:

  • Treat others as you wish to be treated
  • Criticize ideas, not people
  • Stay on topic
  • Avoid the use of toxic and offensive language
  • Flag bad behaviour

If you do not see your comment posted immediately, it is being reviewed by the moderation team and may appear shortly, generally within an hour.

We aim to have all comments reviewed in a timely manner.

Comments that violate our community guidelines will not be posted.

UPDATED: Read our community guidelines here

Discussion loading ...

To view this site properly, enable cookies in your browser. Read our privacy policy to learn more.
How to enable cookies