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The Institute seeks to initiate national and international conversations about historical and contemporary forms of Canadian art and visual culture by forging links between established and emergent scholars working across the country and abroad. Its programs support innovative research and the mobilization of knowledge through print culture and new media networks. Emphasizing exchange, collaboration, and trans-Canada partnerships, the Institute builds on its founders’ collective vision:

To advance the greater appreciation and richer understanding of Canadian visual culture of all eras, the Gail and Stephen A. Jarislowsky Institute collaborates on research programs and vital forms of public outreach with educational and cultural institutions, as well as the private sector by:

  • Supporting research on Canadian art for pedagogical purposes at all levels of education, and most importantly for the general public;
  • Producing scholarly materials in print and electronic formats such as monographs, journals, bibliographies, catalogues raisonnés, films and videos;
  • Maintaining a broad and ongoing dialogue within the academic and museum communities on the evolving nature of studies in the visual arts in Canada; and
  • Establishing links to national and international art communities through public events such as conferences and lectures.


Born of the Department of Art History, the Institute benefits from the prestige and vitality of the department that offered the first Master’s program in Canadian art history and remains at the leading edge of research and teaching in this field. The members of the Institute are drawn from permanent and affiliate faculty, the founding director, distinguished, resident, and affiliate fellows. This community is continuously refreshed by cohorts of MA and PhD students specializing in Canadian art.

Since 2005, the Institute has been located in the Integrated Engineering, Computer Science and Visual Arts Complex at 1515 St. Catherine St. West. Its closest neighbours are the Department of Art History, the Journal of Canadian Art History/Annales d’histoire de l’art canadien, the Canadian Women Artists History Initiative (CWAHI), and the Faculty of Fine Arts' Visual Collections Repository (VCR).

Group of scholars meeting at Concordia's Jarislowsky Institute

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