National Gallery of Canada’s new audio tours enhance its visitors’ experience through enriched information on the national collection

Ottawa, Ontario - June 29, 2011

Today the National Gallery of Canada (NGC) launched three new audio tours that will bring Mandarin speakers, children and blind or partially sighted visitors closer to the art in Canada’s national collection.

Ottawa born Dashan, aka Mark Rowswell - the most famous Western celebrity in China, has recorded a detailed tour of the Canadian collection in Mandarin only.  This audio tour will help the Gallery offer a better visitor experience to the increasing number of Chinese tourists visiting Canada since China granted Canada Approved Destination Status in December of 2009.

“In China everyone knows who Dashan is; so having his voice guide Mandarin speakers visiting Canada from abroad, as well as Chinese Canadians living here, is a big deal for us,” said NGC Director Marc Mayer. “Combined with the children’s tour and tours for the visually impaired, we hope, as always, to bring Canadians and visitors to Canada even closer to the national collection.”

The children’s audio tour, in French and English, features a conversation between two friends, who talk about the art they see while on a visit to the Gallery. The Verbal Descriptions Tour, also in French and English, focuses on creating a mental image of the art works to help visitors visualize the work before them.

To get a sample of what the new audio tours have to offer, visit the Gallery’s youtube channel at: .

Some works may not be on view at all times. Bell audio guides are available to visitors in the Great Hall. Cost: $6 each.

Admission and NGC hours
Tickets for the Gallery’s collection are $9 for adults, $7 for seniors and full-time students, $4 for youths aged 12 to 19 years, and $18 for families (two adults and three children). Admission is free of charge for children under 12 and for Gallery members. Open daily from 10 am to 5 pm, and on Thursdays, until 8 pm. For more information, call 613-998-8888 or 1-888-541-8888.

About the National Gallery of Canada
The National Gallery of Canada is home to the most important collections of historical and contemporary Canadian art, including the extensive collection of the Canadian Museum of Contemporary Photography. The Gallery also maintains Canada's premier collection of European Art from the 14th to the 21st century, as well as important works of American, Asian and Indigenous Art and renowned international collections of prints, drawings and photographs. Created in 1880, the National Gallery of Canada has played a key role in Canadian culture for well over a century. Among its principal missions is to increase access to excellent works of art for all Canadians. To do so, it maintains the largest touring art exhibition programme in the world. For more information please visit

– 30 –
For more information, please contact:

Josée-Britanie Mallet
Senior Media and Public Relations Officer
National Gallery of Canada