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Five paintings donated by Imperial added to the National Gallery of Canada collection: Gift launches Imperial’s $6 million art donation program commemorating Canada’s sesquicentennial

by ahnationtalk on March 24, 2017188 Views

March 23, 2017

In honour of the 150th anniversary of Confederation, Imperial announced the launch of its largest-ever philanthropic art donation program at an event at the National Gallery of Canada. Forty-three paintings by prominent Canadian artists, worth an estimated $6 million, are being donated to 15 museums across the country. The Gallery received five paintings, which were unveiled this morning.

Imperial’s gift includes Billboard (Jazz) (1921) by Lawren S. Harris, a member of the Group of Seven painters; Paul Peel’s Idle Dreams (1887); Prudence Heward’s Miss Anne Grafftey (1944); Kathleen M. Morris’s Birds Feeding (c. 1945); and A.J. Casson’s Twilight Near Britt (1960). These paintings are now part of the Gallery’s collection of Later Canadian Art.

The paintings will be available for public viewing at the NGC from March 23 – March 26, 2017. It will be the only occasion where all five paintings will be displayed together in the same room, before entering the national collection. Billboard (Jazz) will also be on view in the new Canadian and Indigenous Galleries, an exhibition space set to open within the Gallery on June 15.

“Imperial was founded in Canada 137 years ago, and our art collection reflects our long history. We’ve collected Canadian art for more than 70 years and are now sharing many of our extraordinary works at galleries from coast to coast in honour of the country’s sesquicentennial celebration,” said Rich Kruger, Chairman, President and CEO of Imperial.

“We are grateful to Imperial for its generous donation to Canada’s national collection,” said Marc Mayer, Director and CEO of the National Gallery of Canada. “These are remarkable paintings by some of Canada’s most celebrated artists. They will deepen our understanding of their art and will certainly be appreciated by visitors to the Gallery.”

Thomas d’Aquino, Chair of the National Gallery of Canada Foundation, congratulated Imperial on its philanthropic initiative. “During this monumental year for Canada, we are honoured to salute one of our country’s flagship companies, Imperial, and its gesture in service to our nation. The generous gift of these works of art to the National Gallery of Canada is symbolic of the close connection we have with one of our great corporate philanthropists.”

In addition to the five paintings donated to the National Gallery of Canada, Imperial has also donated 38 artworks to 14 museums across the country, including:

  • Judith and Norman Alix Gallery (Sarnia, ON)
  • Art Gallery of Alberta (Edmonton, AB)
  • McIntosh Gallery at the University of Western Ontario (London, ON)
  • Alberta Foundation for the Arts (Edmonton, AB)
  • Dalhousie Art Gallery (Halifax, NS)
  • Musée National des beaux-arts de Quebec (Quebec City, QC)
  • Cold Lake Museums (Cold Lake, AB)
  • Leduc #1 Energy Discovery Centre (Leduc, AB)
  • Glenbow Museum (Calgary, AB)
  • Nickle Galleries at the University of Calgary (Calgary, AB)
  • Vancouver Art Gallery (Vancouver, BC)
  • The McMichael Canadian Art Collection (Kleinburg, ON)
  • New Brunswick Museum (Saint John, NB)
  • Norman Wells Historical Society (Norman Wells, NT)

About Imperial
After more than 135 years, Imperial continues to be an industry leader in applying technology and innovation to responsibly develop Canada’s energy resources. The company’s story began in 1880, when 16 refiners in southwestern Ontario created The Imperial Oil Company, Limited. As one of Canada’s largest petroleum refiners, a major producer of crude oil and natural gas, a key petrochemical producer and a leading fuels marketer from coast to coast, Imperial remains committed to high standards across all areas of its business. This includes exploration, development and production of the products that drive modern transportation, power cities, lubricate industries and provide petrochemical building blocks for thousands of consumer goods that people enjoy every day — including the familiar brands, Esso and Mobil.

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 centuries, 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 center 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, visit and follow us on Twitter @gallerydotca.

About the National Gallery of Canada Foundation
The National Gallery of Canada Foundation is dedicated to supporting the National Gallery of Canada in fulfilling its mandate. By fostering strong philanthropic partnerships, the Foundation provides the Gallery with the additional financial support required to lead Canada’s visual arts community locally, nationally and internationally. The blend of public support and private philanthropy empowers the Gallery to preserve and interpret Canada’s visual arts heritage. The Foundation welcomes present and deferred gifts for special projects and endowments. To learn more about the National Gallery of Canada Foundation, visit

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For media only:

For more information, please contact:

Josée-Britanie Mallet
Senior Media and Public Relations Officer
National Gallery of Canada

Media Relations

Other Contacts/Resources
Kathryn Minard, ISA CAPP
Art Advisor & Certified Appraiser


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