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The Portrait Gallery of Canada
Frames Our Political Culture in an Unexpected Way with Portraits in the Street

For immediate release

Ottawa, Ontario, May 19, 2011 - Library and Archives Canada, in collaboration with the National Capital Commission (NCC), officially launched today the Portraits in the Street: Political Culture installation in the heart of Canada's Capital.

Developed by the Portrait Gallery of Canada, a program of Library and Archives Canada, this outdoor installation offers an opportunity to explore the connections between the nation's politics and its artists, performers and writers.

"The Portrait Gallery is reaching out to our community through innovative programming," said Daniel J. Caron, Deputy Head and Librarian and Archivist of Canada. "The Portraits in the Street exhibition series has proven to be successful time and time again and we are delighted to be bringing it to the ByWard Market for a third summer."

The exhibition features 14 high-quality reproductions of selected works from the national portrait collection placed throughout the Sussex Courtyards in Ottawa's ByWard Market. It includes an early poster advertisement for David Morton and Sons soap, featuring the likeness of Sir John A. Macdonald and a modern self-portrait of Andrew Qappik, the Inuit artist who helped design Nunavut's flag and coat of arms.

"Public art, such as Portraits in the Street, contributes to the vibrancy of Canada's Capital Region," said Marie Lemay, Chief Executive Officer of the NCC. "This partnership between the National Capital Commission and Library and Archives Canada allows us to showcase Canadian artistic excellence, engage Canadians and in turn enrich the quality and character of the Capital experience."

The Government of Canada has allocated $3.5 million annually to Library and Archives Canada to give Canadians the opportunity to view their national portrait collection through travelling exhibitions and other public programs across the country.

Portraits in the Street: Political Culture is on display throughout the Sussex Courtyards in Ottawa's ByWard Market from May 20 to October 14, 2011. An online exhibition can also be viewed on the Library and Archives Canada website. For more information, please visit: www.bac-lac.gc.ca/eng/portrait-portal/Pages/portrait-portal.aspx?selected=1.

Library and Archives Canada

The mandate of Library and Archives Canada is to preserve the documentary heritage of Canada for the benefit of present and future generations, and to be a source of enduring knowledge accessible to all, thereby contributing to the cultural, social and economic advancement of Canada. Library and Archives Canada also facilitates co-operation among communities involved in the acquisition, preservation and diffusion of knowledge, and serves as the continuing memory of the Government of Canada and its institutions.

The National Capital Commission

The NCC is a federal Crown corporation whose mandate is to create pride and unity through Canada's Capital Region by making the Capital a meeting place that communicates Canada to Canadians. Towards this goal, the NCC organizes large-scale events such as Winterlude and the Canada Day celebrations. As the steward of the Rideau Canal Skateway and of a number of national landmarks and buildings, including the official residences, the NCC also takes great pride in developing and planning a capital that today's visitors will enjoy and that future generations will treasure.

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Sir John A. Macdonald holding a bar of N.P. soap

Sir John A. Macdonald holding a bar of N.P. soap
By William Bengough for David Morton & Sons, 1891
Reproduction. Lithograph
59.5 x 44.5 cm
Library and Archives Canada / c148398

For media inquiries, please contact:

Pauline M. Portelance
A/Head, Media Relations
Library and Archives Canada
819-994-4589 (office)
613-293-4298 (cellular)
media@bac-lac.gc.ca

Denise LeBlanc
Media Relations
National Capital Commission
613-239-5750 (office)
613-851-9465 (cellular)