Ottawa School of Art / École d'art d'Ottawa

Ottawa School of Art

This profile originally appeared in the 2020-21 Giving Guide. Read the full magazine here.


The Ottawa School of Art offers a full range of specialized art courses for adults, teens and children in drawing, painting, photography, sculpture and ceramics, printmaking, cartooning and more.

We host artist-in-residence workshops, operate an art boutique, curate exhibitions in our downtown and Orléans galleries, hosting solo and group shows by local and international artists, the Lee Matasi Gallery for student showcases, as well as a few off-site gallery spaces (Fritzi Gallery at GCTC, Preston Square/Waterford Group and Minto Suite Hotel).

The OSA also offers a three-year Fine Arts Diploma, a one-year Portfolio Certificate, a not-for-credit Arts Fundamentals Certificate, and a community outreach program.

Art 2
35th Annual Holiday Art Sale: From November 21 to December 15, 2019, works from over 200 local artists were exhibited in OSA’s downtown gallery at 35 George street, and purchasable with 35% of the proceeds going towards OSA programming. During the vernissage on Thursday, November 21, 2019, we held our Fall Scholarship Ceremony, where over $8000 in scholarships were awarded to 13 Fine Arts Diploma students.

At a glance

Year founded: 1879

Geographic region of focus: Ottawa, Gatineau and surrounding area; campus in Orléans

Total revenue for last fiscal year: $2,068,838

Top Funding Sources

  • Tuition, art sales/commissions and other: 63.2%
  • Government grants, operations and facilities: 30.9%
  • Individual donations and fundraising: 5.9%

How your business can help

  • Become a Corporate Member
  • Sponsor a bursary or scholarship to fund an arts award for the Diploma program
  • Sponsor a community outreach program
  • Provide sponsorship for the annual charity golf tournament and/or send a team
  • Bring a group for a corporate team building artistic workshop
Art 1
Minwaashin Lodge — Sacred Child Program (ages 6-12 with family & parents), a partner in our community outreach program

Events and fundraising

Holiday Fundraising Art Sale 

(Nov. 26 – Dec. 13, 2020): Works by local artists and members of the school are exhibited in our downtown gallery at 35 George St. and available for purchase. Proceeds are split between the artist and the school with funds raised going towards our bursary and outreach programs.

Golf Fore Art! 

(June 21, 2021): Our 4th Annual Charity Golf Tournament invites teams of four to tee off and compete in 18 holes. Providing our teams with a boxed lunch, dinner, awards ceremony and an opportunity to bid at our silent auction, we offer several sponsorship packages. to help make this event happen each year.

Board members and executives

Jeff and Shirley
Jeff Stellick is Executive Director of the Ottawa School of Art; Shirley Yik is President of the Board of Directors

Alexia Naidoo (Vice-president)
Co-founder and chief operating officer, Planetary IP

Issam Elhaje (Chair, finance committee)
Manager of contract management, Canadian Commercial Corporation

Joshua Vickery Secretary
Associate lawyer, Kelly Santini LLP

Clayton Powell (Executive and HR committees)
Powell Strategy Group

David Finnie (Co-chair, development committee)
Canada Brokerlink (Ontario) Inc.

Melissa Talia (Finance committee)
Four Point Solutions Ltd.

Christos Pantieras (Chair, education committee)
Visual arts teacher, Canterbury High School

Michael Ashley
Financial management and computer systems development contractor

Fundraising priorities

The outreach program is dedicated to removing all economic barriers (no enrolment fees, no art supply costs, art instructor provided and no transportation) as the classes are taught in the neighbourhood at a local community house or community centre. Participants are also given the opportunity to showcase their work in a group exhibition held each year in our downtown gallery.

For students who are unable to afford the full cost of a course, we have a bursary program that, along with funding set aside in the annual budget, is made possible by several named and anonymous donors. The value of each individual bursary given depends on the level of financial assistance indicated on the application form and the availability funds.

These programs are supported through our fundraising initiatives and donations are also accepted online, by phone, in-person and by post.

In response to the global pandemic, we now offer several online course options, as well as delivering the certificate and diploma programs in an online-and-in-person hybrid format.

Get in touch

35 George St.
Ottawa, Ont.
K1N 8W5

Twitter: @artottawa
Facebook: /OttawaSchoolofArt
Instagram: @artottawa