Starting this weekend, the Winnipeg Art Gallery will waive admission to the public on the second Sunday of every month.
It's part of a three-year program in partnership with Canada Life that aims to ensure greater community access to art.
"These next three years are going to be among the most meaningful in the WAG’s history, thanks to Canada Life," said WAG CEO Stephen Borys in a press release.
"This gift to the public comes into play during Manitoba 150 with an incredible lineup of exhibitions leading up to the opening of the WAG Inuit Art Centre in fall 2020, and beyond. Thank you to Canada Life for helping the WAG break down barriers, making the gallery more accessible for all."
Canada Life will support the upcoming exhibition Into the Light: Lionel LeMoine FitzGerald, which opens in April. The insurance company will also offer free parking for Free Sunday visitors in the lot behind its location at 100 Osborne St. N.
"At Canada Life, we believe access to arts and culture can help improve a person’s overall well-being," Debbie Down, director of community relations at Canada Life, said in the release.
"We’re proud to give Manitobans from all walks of life the opportunity to discover the creativity, history and stories of Indigenous, Canadian and world-famous artists through Canada Life Free Sundays@WAG. We hope the community will take advantage of the galleries and family friendly activities to explore art in a hands-on way and enjoy browsing the fascinating works by artists like L.L. FitzGerald."
The Great Gallery Parade — in which participants will, with the help of Art City, decorate themselves into a work of art and parade through the WAG — will kick off the inaugural Free Sunday. In the future, free Sundays will feature complimentary activities for the whole family from 2 p.m. until 4 p.m., including games, art making, tours, films and performances.
Current exhibitions on view include Kent Monkman's Shame and Prejudice: A Story of Resilience (until Feb. 23); Small Worlds, an exhibition of more than 100 miniature carvings by Inuit artists curated by Jocelyn Piirainen (until Feb. 9); and Norval Morrisseau's Androgyny (until July).
The WAG is open Sundays from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Jen Zoratti is a Winnipeg Free Press columnist and co-host of the paper's local culture podcast, Bury the Lede.