Official name announced for the Ottawa Public Library

The First Art Newspaper on the Net    Established in 1996 Wednesday, February 28, 2024

Official name announced for the Ottawa Public Library
Rendering of Ādisōke South View. Renderings by Cicada Design courtesy of Diamond Schmitt.

OTTAWA.- At an event yesterday, the official name was announced for the Ottawa Public Library – Library and Archives Canada Joint Facility. On behalf of the Anishinābe Algonquin Nation, Kitigan Zibi Anishinābeg and the Algonquins of Pikwakanagan First Nation gave the name Ādisōke for the facility. On hand to honour the name of the new facility were Mayor Jim Watson, the Honourable Steven Guilbeault, Minister of Canadian Heritage, the Honourable Catherine McKenna, Member of Parliament for Ottawa Centre, and Councillor Matthew Luloff, Chair of the Ottawa Public Library Board.

The site for the joint facility is located on the unceded, traditional territory of the Anishinābe Algonquin Nation, who have lived in the area since time immemorial. Elders and members of the Host Nation have been important partners in influencing the design of the facility and the selection of the name Ādisōke.

Ādisōke is an Anishinābemowin word that refers to the telling of stories. Storytelling is the traditional means by which Indigenous peoples share knowledge, culture and history over generations. Ādisōke is a meaningful and fitting name for the joint facility, as storytelling represents the coming together of knowledge, history, discovery, culture, creativity, collaboration, and connections. Ādisōke also evokes what is at the heart of the partner institutions: Library and Archives Canada as a keeper of Canadian and Indigenous stories, and Ottawa Public Library’s use of stories to build community and transform lives by inspiring learning, sparking curiosity, and connecting people.

Ādisōke is a strong statement reflecting the depth and sincerity of the partner institutions’ appreciation for the ongoing engagement with Kitigan Zibi Anishinābeg and the Algonquins of Pikwakanagan First Nation. The City of Ottawa, Library and Archives Canada, and Ottawa Public Library will continue to work collaboratively with the Anishinābe Algonquin Nation and other First Nations, Inuit and Métis individuals and organizations from across the country in the spirit of relationship building, active listening, decolonization and reconciliation.

As collaboration with the Host Nation continues, other rooms in Ādisōke will be given Anishinābe Algonquin names, such as the Children’s Discovery Centre, the Outdoor Gathering Circle, and a Wigwam-inspired Circular Lodge and its adjacent exterior terrace. The Project Team will also continue to engage with the Anishinābe Algonquin Nation and other First Nations, Inuit and Métis individuals and organizations to inform the programs and services that will be offered in Ādisōke.


Set to open its doors in late 2024, with an official opening in 2025, will become a landmark destination built on the shared values of the partner institutions. The facility, designed by Diamond Schmitt, in joint venture with Ottawa partner, KWC architects will deliver a rich customer experience through Ottawa Public Library’s Central Library and Library and Archives Canada’s public services, exhibitions and events, which showcases Indigenous stories and histories, as well as Canadian heritage. The joint programming and services will make this a truly unique offering in Canada. It will be a modern, iconic facility that will respond to rapidly developing technology, growing customer expectations and changing demographics.

Since 2019, Diamond Schmitt and the OPL-LAC Joint Facility Project Team have worked in partnership with the Anishinābe Algonquin Nation via the work of Elders and members of Kitigan Zibi Anishinābeg and the Algonquins of Pikwakanagan First Nation to develop a unique and creative facility that is welcoming to all.The new building promises to be a cultural showplace for the country's heritage, a meeting place for local residents and visitors alike. Diamond Schmitt and partner KWC and the project partners have involved the public in the design process in a close and collaborative way through the engagement of more than 4,000 persons at public hearings, on-line and virtually across the nation and locally.

Ādisōke will be a welcoming, reflective and inclusive space, where people can connect to each other and their history. Meaningful engagement with the Algonquin Host Nation, local and national First Nations, Inuit and Métis Nation individuals and organizations continues to be one of Diamond Schmitt's and the OPL-LAC Project Team's highest priorities throughout the design and construction of the joint facility.

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