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The GNO is proud to be one of the seven founding members of the Greater Sudbury’s Place des Arts.
The GNO's Artistic Mission
The Galerie du Nouvel-Ontario (GNO) embodies a vision that’s open to all practices in contemporary art, with a particular interest in site-specific creation, installation art, and performance. The GNO encourages and supports artists engaged in a creative process that welcomes risk.
Through its innovative and collaborative projects, the GNO encourages interaction and dialogue between artists and with the public. Aware of its geographic location, the GNO favours projects where different ideas, languages, and cultures can come together.
History of the GNO
A collective of Northern Ontario artists determined to outfit their community with a contemporary arts organization created the Galerie du Nouvel-Ontario (GNO) in 1995. The GNO was Ontario’s first francophone artist-run centre. With an eye towards outreach and promotion, the GNO’ s first efforts were focused on bringing professional artists together around new creative projects. Rooted in Sudbury, where the centre has had a downtown exhibition space since 1996, the GNO has a yearly program of contemporary art exhibitions and coordinates a number of visual art events that bring together larger groups of artists.
While putting together yearly programs of visual art exhibitions in its gallery space (approximately 7 exhibitions per year), the GNO also has a tradition of organizing events in non-traditional spaces. At the very beginning, the GNO commissioned the creation of large, permanent installation pieces at the northern and southern city limits: Le chien qui voit tout by Sudbury artist Mary Green (visible from Hwy. 69) and Élémental by Kapuskasing artist Normand Fortin (at the Collège Boréal campus). Aside from these foundational projects, the GNO regularly engages with the community by taking contemporary art outside the gallery walls and creating unexpected encounters with art happenings for members of the community.
Over the years, the GNO came to organize larger projects of provincial and national scope by collaborating with other artist-run centres from across the country. In the early 2000’s, the GNO coordinated the residency projects L’Échangeur 1 and 2, with the collaboration of artist-run centres from Ontario, New Brunswick and Québec. In 2007, the GNO and FADO Performance (Toronto) coordinated a residency project together, Territoires de la langue, which led to a publication.
In 2008, the GNO held the firs Fair of Alternative Art in Sudbury (FAAS). The project brought over 20 visual artists to Sudbury. Each artist created an art installation in the rooms over the Townehouse tavern. An immediate success, the FAAS became a biannual event organized by the GNO with the collaboration of other artist-run centres. Over the years, the FAAS has been held in different public spaces in downtown Sudbury: the Townehouse tavern (2008), the Via Rail train station (2010), Market Square (2012), the Rainbow Centre shopping mall (2014), and the Saint-Louis-de-Gonzague elementary school (2018).
As it celebrates 26 years as an artist-run centre in 2021-2022, the GNO has renewed its commitment to contemporary art by refreshing the statement of its artistic vision. Taking into account the many projects that have defined the organization since its start, the GNO has formalized its commitment to exhibitions elements of research and on-site creation. The GNO also highlights its “ex-centric” location, in Sudbury, as one of its major strengths.