The National Gallery of Canada Presents a Special Exhibition of Works by the 2016 Sobey Art Award Finalists

The $100,000 Sobey Art Award is the richest prize for Canadian artists aged 40 and under

OTTAWA, Oct. 5, 2016 /CNW/ - A special exhibition featuring the works of the five finalists for the prestigious 2016 Sobey Art Award opens Thursday, October 6 at the National Gallery of Canada (NGC). Presented for the first time at the Gallery and organized in collaboration with the Sobey Art Foundation, the group exhibition offers the opportunity to experience the newest developments in contemporary Canadian art. It highlights work by artists from across the country selected from a long list of exceptional nominees: Jeremy Shaw from the West Coast and Yukon region; Brenda Draney from the Prairies and Northern Canada; Charles Stankievech from Ontario; Hajra Waheed from Quebec and William Robinson from the Atlantic Provinces.

The 2016 Sobey Art Award exhibition is organized by Josée Drouin-Brisebois, the Gallery's Senior Curator of Contemporary Art and chair of the Sobey Art Award selection jury. Jury members include Jonathan Middleton, Director and Curator of the Or Gallery, for the West Coast and Yukon; Naomi Potter, Director and Curator of the Esker Foundation, for the Prairies and the North region; Barbara Fischer, Executive Director and Chief Curator of the Art Museum at the University of Toronto, for the Ontario region; Marie-Justine Snider, Curator of the collection at the Caisse de dépôt et placement du Québec, for the Quebec region; and Pan Wendt, Curator at the Confederation Centre Art Gallery, for the Atlantic Provinces and Nicolaus Schafhausen, International juror, and Artistic Director of Austria's Kunsthalle Wien and Strategic Director of Fogo Island Arts in Newfoundland.

"The practices of the five nominees cover everything from painting, sculpture and video works to installation, sound, dance and land-based art," said Mr. Schafhausen. "The final shortlist, therefore, well reflects the rich multiplicity of contemporary Canadian artistic practice across this vast, multicultural land."

The winner of the 2016 Sobey Art Award will be announced at an invitation only gala on November 1, 2016.  The exhibition will be on display until February 5, 2017.

The Gallery, in collaboration with the Sobey Art Foundation, began administering the award in 2016, building on the success generated by the Art Gallery of Nova Scotia, the award's founding partner institution. The Sobey Art Award was inaugurated in 2002.

"The Sobey Art Award has become the single most important prize for Canadian artists under 40," said NGC Director and CEO Marc Mayer. "The National Gallery of Canada is proud to connect Canadians with some of the most exciting young artists through their work displayed in our galleries. The richness and diversity of the Canadian scene makes it one of the most dynamic in the world. We're happy to bring that to everyone's attention."

The annual award is funded by the Sobey Art Foundation.

"On behalf of the Sobey Art Foundation, we are excited, in our 14th year, to chart an ambitious course of international aspiration for Contemporary Canadian Art," said Foundation Chairman Rob Sobey. "This partnership with the National Gallery is pivotal to our ambitions for Canadian contemporary art and we sincerely look forward to an enduring relationship."

More information about the finalists and jury members is available at:

Exibition Opening / Meet the artists
Thursday, October 6, at 6 p.m., in the Scotiabank Great Hall, members of the public are invited to a brief talk by Senior Curator of Contemporary Art, Josée Drouin-Brisebois followed by an opportunity to meet the artists in the exhibition space. Free admission.

Stonecroft Foundation Visiting Artist Lecture Series:
Artist Talk with Abbas Akhavan
Thursday, October 20 at 6 p.m., in the National Gallery of Canada Auditorium, members of the public are invited to a special evening with Abbas Akhavan, winner of the 2015 Sobey Art Award. The lecture is presented by the Department of Visual Arts at the University of Ottawa, in collaboration with the National Gallery of Canada. Seats in the Auditorium will be allocated on a first-come, first-served basis. Free admission.

About the Sobey Art Award
The Sobey Art Award was created in 2002 by the Sobey Art Foundation. It is an annual prize given to an artist aged 40 and under, who has exhibited in a public or commercial art gallery within 18 months of being nominated. The winner receives $50,000, the four finalists are awarded $10,000 each, and the long listed artists receive $500. For more information please visit and follow us on Twitter @PrixSobeyAward

NGC Magazine, the National Gallery of Canada's online magazine, is a frequently updated source of information on the Canadian art world and events at the National Gallery of Canada.  Correspondents from across the country provide engaging and exclusive content on historical and contemporary art in Canada. This online magazine also includes interviews with artists. Read the article titled Traditional Practices and Alternate Realities: The 2016 Sobey Art Award Exhibition, now online.

Connect with the Gallery
Follow the Gallery's latest news on its social media networks:  Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.

The NGC is open Tuesday to Sunday from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., and Thursdays until 8 p.m. Closed Mondays. Open on October 10 (Thanksgiving Day) from noon until 5 pm, on November 11 (Remembrance Day), and between December 26 and 31. Closed on December 25 and January 1. For more information call 613-990-1985 or 1-800-319-ARTS.

Admission to the 2016 Sobey Art Award exhibition is included with admission to the Gallery's Collection. Adults: $12; Seniors and full-time students: $10; youth aged 12-19: $6; families (two adults and three youth): $24. Admission is free for children under the age of 12 and for Members. Free admission Thursdays between 5 p.m. and 8 p.m.

About the Sobey Art Foundation
The Sobey Art Foundation was established in 1981 with a mandate to carry on the work of entrepreneur and business leader, the late Frank H. Sobey, to collect and preserve representative examples of 19th- and 20th-century Canadian art. The Foundation has since broadened its scope to support contemporary Canadian art through the Sobey Art Award. In one of the finest private collections of its kind, the Sobey Art Foundation has assembled outstanding examples from Canadian masters such as Cornelius Krieghoff, Tom Thomson and J.E.H. MacDonald. The collection is housed in an intimate setting at Crombie House, the former home of Frank Sobey and his wife Irene, in Pictou County, Nova Scotia. Tours are regularly scheduled throughout the summer months and by appointment year round.

About the National Gallery of Canada
The National Gallery of Canada is home to the most important collections of historical and contemporary Canadian art. The Gallery also maintains Canada's premier collection of European Art from the 14th to the 21st century, as well as important works of American, Asian and Indigenous Art and renowned international collections of prints, drawings and photographs. In 2015, the National Gallery of Canada established the Canadian Photography Institute, a global multidisciplinary research centre dedicated to the history, evolution and future of photography. Created in 1880, the National Gallery of Canada has played a key role in Canadian culture for well over a century. Among its principal missions is to increase access to excellent works of art for all Canadians. For more information, please visit and follow us on Twitter @gallerydotca.


SOURCE National Gallery of Canada

For further information: For all media enquiries, please contact: Josée-Britanie Mallet, Senior Media and Public, Relations Officer, National Gallery of Canada, 613-990-6835 or 613-355-3989,; Bernard Doucet, Sobey Art Foundation, 902-752-8371, ext. 2301, 902-921-1755,

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