The Viceregal Lion
  1. The Governor General of Canada
  2. His Excellency the Right Honourable David Johnston
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Collection Highlights

Elizabeth II portrait in the Ballroom

Rideau Hall’s interiors and collections are a reflection of the nation’s history and a window on Canadian culture today. Highlights of the collections are presented during the Residence Tour.

Diamond Jubilee Portrait

Diamond Jubilee Portrait of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II
Phil Richards
2012
Acrylic on canvas
315 cm x 224 cm
Crown Collection for Canada’s Official Residences
National Capital Commission, Ottawa

This portrait was painted on the occasion of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II’s Diamond Jubilee. It was officially unveiled in London (UK) on June 6, 2012, in the presence of Her Majesty, His Excellency the Right Honourable David Johnston and the Right Honourable Stephen Harper. The painting was installed in Rideau Hall’s Ballroom on June 28, 2012. It is a contemporary representation of Her Majesty and a symbol of her presence in the governor general’s official residence and workplace.

The National Film Board (NFB) produced a 40-minute short film documenting the work of Canadian artist Phil Richards as he created the Diamond Jubilee Portrait of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II. For more information about the documentary, entitled The Portrait, visit the NFB’s website.

Ceiling chandelier in the Ballroom

Ceiling Chandelier

Circa 1950
Cut glass, Waterford crystal and gilded brass
229 cm x 152 cm
Crown Collection for Canada’s Official Residences
National Capital Commission, Ottawa
Gift from the Government of Great Britain, 1951
Photo: Rideau Hall

This chandelier was given to the people of Canada by the Government of Great Britain in gratitude for the assistance provided during the Second World War. The chandelier was presented by Sir Alexander Clutterbuck, British High Commissioner, to Governor General Lord Alexander of Tunis, on Victoria Day, May 24, 1951. The ceremony took place in the Ballroom at Rideau Hall, where the chandelier still hangs today. The chandelier is neo-classical in style and consists of 12,000 pieces of crystal and 80 bulbs; it weighs one tonne.

The Crown Collection

Since Lord Monck first moved into Rideau Hall, the government has acquired furniture and works of art for the residence, changing the decorations and furnishings throughout the years. Today, the works of art and furniture at Rideau Hall are part of the Crown Collection for Canada’s Official Residences. The Collection is comprised of contemporary and antique works of art, traditional Canadian furniture, and pieces coming from Europe, the Far East and other regions around the world.

The Crown Collection is managed and curated by the National Capital Commission (NCC), in Ottawa. The Collection also encompasses the art and furniture of the other five official residences in Canada’s Capital Region.

New acquisitions are carefully selected and special attention is paid to their origin. Representing each province and territory is particularly important in the case of Rideau Hall, which acts as a window on Canadian culture. The art and furniture at Rideau Hall were chosen on the basis of their history, significance, origin or connection to a governor general, in order to enhance the value of the heritage site.

The Canadiana Fund

The majority of new acquisitions come from donations made through the Canadiana Fund. The Canadiana Fund was established in 1990 by the NCC to enhance the State areas of Canada’s official residences, through donations of the finest examples of historical furnishings, paintings and objets d’art. The chosen pieces reflect Canada’s heritage and artistic traditions, or are historically associated with, or complement, the architectural style of each residence.

Other Collections Represented at Rideau Hall

To broaden the range of works displayed at Rideau Hall, the Office of the Secretary to the Governor General obtains pieces on loan from other public collections. The tradition of borrowing works of art began in the 1930s; as early as the time of Lord Bessborough, the National Gallery of Canada has loaned paintings to Rideau Hall. Today, Rideau Hall still displays several works from the National Gallery, including William Kurelek’s series of six panels titled The Ukrainian Pioneer (1976).

 

Date modified: August 1, 2017