Art Gallery of Alberta

AGA opens Doggie Daycare to encourage non-human creativity


Media Release

For Immediate Release

April 1, 2016

Edmonton, AB (April 1, 2016)—In a bold new initiative, The Art Gallery of Alberta is emBARKing on a new program to encourage the local canine community to get their paws dirty and get creative.

Starting today, Manning Hall, the large entry hall on the main level of the gallery, is designated for daytime use as a full-service doggie daycare. This unique pet-care program is unlike any other in the city. Perks and activities of the program include:

  • Gallery Attendants on-site providing walks, head scratches, and on-leash tours of current exhibitions.
  • Interactive and immersive art activities, including paw-printmaking, mud-rolling and treat-encouraged performance art, facilitated by gallery educators.
  • Peanut butter snacks, chewies and Canine Water by Zinc restaurant.
  • Nap time accompanied by soothing classical music and sound art by local artists and performers.

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“In 2016 we decided we needed to look at reaching out to our non-human community and bring them downtown to experience the gallery,” explains Director of Operations, Pedro Carriel. “We were seeing declining attendance from this sector, and clearly need to implement something new and fun to draw them back. This Doggie Daycare idea definitely fits the bill.”

Art gallery employee Nikki Van Dusen agrees. “Since joining the AGA in December, I’ve struggled with being apart from my fur-baby. Now I can bring Molly to work and know she’s receiving gre
at care…but also learning about art and being creative!” Other AGA employees with canine companions agree with Ms. Van Dusen’s enthusiastic assessment.

The AGA anticipates seeing a large number of canines coming from surrounding businesses, including the Arts District partners, City Hall and the Law Courts.

The Doggie Daycare runs daily from April 1 to April 1. Daycare fee is $40 and includes all activities and snacks. To register your pet contact doggiedaycare@youraga.ca.

Gallery Attendant Brandon Bilhete’s dog, Hercules looks for inspiration.

ABOUT THE ART GALLERY OF ALBERTA

The Art Gallery of Alberta is a centre of excellence for the visual arts in Western Canada, focused on the development and presentation of original exhibitions of contemporary and historical art from Alberta, Canada and around the world. The AGA also offers a full-range of art education and public programs for people and their pets. Founded in 1924, the Art Gallery of Alberta maintains a collection of more than 6,000 objects and is the oldest cultural institution in Alberta. It is the only museum in the province solely dedicated to the exhibition and preservation of art and visual culture. In May 2015, the AGA opened the Poole Centre of Design, an integrated series of exhibitions and programs to encourage research and public discussion about contemporary issues in architecture and design.