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In 1973 three women placed an ad on a billboard at a women-artist centred shop/gathering place called The Flaming Apron. This was a call out to women artists who were interested in meeting and discussing the difficulty finding exhibition space for their work. This is how Powerhouse was born. During the first eight months the gallery operated thanks to the hard work of supporters, members, and exhibiting artists. The gallery was two exhibition rooms on the 2nd floor of a four-room apartment at 1210 Greene Avenue. The founding members were: Elizabeth Bertoldi, Leslie Busch, Isobel Dowler-Gow, Margaret Griffin, Clara Gutshe, Billie-Joe Mericle, Stasje Plantenga and Pat Walsh.

The first exhibition was presented from May 20th to June 21st 1973. One year later, on May 24th 1974, the gallery incorporated under the name of   Powerhouse Gallery & Studio Galerie et atelier la Centrale Électrique Galerie et atelier la Centrale Électrique Since then, the centre has moved many times, and most recently to a storefront window on the main!

In celebration of our forty years of artistic programming, in celebration of our dear members and the artists who animate our activities, we continue to build towards the goal of making contemporary art in dialogue with feminism more accessible to the public!


Founded in 1973, La Centrale Galerie Powerhouse is one of Quebec’s oldest artist-run centers. The gallery exhibits and serves a broad spectrum of artists and projects, which are often under-represented within established art institutions. Its mandate expands on a history of feminist art practices and aims to provide a platform for contemporary art that is informed by feminist and gender theory, as well as intercultural and trans-disciplinary practices. This involves the development of artistic and professional exchange at the local, national and international levels. La Centrale exhibits work by artists of all genders. To encourage intergenerational dialogue, we welcome artists at any stage of their career. The programming of the gallery reflects the interests and committments of its members.