Artengine is a place that helps artists and creative people of all kinds bring their ideas to life.

Join us for an introduction to our space and to learn more about us!

Read more of our story below or learn about how to get involved.

Since forming in 1996, Artengine has been forging new pathways for art and culture here in the capital region, across the country and around the world. For almost 30 years, we have been striving to find new ways to support artists and what they make all while developing some of the most innovative art projects in Canada. The new Artengine brings together all this experience and offers a new space for art, supporting experimentation and development for the future of art.


Our first space was online. We set up a small server in 1996 for early netart, to get artists and their work online and launching projects like the Artlist. Later, we set up our first makeshift lab, donated space in the back of an accounting firm’s office, where we shared ideas and know-how about open source projects like PureData


In 2008, we were welcomed into the Arts Court building, setting up a bustling Fab Lab that brought together the maker and art communities. 


Finally, as part of the incredible transformation of the Arts Court and the Ottawa Art Gallery, we designed this new facility focused on supporting artists, collectives and creative people of all kinds, in bringing new projects into the world, projects that think deeply about art and the way it is tangled up with all the complexities of technology and society. 

Artengine is a small organization that thinks big.

We look beyond our studio and lab spaces to see how we can make the city a more interesting space. From public transit to public parks to public pools, from nightclubs to concert halls to churches, we have produced and presented art works for many contexts, and we brought all of this experience to the new Artengine facility and to the way we support the artist and creatives we work with. 

Performer on stage with experimental instrument in large catholic church.

For a decade, Electric Fields was one of the only festivals presenting experimental electronic music and digital art.

In the early days we combined installations, nightclub events and performances of all kinds. We brought many incredible experiences to the city, including Alexandre Burton & Julien Roy’s high voltage tesla coil; A Tribe Called Red’s first collaboration with live singers, a Stereoscopic VJ party with Montreal’s TIND and the unforgettable collaboration between Jesse Stewart and Rob Cruickshank at the Champagne Baths. We also hosted remarkable installations from Sophie Belair Clément, Donna Legualt, Gordon Monohan, nichola feldman kiss and more.   

As we moved into the 2010’s we turned the festival inside out and invited more and more participation from the audience and the artists. The resulting We Make The City, We Are The City was a remarkable collaboration between Artengine, the participating artists, the public and the city we all live in.

Read more about Electric Fields and it’s programming here

Exhibi tions + Public Art


Throughout our history we have sought out collaborations to curate, present and produce artworks and exhibitions for the region and across the province.

Check out more on one of our earliest exhibitions on sport and art with Superfan, or our bio art show produced with Dr. Jennifer Willett (Canada Research Chair in Art, Science and Ecology) and including TED Fellow Andrew Pelling and Prix de Rome in Architecture recipient Phillip Beesley and Canada Research Chair or our more recent collaboration with Celina Jeffrey and narratives of extinction in Entanglements.

Sound and the City

The sonic space of the city is interesting and complex.

Sometimes we fight against the noise.

Sometimes we open ourselves up to the cacophony of sounds and the life it represents.

Since the early 2000s, we have been creatively engaging the sonic landscape of urban life, exploring ways to transform the experience of our environment through sound, often by layering on top, shifting your perception of the world around you. 

In the early 2000s we produced a series of war driving experiments involving the sonification of wifi networks. Later we produced our first major commissioning project, Nite Ride, with Tim Hecker and Marla Hlady. These two soundtracks for driving still exist as long term public sound sculptures for the capital region. Later we worked with Antoine Bedard on Polytectures, translating architecture into sound for a guided tour, Jesse Stewart musical score for the Alexandria Bridge and most recently we commissioned the app Sonicity which provided soundtracks for specific bus routes in the core of Ottawa.

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Maker Faire was an experiment

in community building

that became a local phenomenon!

In the late 2000s we reached out to the growing maker community of Ottawa to share our resources and build bridges between artists, technologists and hobbyists. (At the time the term maker didn’t exist as a great collective identifier.)

With that group we brought the first Mini-Maker Faire to Canada as a special element of the Electric Fields Festival.

We quickly outgrew Arts Court, moved to the old Shopify offices and by 2016 we filled up Landsdown with over 6000 people visiting the 2 day celebration of making in all its forms!

Read more about Maker Faire and the projects we presented here

For the region, Maker Faire was the perfect blend of family friendly technology and creativity, and we used the platform to bring cutting edge art (and the artists) to this broader audience.

From the robot feeding machine by Project Eva to the Woman’s Tear’s Machine Gun by Ken Rinaldo, the audience and artist alike had new enriching experiences at the intersection of creativity and technology. 


A part of our story has always been about big ideas. We love conversation, exploring the realms of the boundaries of the possible with artists, designers, researchers, cultural workers, activists and creatives of all kinds, trying to lead into new territories of thinking and making. 

Our new IDEAS section tries to capture our long tradition of symposiums and workshops and update it for our lives online. In the Ideas section you’ll find documents from our symposiums about craft and digital technology; the future of the city; AI, machine learning and artist production and much more!