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The Programs Branch of LAC makes the documentary heritage known and accessible through web-based and in-person interpretive public programs. This Sub Activity consists of three Sub-sub Activities: interpretive programs, public activities, and the Portrait Gallery of Canada.
Interpretive programs (220.127.116.11). The Programs Branch offers live and virtual interpretive programs to help the public have meaningful experiences with LAC and the national collection. These programs include physical exhibitions, virtual exhibitions and web tools, including Web 2.0 technologies. To increase its reach, the web programming is developed not only for LAC's website (www.collectionscanada.ca) but also for alterative sites such as Flickr and YouTube.
Through the National Archival Development Program, a Grants and Contributions program that LAC developed in collaboration with the Canadian Council of Archives, the Programs Branch supports capacity-building in the broader archival community. This leads to, among other aims, greater access to the national collection.
Public activities (18.104.22.168). The Programs Branch conducts activities in the National Capital Region and across Canada. Activities may include conferences, author readings, lectures, panel discussions and film festivals, among others. These activities are developed in collaboration with other national institutions, community groups, and academic institutions, among others, to broaden LAC's reach and increase its impact. These activities allow the public to deepen its understanding of Canada's published and unpublished documentary heritage.
Key programs include the LAC Forum on Canadian Democracy, which connects Canadians to documentary heritage to inform and promote civic engagement, and The Learning Centre, which develops on-line learning materials that align to provincial educational curricula.
Portrait Gallery of Canada (22.214.171.124). Collecting portraits since the late 1800s, the Portrait Gallery consists of a collection of over four million photographs; 20,000 paintings, drawings and prints; thousands of caricatures as well as sculptures and films. The 30 program staff work mainly out of Library and Archives Canada, 395 Wellington, Ottawa; however, the actual collection is housed in a facility in Gatineau. Through the Portrait Gallery building project, plans were in place to establish an official exhibitions and public programming venue open to the public. However, the building project was cancelled in November of 2008.
The Portrait Gallery occupies a unique place within LAC. The Gallery has a mandate "to honour, commemorate and celebrate those who have shaped this country, while redefining portrait for a new century" (LAC, 2007a). The functions of the Portrait Gallery extend beyond the provision of access to portrait holdings. For example, preservation of portraits is a joint effort between the Preservation Section and the Portrait Gallery. Although the documentary sector of LAC is responsible for acquiring material for the collection, the Portrait Gallery acquires portraiture material on behalf of LAC, including acquisitions by commissioning.
In addition to acquiring portraits, the Gallery conducts programming and outreach activities, engaging with people from across the country (LAC, 2008d). Tours of the holding are given to interested groups. The Gallery holds travelling portrait exhibitions and has project collaborations with other institutions across the country and elsewhere in the world. The Gallery operates congruent with other such galleries in the world.