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$2.5 million gift from The Delaney Family to create lasting impact at OCAD University

September 20, 2023

NationTalk: OCAD University is the recipient of a transformational gift of $2.5 million from business leader and philanthropist Kiki Delaney and The Delaney Family. The major gift was announced on Sept. 19 at a celebration held at Onsite Gallery, the University’s flagship professional art gallery.

“We are immensely grateful to The Delaney Family for this generous gift that will empower students in their pursuit of art and design education and support Onsite Gallery’s diverse programming,” says Ana Serrano, OCAD U’s President and Vice-Chancellor. “Kiki Delaney and The Delaney Family have had such a significant impact on our institution. With this gift, their commitment to driving positive change through art and design will continue to have a lasting and meaningful impact.”

Kiki Delaney is a leading advocate of the arts and a cherished supporter of OCAD U. She was OCAD U’s Chancellor from 2011 to 2017 and received an honorary doctorate from the University in 2012.

The new gift will:

  • fund Onsite Gallery’s annual initiatives and special projects over the next 10 years;
  • create the annual award, The Delaney Family Emerging Curator’s Prize at Onsite Gallery; and
  • establish The Delaney Family Bursary Fund to support students demonstrating financial need in the Criticism and Curatorial Practice programs (graduate and undergraduate).

“We are proud to support OCAD University as it leads the way in educating the next generation of creative thinkers and in showcasing a broad range of dynamic artists and designers,” said Kiki Delaney. “It is our hope that this gift will contribute to nurturing creative excellence at both Onsite Gallery and OCAD University. We are delighted to be part of this journey.”

The Delaney Family has a longstanding relationship with OCAD U, which has included generously funding many scholarships, The Delaney Chair in Indigenous Visual Culture and The Delaney Indigenous Visual Culture Research Initiatives Fund.

The Family’s many contributions have helped OCAD U to advance Indigenous knowledge and culture, support Indigenous students and take major steps forward in its reconciliation journey.

Onsite Gallery Executive Director Appointed

The Delaney Family gift coincides with the announcement that Ryan Rice, Kanien’kehá:ka of Kahnawake, has been appointed Onsite Gallery’s Executive Director for a five-year term. He will continue in his role as the Gallery’s Curator, Indigenous Art.

One of Canada’s leading curators of contemporary Indigenous art and criticism, Rice was the recipient of the 2022 Changemaker I-BPOC Award from the Galeries Ontario / Ontario Galleries (GOG) Awards. His institutional and independent curatorial career spans 30 years in community, museums, artist-run centres, public spaces and galleries. He recently co-curated the fourth edition of the Bonavista Biennale in Newfoundland/Labrador.

About OCAD University

OCAD University is a world-famous hub for art, design and digital media education, research, innovation and creativity. The University embraces collaborative and interdisciplinary approaches to change-making through art, design-thinking curriculum and research making OCAD U a local, regional, national, and global leader in art and design. Students benefit from hands-on studio learning and gain employable skills.

About Onsite Gallery

Onsite Gallery, located at 199 Richmond St. W., is the flagship professional art gallery of OCAD U and an experimental curatorial platform for art, design and new media. The gallery presents contemporary, Indigenous, and public art and design to advance knowledge creation and stimulate local and international conversations on the urgent issues of our time. Operating since 2007, Onsite Gallery officially opened at its Richmond Street West location six years ago, with a ribbon cutting, street party and award-winning exhibition “raise a flag” on September 16, 2017.