Seen The Secret Art Collection Inside Canada House?

Tabish Khan
By Tabish Khan Last edited 9 months ago
Seen The Secret Art Collection Inside Canada House?
Canada House is chock full of art. Image courtesy Canada House

Odds are you've walked past Canada House. It sits right on the west side of Trafalgar Square, the not-so-subtle hint being the many Maple Leafs fluttering from its flanks.

As well as being home to the Canadian High Commission, there's a secret art collection hidden away inside. And you can book onto a free tour to have a look round. (Book well in advance as tours fill up fast.)

Artworks even hang above the main staircase. Image courtesy Canada House

The collection features 300 works of art by 270 different artists. It won't surprise anyone to learn that, given the venue, of those 300 works 298 are by Canadian artists.

The art is everywhere, a light sculpture hanging in the main stairwell, on the walls of the boardrooms, while many of the carpets are bespoke commissions too (a bit like Wetherspoons).

Some of the rooms look spectacular, and all the more so because of the numerous artworks on the walls. Image courtesy Canada House

The theme of Canada runs through the artworks: Andrew Wright has photographed Canadian forests, Joe Fafard has created a sculpture of a bison and Gathie Falk has sculpted a humorous arsenal of snowballs (we're told that crafting the perfect snowball is a rite of passage for every Canadian school child).

The boardrooms are named after the provinces of Canada and the attention to detail in each one is astounding. For example the leather on the chairs in the Saskatchewan room is the same shade of green as the kit of the Saskatchewan Roughriders, the local Canadian football team.

Unsurprisingly the Manitoba room contains a soft toy of Winnie the Pooh; he was named after a Canadian bear called Winnipeg after all.

Even the boardrooms are in on it, with artworks specific to the province the room is named after. Image courtesy Canada House

The collection is impressive not just for the artworks themselves, but for the sheer amount of effort put into finding the perfect fit for every room.

While the masses cram into the National Gallery over the way, this corner of Canadian culture is something every art loving Londoner should see.

Canada House is located on Trafalgar Square and you can book on to a free tour once a month during winter, with tours becoming more frequent in the summer. Canada House also has a separate gallery which is free to enter without booking, and they have a regular schedule of exhibitions. Entrance on Pall Mall.

Last Updated 29 November 2016