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Must-Sees This Week: June 8 to 14, 2017

Lots of great art exhibitions and events are taking place across the country this week. Here are our recommendations for debuting shows and events, and a few reminders about shows that are closing. Visit our Exhibition Finder for more listings of worthwhile shows that are already open.


“Coyote School,” opening June 8 at the McMaster Museum of Art, presents contemporary works by eight mid-career Indigenous artists who acknowledge the influence of senior Indigenous artists on the development of their own artistic practice. Artists include Meryl McMaster, Jordan Bennett and Amy Malbeuf, while the opening reception on June 8 from 6 to 8 p.m. features a musical performance by Jeremy Dutcher, an operatic tenor and composer who blends his Wolastoq First Nation roots into his music.

Also on tap this week and viewable during the James Street Art Crawl on Friday: Gary Barwin, Laine Groeneweg, Stephanie Vegh and Steve Mazza are featured in the exhibition “Library of Known Planets?” opening June 9 from 7 to 10 p.m. at the Assembly. Tara Bursey and Aaron Murphy meditate on land, archive and voice in a show opening June 9 at you me gallery.


Contemporary Calgary‘s latest patio party celebrates the beginning of summer on June 8 from 6 to 9 p.m. The gallery’s loading dock will be transformed with disco balls and video projections, and the evening will kick off with a discussion on social spaces and urbanism.

On June 9 from 7 to 8 p.m., artist Jason de Haan will lead a tour and talk of his exhibition “Oh for eyes! At night we dream of eyes!” at the Esker Foundation. A few days later, on June 10 from 2 to 3:30 p.m., de Haan joins Miruna Dragan and Pranav Behari in conversation about art, life and collaboration.

John Will debuts new (tounge-in-cheek) paintings in “suspicious minds,” opening at Jarvis Hall Gallery on June 9 from 5 to 8 p.m.

“Pressed: Four Decades of Prints by Helen Mackie” opens at the Nickle Galleries on June 9 from 3 to 5 p.m.

Last but not least, join Canadian Art Indigenous editor-at-large Lindsay Nixon on June 14 at 7 p.m. at Untitled Art Society for the launch of Canadian Art‘s Summer 2017 issue, featuring a panel discussion around the issue’s theme of “Kinship.” Panellists include Jason Baerg, Billy-Ray Belcourt, Michelle McGeough and Adrian Stimson.

Ottawa and Gatineau

On June 14 at 6 p.m., Axené07 gathers a strong panel of artists to discuss two questions: “What are the opportunities and challenges for artists working today, in the ever-changing visual arts landscape? As new technologies emerge, and disciplines converge, how do artists maintain a visual arts practice in the age of interdiscipinarity?” Artists Cedric Bomford, Jim Bomford, Nathan Bomford, Michel de Broin, Graeme Patterson and Dominique Pétrin will participate, along with with moderator Stefan St-Laurent.

Elsewhere, notions of interior and exterior converge in “In-Habit,” opening June 8 from 6 to 9 p.m. at Studio Sixty Six and featuring work by Joyce Crago, Troy Moth, Farihah Shah and others.

Michelle Valberg’s “Nature is Calling” opens June 8 at Project SPACE; Valberg is Canadian Geographic’s first photographer-in-residence, and her pictures of Canadian landscape reflect that ethos.

In closings: “Rip Hopkins: CANADA CANADA” closes June 11 at the Ottawa Art Gallery Annex.


Toronto’s Art Book Week kicks off June 12 with a variety of events across the city. On June 12 from 7 to 9 p.m., for instance, Franz Kaka screens Agnes Martin 1974: An Interview at Swimmers Group. And the next day, the panel Archives and Alternative Narratives features representatives from the Canadian Lesbian and Gay Archives ant the South Asian Visual Culture area at the ROM in conversation at Ryerson University Image Arts at 6:30 p.m.

Also on the festivals circuit this week is Luminato, which launches June 14 with a major four-part celebration of Indigenous performance featuring more than 60 artists. Curated by Denise Bolduc and Erika A. Iserhoff in partnership with Native Women in the Arts, the performance runs from 6 p.m. to 11 p.m. at David Pecaut Square and is free to all.

On a more digital front, the Canadian premiere of works (VR and otherwise) by Beijing-based artist Tian Xiaolei opens June 9 from 7 p.m. onward at Katzman Contemporary. Xiaolei will also be giving an artist talk the next day, June 10, at 3 p.m. on the topics of art, animation, and gaming with guests Trudy Elmore, Alex McLeod and Yan Zhou. Also opening at the gallery: “Drive-Thru,” an exhibition of 21 locals.

A reception and artist talk on June 8 celebrate the opening of “Sean Stiller: Cyéwmen” an immersive video installation experience of the traditional Secwepemc salmon fish camp. Catch it at the Ryerson Image Centre as part of the DocNow festival. “Onions, Life, and Hotdogs on Parade,” featuring work by Louis Bouvier, David Poolman, Kerri Reid and Marjan Verstappen opens June 10 from 4 to 6 p.m. at Zalucky Contemporary. Gallery 44’s annual “Proof” exhibition shines a light on emerging photo-based artists, with this year’s edition featuring Ash Moniz and Emily Geen, among others. Join the artists for a walk-through June 9 at 5 p.m.

A new, home-based art space called China Town presents work by two Toronto artists, Sally Späth and Michelle McGeean, in an exhibition opening June 10 from 2 to 5 p.m. Chicago-based artist Hiba Ali gives a talk about digital mapping and the politics of place at the Commons at 401 Richmond on June 8 from 6 to 8 p.m. (Un)settled, a project at Scarborough’s Guild Park and Garden, sees projects and performances on site starting at 11 a.m. and 5:30 p.m. on June 10. There is also a screening beginning at 7:30 p.m. on that day.

The unique exhibition “Chromatic Geography: Natural Dyes in the 21st Century” brings together a variety of artists, designers and craftspeople turning to the land for their hues and materials. It opens June 8 from 6 to 9 p.m. at Craft Ontario Gallery, and includes a panel discussion on June 9 from 6 to 7 p.m. Gallery 555 collects works by eight Toronto-based painters—including Ester Pugliese, Chen Cao and James Olley—in the exhibition “Day Trip” opening June 10 from 2 to 5 p.m.

In closings, Nicholas Pye’s “A Silent Storm” and Richard Storms’s “Common” wrap up June 10 at Birch Contemporary; Chris Curreri’s “Unruly Matter” closes June 10 at Daniel Faria; and Luis Jacob’s “Habitat” finishes up June 10 at Gallery TPW with a conversation from 2 to 4 p.m.


Canadian Art‘s Summer 2017 cover artist, Dayna Danger, opens a solo exhibition at Latitude 53 on June 9 from 7 p.m. to 10 p.m. A panel with Charis Auger, Dr. Kim TallBear, Dayna Danger and members of the Ociciwan Contemporary Art Collective will start the event.

Montreal and Area

Canada’s largest street art festival, Mural, starts June 8 across various Montreal venues. Galleries in the Belgo building stay open late on June 8 until 10 p.m., including Galerie B312, Galerie Hugues Charbonneau and Arprim, among others.

“The Domain Beyond the Territory” promises to bring together evocative artworks and imagery by Shary Boyle, Shuvinai Ashoona, Maskull Lasserre, Kent Monkman and several other artists. See it at the opening event June 10 from 2:30 to 5:30 p.m. at Pierre-François Ouellette art contemporain. Late, revered photo artist Lynne Cohen is honoured with an exhibition of her archival work from 1970 to 1980, opening June 10 at 2:30 p.m. at Art45.

In conjunction with the major exhibition “Ed Atkins: Modern Piano Music” at DHC/ART, artist Jenny Lin has designed a workshop taking place June 10 from 1 to 5 p.m. Gabrielle Lajoie-Bergeron’s exhibition “Paroles de cow-boy Girls – Pow ! Pow !” opens June 10 at 3 p.m. at Plein Sud. Guillaume La Brie’s urban interventions are celebrated with a vernissage at Dare-Dare on June 10 from 2 to 5 p.m.

Christian Messier’s vivid, somewhat macabre paintings were censored in a showing earlier this year at Montreal’s Salle André-Mathieu, generating media debate. This week, they go on view again at Galerie Laroche/Joncas; the opening is June 10 at 3 p.m., with a roundtable discussion to take place next week, June 17, about the censorship issue.

Z Art Space and Galerie Thomas Henry Ross present Felicity Tayler’s collage works on the formation of national identity in Canada and Quebec in the solo exhibition, “Rewriting”; the show opens June 14 from 5 to 8 p.m. at Z. In closings, Guillaume Adjutor Provost’s memorial exhibition for Montreal nightclub Nuit Magique wraps up June 10 at Diagonale.

Vancouver and Area

Artist Stephanie Comilang opens a new exhibition, “Yesterday, In The Years 1886 and 2017,” on June 9 at 8 p.m. at Artspeak. Also watch for a screening and artist talk on June 10 at 2 p.m. Comilang’s two-channel video installation follows two protagonists whose histories interlace with Filipino nationalism and Spanish colonial rule.

Innovative and in-demand Vancouver artist Carmen Papalia joins Michelle Tung for a conversation on accessibility on June 13 from 7 to 9 p.m. at the Foreshore.

On June 9, 10 and 11, Western Front will welcome New York-based writers and editors Leo Goldsmith and Rachael Rakes for a weekend-long viewing of Peter Watkins‘s The Journey. This 1987 film charts the geopolitical landscape of the nuclear arms race, and the film runs some 15 hours in total. The June 9 screening commences at 7 p.m., while the ones on the 10th and 11th are at 1 p.m.

Tara Nicholson’s large-scale photography documents, questions and visualizes the reality and processes surrounding scientific work currently taking place in the Arctic. See the work in person at a new Burnaby Art Gallery exhibition that has an opening reception June 8 at 7 p.m.

“A Cool Breeze: LA and Vancouver Art from the 1960s and beyond,” opening June 8 from 7 to 9 p.m. at Griffin Art Projects in North Vancouver, is curated by Seattle’s Melissa E. Feldman and brings works by Judith Balzer, Michael Morris and Gordon Smith into conversation with ones by American artists. Otto Rogers shows new paintings at Gallery Jones starting this week; reception is June 10 from 2 to 4 p.m.


Award-winning novelist Joan Barfoot reads from her latest novel Exit Lines at Museum London on June 8 from 2 p.m. to 3:30 p.m. The next day, enjoy a family-friendly tour of the exhibition “Sparrow Night” along with related activities suitable for children from 12 p.m. to 4 p.m.

Artist Kim Neudorf will give a talk about her recent body of work roll and rot on June 10 at 2 p.m. at DNA. Earlier that day, at 12:30 p.m. at Forest City Gallery, enjoy an artist talk by Jason Deary and Claire Scherzinger about their exhibition “the tree grows its crown in the image of the root.”


The Khyber re-opens its member shop and opens its new window gallery, By the Sea, on June 10 from 6 to 9 p.m. The first show in the window-space is papier maché sculpture by Gillian Maradyn-Jowsey.

Later in the week, join artist sophia bartholomew June 13 at 6 p.m. at the Khyber for a talk and screening reflecting on the project Companions to the Body.


Julien Boily’s exhibition “Paradigme objet” opens on June 8 at 5 p.m. at Espace Séquence. Also at the opening: a performance by Yolanda Duarte.


Robin Dupont gives an artist talk on June 9 from 4 to 6 p.m. at Willock & Sax.


Victoria’s first artist in residence, Luke Ramsey, launches “Out in It,” an exhibition at Madrona Gallery, on June 8 from 7 to 9 p.m. “Picturing the Giants: The Changing Landscapes of Emily Carr” offers a grouping of works by the iconic BC artist that exalts the majesty of trees—it opens June 10 from 2 to 4 p.m. at the Art Gallery of Greater Victoria.


Throughout the 1930s and 1940s, Josh Silburt published over a thousand political and sports cartoons in major newspapers across Canada. Silburt was also the editorial cartoonist at the Sydney Post Record (now the Cape Breton Post) in the mid-1940s. An exhibition on his work, opening June 9 at the Cape Breton University Art Gallery, will highlight some of the issues that continue to shape Cape Breton culture. The project also features a talk with the artist’s son Allan Silburt on June 9 at 12 p.m.


Artist Armand Vaillancourt will be on hand for the launch of his work Rencontre en balcon. Entre ciel et terre at the Musée d’art de Joliette on June 8 at 5 p.m.


Enjoy a free exhibition tour at the Southern Alberta Art Gallery during its Thursday evening hours June 10 at 6 p.m. Among the shows on view are “Art’s Alive and Well in the Schools,” “IIhtaomoipiyotsiyo’pi,” and “Meet Me In The Middle.” The film Maudie is also screening later in the evening.


Chicago-based artist Hiba Ali, as part of a project on digital mapping and the politics of place, conducts a walking tour with Stéfy McKnight on June 11; meet at 2 p.m. at Modern Fuel. And on June 13, Ali leads an Animaps Tutorial on contextualizing Kingston 7 to 9:30 p.m., also at Modern Fuel.


The Kamloops Art Gallery offers an “art history happy hour” on June 8 from 5 to 6 p.m. focusing on Bengali folk art forms. That’s followed by the latest instalment of the gallery’s DIY Thursdays, where attendees can learn new skills from local artists, and materials are provided. Drop by from 6 to 9 p.m. to partake.


The Nanaimo Art Gallery offers a drum circle workshop with Patrick Aleck on June 14 at 7:30 p.m. Note space is limited; call the gallery to register. The evening also includes a tour of the “Awi’nagwiskasu: Real Land” exhibition.


Throughout this spring, Sylvia Grace Borda has been artist-in-residence at the Oxygen Art Centre developing her Kissing Project. See the results at a related exhibition opening June 8 from 7 to 9 p.m.


Brendan Lee Satish Tang gives a talk as part of his CARFAC mentor-in-residence role at AKA/Paved Arts on June 8 at 7 p.m.

Our weekly must-sees, published each Thursday, are chosen from opening and event announcements sent to at least two days prior to publication. For listings of art openings, exhibitions and events, visit

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