From its inception in 1973, the artist-run centre Galerie SAW Gallery has supported politically and socially engaged art, focusing on the performance and media arts. Many of the world’s best-known artists have exhibited at SAW in the early stages of their careers. Begun by a group of local artists, the gallery was originally part of the legendary café Le Hibou on Sussex Drive, hence the name SAW, an acronym for Sussex Annex Works. In 1981, the centre founded the SAW Video cooperative to support independent video artists and documentarists. During this time, the centre also initiated Club SAW, which has become the most important multidisciplinary space in the region. In 1989, Galerie SAW Gallery, SAW Video and Club SAW moved into the historic Arts Court building. Since 2001, Galerie SAW Gallery has operated as a distinct organization no longer legally affiliated with SAW Video, although both share a home at Arts Court and continue to collaborate on many projects. Galerie SAW Gallery aims to become a premier artist-run centre in Canada and the world, engaging in innovative programming, outreach and exchange initiatives. With over 30,000 visitors each year, SAW is a prime destination in the Ottawa-Gatineau region for contemporary art.