City-owned art worth millions

The City of Ottawa has quite an art collection.

A memo from the General Manager of Recreation, Cultural and Facility Services notes the total value of artwork owned by the city now sits at $16.4-million.

That comprises more than 2,700 artworks from 742 artists.

Many of the art is portable, and is circulated around more than 150 city buildings.

Policy rules say that, for every city capital project worth $2-million, at least one per cent must be allocated to artwork.

The value of the city's holdings does not include the Firestone Collection of Canadian art, with a current appraised value of $23.8-million, and includes works by the Group of Seven.

It was assembled by Ottawa collectors O.J. and Isobel Firestone, the parents of Ottawa Senators founder Bruce Firestone.

That collection will be housed in a special section of the new Ottawa Art Gallery, which is due to open this fall.