Provincial Art Collection

The Manitoba government art collection exists to provide fine art for the enjoyment of the general public through its display in various areas of public buildings throughout the province. Such exhibition opportunities foster understanding, appreciation and support for local artists among the people of Manitoba. Through the purchase of art by Manitoba artists, the collection is also a source of financial support to the artistic community, both for artists and galleries.

Arts Branch Responsibilities

The branch is responsible for maintaining the collection data base, placement, loan agreements, ongoing maintenance, and coordinating annual art purchases. Works of art come into the collection in a variety of ways including purchase, pre-approved donations and commissioned works.

Artwork Purchases

Purchases are made from the commercial galleries, public galleries and, on occasion directly from the artist’s studio. Decisions related to acquiring pieces are supported through an advisory committee process coordinated by the Arts Branch Visual Arts Consultant.

Purchases are made in accordance to the Manitoba Artwork Policy as defined in the General Manual of Administration, which provides direction relative to the procurement, provision and control of artwork in government-owned and leased facilities.

Items in the Collection

There are currently more than 3,000 pieces of art in the collection with virtually every provincial building in the province displaying artwork. The collection includes historical portraits as well as contemporary pieces in all visual art media. The total value of the collection is currently estimated at approximately $3.26M.

The collection is comprised almost entirely of works by Manitoba artists, some by Manitoba’s most respected artists, with the rare exception of works by a non-Manitoban artist that have special significance to the province. The collection represents work by artists from a wide range of groups including northern and rural, Aboriginal, Francophone and ethno-cultural.

Donations to the Provincial Art Collection

Donations of artwork for inclusion into the Provincial Art Collection are accepted from time to time. Private citizens and organizations proposing a piece of art for consideration must supply a current appraisal and documentation of the artwork to the Arts Branch Visual Art Consultant. A recommendation by the Art Advisory Committee for inclusion of the artwork into the collection will be made after considering the following:

  • Technical and artistic quality of the highest degree, including originality, uniqueness and relevance;
  • Provenance;
  • Authenticity;
  • Relationship to the people, places or history of the province (artists who are or were Manitoba residents receiving priority);
  • Suitability for exhibition in public spaces;
  • Condition of the artwork;
  • Ease of maintenance and conservation; and
  • Relevance to the content and curatorial goals of the collection.

More Information

For more information please contact:

Arts Branch
Telephone: (204) 945-3847
Email: artsbranch@gov.mb.ca