10 Ways to Support Ottawa’s Arts, Culture, and Heritage Sectors

10 Ways to Support Ottawa’s Arts, Culture, and Heritage Sectors

Ottawa Arts Council

10 Ways to Support Ottawa's Arts, Culture, and Heritage Sectors Infographic1. Watch locally-made content

Ottawa’s film, television and animation industry has flourished in the past few years, and you can watch many of the locally-produced films and TV series online on platforms like Netflix and Crave, or for free on CBC Gem and NFB. To get you started, the Ottawa Film Office compiled these lists of locally-made live-action and animated productions that are currently available to stream online. 

2. Explore Ottawa’s street art scene

Ottawa Public Health maintains that some people, if healthy and respecting physical distancing measures, can continue to go outside for some fresh air and exercise. When wandering around your neighbourhood or walking to get your groceries and other essentials, observe and appreciate some of Ottawa’s street art, like murals and sculptures, created by local artists. 

3. Donate to a local arts organization – or shop online

Many local arts and culture organizations, such as the Ottawa Arts Council, Arts Network Ottawa, MASC, Bytown Museum, community theatres and more, accept donations to help with their programming and services. You can also support organizations by shopping on their website; for example, the Ottawa Music Industry Coalition has t-shirts on their website, allowing you to proudly show your love for the local music scene.

4. Buy art online

If you’re in a position to do so, consider buying artwork online through a local gallery, like Wall Space Gallery, Orange Art Gallery, the Ottawa Art Gallery or Koyman Galleries. In some cases, you can also reach out to the gallery or directly to the artist to commission a piece.  Commission a local artist via Ottawa Artists, Arts Network Ottawa’s directory, or the Ottawa Arts Council’s directory.  Buy songs, albums and/or merchandise from your favourite musicians/bands.  Now is the perfect time to visit your favourite bands websites and buy their music and maybe add a t-shirt to your order.

5. Buy a gift card to use later

At some point, physical distancing restrictions will be lifted and we’ll be able to enjoy Ottawa’s arts and culture scene together in person. Prepare for that day by purchasing a gift card in advance, for yourself or as a gift, and help show our local art institutions we haven’t forgotten about them while they’re closed. Many local galleries and art groups have gift cards available to purchase on their website. 

6. Visit online galleries and museums

Take a virtual tour of the Bytown Museum, one of Ottawa’s oldest museums, to explore exhibitions and artefacts that helped shape the city we know today. You can also explore virtual exhibitions at the Canadian Museum of History and the Canadian War Museum, or venture outside Ottawa for virtual exhibits from hundreds of museums around the world, thanks to Google Arts & Culture

7. Watch live-streamed cultural performances

The National Arts Centre and Facebook launched #CanadaPerforms, a short-term relief fund that pays Canadian professional artists for their online performances. Performances range from concerts to book readings; Ottawa’s own Margaret Atwood participated in a live-streamed conversation with former governor general Adrienne Clarkson. 

Check out some of Ottawa’s musicians at Ottawa Live Music Streams! This group is here to serve as a virtual venue to showcase our region's musical talent. Please consider tipping for performances you enjoy - be a patron of the arts in your city! Message artists directly for information on e-transfers or other payment methods. 

Music Together is a living room concert series that pays Ontario artists in need, and also provides resources to artists on building an online presence. 

8. Learn a new skill!

Ottawa is full of amazing artists!  Reach out to a musician that you admire to start learning how to play a musical instrument. The Ottawa Music Industry Coalition (OMIC) can be a starting point for connecting with a musician or check out some of these local Facebook groups: Ottawa Musicians or Musicians (Ottawa).

9. Stay connected via social media

Use the power of social media to share positive messages about the local arts and culture scene. Give a shout-out to your favourite Ottawa artist, tell your followers which local musician you’re listening to, or let people know what type of art you’re working on from home. Don’t forget to use the #ottarts hashtag!  Subscribe, follow, and like - This is something you can do & it won’t cost you anything! Higher numbers of SUBSCRIBERs (youtube), LIKEs (Facebook) and FOLLOWs (Instagram, Twitter) help artists monetize their pages, bring more fans and appeal to talent buyers thus helping them to earn more money. 

10. Show support

Post and share pictures of your favourite pieces, performances, social media channels of local artists. Let’s make sure all of Ottawa sees the amazing talent that we have right here in our Nation’s Capital!

Many local artists have Patreon accounts. Patreon helps local artists build direct relationships with their most engaged fans. Artists offer benefits like exclusive content, community, or insight into their creative process in exchange for a monthly subscription.  

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