The Winnipeg Art Gallery is waiting to open its doors to the public - here's why.

A downtown art gallery is excited to see visitors again but before they do that they have some work to do.

"We were the first to open in the last round of reopenings. We have always been really quick to reopen to be there for the public," Amy Rebecca Harrison, Engagement Supervisor says, noting that this time it will be different. "Being able to actually be in the same space as some of these incredible artworks, it can't be matched at home and it can't be matched online."

As of Saturday, art galleries will be able to open their doors, but the Winnipeg Art Gallery (WAG) is waiting another month for in-person visits. Harrison says the wait is because they are putting the finishing touches on Naadohbii: To Draw Water, their inaugural Winnipeg Indigenous Triennial, and preparing their COVID-19 prevention measures.

"We just want to make sure the gallery is fully ready to welcome visitors."

Harrison says it has been strange seeing the WAG void of visitors and is excited to welcome people back. Part of the welcome will include a virtual opening on August 13 and free admission on August 14

"It is such a great feeling. We are a public space first and foremost, so it has been challenging planning for our exhibitions and even just for staff morale to not have visitors in the space, and sometimes not even be there ourselves."

The all-new Naadohbii gallery will feature art from various Indigenous groups, showcasing global talent. The brand-new exhibit and new Qaumajuq will give visitors a lot to see.

The long-awaited Qaumajuq opened in the spring for the first time, showcasing Inuit art, but due to changing restrictions the doors closed soon after opening to the public and have not been open since.

"We know that for many people this will be the first time that they will be able to see Quamajuq... so we just want to make sure that everything is in place to keep visitors safe and happy."

Appreciation for art has not ceased. Harrison says they have been using their online platforms, showcasing art, engaging people with making art with WAG at Home, and hosting virtual events. A mobile exhibit called Nakatamaakewin is travelling across Manitoba to showcase pieces part of Quamajuq.