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Must-Sees This Week: March 16 to 22, 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 even more worthwhile shows that are already open.


Through the use of copper and stone, Michael Belmore’s new exhibition “mskwi•blood•sang” brings together a series of sculptural works that speak about the environment, about land, about water and about what it is to be Anishinaabe. Find out more at the vernissage March 16 from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. at the Karsh-Masson Gallery.

Montreal and Laval

Skawennati’s “Tomorrow People”—a selection of recent works by the Kanien’kehá:ka artist that investigate notions of time and of self—closes at Oboro this week with a special artist walk-through on March 18 at 3 p.m. Elsewhere, Anthea Black and Thea Yabut open a show at La Centrale Galerie Powerhouse on March 17 from 6 p.m. to 9 p.m.

L’Atelier Circulaire offers a chance to meet the artist Julien Castanié, who was in residence at the gallery, and see his work, on March 17 from 11:30 a.m. Verticale hosts a publication launch on March 20 beginning at 5:30 p.m. for Simon Brown and Maude Pilon’s “Sphinx mon contour.” At the Darling Foundry, artist Iosu Aramburu will discuss the research he completed during his residency at the institution on March 16 at 6 p.m.

Galerie Graff opens “User Agreement,” an exhibition of recent paintings by Véronique Savard, beginning March 16 at 5 p.m. Arprim hosts an opening for Sophie Jodoin’s “il faut qu’elle sache,” which builds from a educational booklet that has been deconstructed, on March 17 at 5:30 p.m. Last but not least, as part of Wood Land School’s project with SBC, Napachie Pootoogook‘s Drawing of My Tent will be introduced to its exhibition on March 18.


Illingworth Kerr Gallery launches “Experiments in Public Art,” a group exhibition presenting socially engaged ideas for public art developed by artists Dick Averns, Alana Bartol, Kevin Jesuino, Taryn Kneteman and anne drew potter on March 22 at 5 p.m.

Contemporary Calgary debuts “Utopia Factory”—a sesquicentennial exhibition in three parts, each exploring architectural monuments and the urban fabric in the formation of national and civic identity—on March 16 with an opening reception for the first two shows in the series. “When Form Becomes Attitude,” guest curated by Noa Bronstein, features art by Maria Flawia Litwin, Bear Witness, Kotama Bouabane, Morehshin Allahyari, Christian Jankowski, Isabelle Hayeur, Shelagh Keeley and Babak Golkar, while Mark Clintberg and Nils Norman develop projects for “Research Station” in a preview of their plans for the Centennial Planetarium renovation.

Untitled Art Society, Stride Gallery, Truck and the New Gallery host a closing reception for “A Few Similar Things”—a show that looks at visual connections between works of contemporary art by different artists, on view in the vitrine spaces throughout the Arts Commons +15 pedway—on March 16. Cathy Daley’s ethereal drawings on vellum go on view at Newzones on March 18, with a reception from 2 p.m.


Platform hosts a closing reception for their current member show, “Anything Whatever 2,” on March 17, when the gallery has extended hours—5 to 9 p.m. Urban Shaman hosts a community conversation to introduce an upcoming project, “A Place Between: A 60’s Scoop Arts Project,” at the University of Winnipeg (downstairs at 519 Selkirk Avenue), beginning March 16 at 12 p.m.

At the Plug In Institute of Contemporary Art on March 16 at 7 p.m., New York–based artist, writer and curator Howie Chen will talk about “managerial technologies in Western democratic societies as they have been shaped by increased demand for autonomy and a creative life.” Plug In also hosts a screening of Krista Belle Stewart’s moving Seraphine, Seraphine, which brings together archival footage and a docu-drama to tell Stewart’s mother’s story, on March 18 at 3 p.m., followed by a discussion.


Prolific art writer Lucy Lippard will give a talk with Gerald McMaster as part of the Prefix ICA’s Urban Field Speaker Series on March 16 at 6:30 p.m. at the Evergreen Brickworks BMO Atrium. Work by Winnipeg artist Michael Dumontier goes on view in “It’s still life” at MKG127 beginning March 18 at 2 p.m.

Cooper Cole opens “This road leads home,” the first solo exhibition of Elias Hansen in Canada, on March 17 at 6 p.m., along with a solo show by Sandy Plotnikoff. Trinity Square Video hosts a screening of a selection of works by local artists, this year looking at identity and technology, beginning March 18 at 6 p.m. And Sirkku Ketola’s printmaking performance and installation project at Open Studio wraps up March 18 with a final performance and conversation from 2 to 4 p.m.

Saint John

Suzanne Hill, one of New Brunswick’s most acclaimed artists, and the 2016 recipient of the New Brunswick Lieutenant-Governor’s Award for High Achievement in Visual Art, has an exhibition, “Singular,” on right now at the New Brunswick Museum. Join her for an artist talk there on March 19 at 2 p.m.


The Grimsby Public Art Gallery continues its 2017 Art House Café Lecture Series with an installment by Paul Chartrand, who will give a talk titled “Communication Breakdown: The Problematic Ethics of Early Land and Earth Art” on March 17 at 7 p.m.

Quebec City

It’s the last chance to take in Sarah Anne Johnson’s photographic series Field Trip, which documents festival culture and its attendant aesthetics, at VU Photo, as the show closes March 19. Also catch Kelly Richardson’s Orion Tide, a dreamy, sublime video installation, which closes at VU Photo the same day.


Elizabeth Price, recipient of the Audain Distinguished Artist-in-Residence Program for Spring/Summer 2017, will give a talk in the Emily Carr University Theatre, beginning on March 16 at 7:30 p.m., followed by a reception at Charles H. Scott Gallery. Julie Chapple will give a durational performance, part of a series of events organized by artist-in-residence Guadalupe Martinez, at the Foreshore on March 16 at 7 p.m.

Maria Hupfield’s new show opening at Western Front on March 16 at 7 p.m. (with a performance at 7:30 p.m.) takes its source material from “two projects about First Nations artists in Canada using sound recordings and 35mm slides” made by the artist’s father, John Hupfield.

The Morris and Helen Belkin Art Gallery hosts a Wikipedia Edit-a-thon, which attempts to increase quality scholarship on women artists on the user-generated platform, on March 18 from 12 to 5 p.m. Relatedly, catch a panel discussion on feminism and the archive on March 22 at 7 p.m. in the Western Front Grand Luxe Hall. Artist Marianne Nicolson will also give a talk at the Belkin about her work and its relationship to Indigenous histories and politics on March 25 at 1 p.m.


The Art Gallery of Southwestern Manitoba hosts a new collaborative performance on March 16 at 7 p.m. featuring members of the Longing Ensemble, which consists of Parmela Attariwala, Barbara Blind, Albyn Carias, Mariana Carvajal Castro, Shannon Guimond, Debbie Huntinghawk, Peter Morin, Luis Ramirez, Aaron Wilson and the New Music Ensemble.


The Nanaimo Art Gallery hosts a launch for its publication Black Diamond Dust, featuring readings by local historian Lynne Bowen, gallery curator Jesse Birch and artist and writer Elisa Ferrari, beginning March 16 at 7 p.m. Also be sure to partake in Ferrari’s sound walks, which will look at the “unique acoustic ecologies of the Nanaimo Harbour and shipping wharf,” on March 17 and March 18 at 2 p.m.


SNAP Gallery opens two shows on March 16 at 7 p.m.: “The Formalists Library” by Jason Urban, and “Great White North” by Jordan Blackburn.


Be sure to visit the Comox Valley Art Gallery to see the site-responsive work by Montreal artists Vida Simon and Jack Stanley, who have been in residence in the gallery for most of March. The work, which combines installation and endurance performance, is titled Carried Away, and it will be on view until April 13.


The Khyber Centre for the Arts hosts a screenwriting workshop on March 18 beginning at 10 a.m. related to filmmaker Joële Walinga’s recent work Cave Small Cave Big; in the workshop, children aged five to seven are invited to brainstorm the kinds of movies they would like to see made, and Walinga will then adapt the scripts into functioning screenplays, and apply for funding to turn them into professional live-action films.

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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