Rideau Hall’s interiors and the collections it features are a reflection of the nation’s history and a window on Canadian culture today. Highlights of the collections are presented during the guided tour of the State rooms.
The Crown Collection
Since Lord Monck first moved into Rideau Hall, the government has acquired furniture and works of art for the residence. The decorations and furnishings were changed throughout the years to adapt Rideau Hall's interirors to new State functions.
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 or to a residence 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 Canadian historical furnishings and works of art.
To broaden the range of artists represented 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 works from the National Gallery, including William Kurelek’s series of six panels titled The Ukrainian Pioneer (1976).