Sunday, March 22, 2009

Rumour: Canadian Museum of Contemporary Photography to Close?

Just got an email about a potential closure of the Canadian Museum of Contemporary Photography, one of the few national museums of photography in the world. It's a forward originally written by Winnipeg artist Diana Thorneycroft. Writes Thorneycroft:

Dear photographers and friends of photography:
I have just learned that the Canadian Museum of Contemporary Photography has lost the building that was specifically designed for them. As reported in the Monday edition of the National Post (16.03.09) the museum will be gutted and turned into offices for politicians....
For the past two years CMCP has been occupying temporary space at the National Gallery.It is imperative that we show our support for this institution, its programming and collecting, or we may very well lose it.

According to the National Post story, "The federal government will convert the former Canadian Museum of Contemporary Photography in downtown Ottawa into committee rooms for MPs as part of its plan to vacate the crumbling West Block next year" for a Parliament renovation that will take 10 years.

For its part, the CMCP website posts two conflicting pieces of information. A February 23 press release says: "Due to an ongoing renovation program of its premises at 1 Rideau Street, the CMCP is currently staging its exhibitions at the National Gallery of Canada." But on the museum's "Hours and Location" tab, it says "New Location: Canadian Museum of Contemporary Photography, 380 Sussex Drive" -- the same as the address of the National Gallery of Canada.

I don't think it would be beyond the government's anti-arts, cost-saving ethos to roll the location of the CMCP and the National Gallery of Canada into one and use the old building for itself. But it's unclear if this is a permanent move. More info hopefully to follow.

Image of the CMCP building at 1 Rideau Street from its website

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

visit "" to sign the petition to help stop the closure!!