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The Canadian Art Foundation celebrates another year of stellar visual arts programming!

Here are some highlights from our 2011 activities:

February
As a part of TALK: Canadian Art Foundation International Speaker Series, we were pleased to present the writer, historian and biographer Annie Cohen-Solal at the Art Gallery of Ontario. Cohen-Solal spoke about her bestselling biography on legendary art dealer Leo Castelli. Listen to audio of Annie Cohen-Solal’s talk here.

The eighth annual Reel Artists Film Festival in Toronto was held at the beautiful new TIFF Bell Lightbox, with unprecedented audience-attendance records set during the weekend screenings. The opening night featured the world premiere of KOOP, director Katherine Knight’s highly anticipated film on acclaimed Canadian painter Wanda Koop. We were pleased to offer free screenings to more than 500 secondary and post-secondary school students and educators. Watch our RAFF highlights video and the insightful festival exchange between Knight, Koop and critic Jane Perdue for more details, or check out our Flickr page.

March
For the third year in a row, we presented the Reel Artists Film Festival in Calgary in collaboration with the Illingworth Kerr Gallery at the Alberta College of Art and Design. Fourteen films were screened free of charge for students, faculty and the community at large. Check out our flickr page for more photos from RAFF Calgary.

April
As a part of TALK: Canadian Art Foundation International Speaker Series, the American curator and writer Dan Cameron discussed ideas behind Prospect.1 New Orleans at the Musée d’art contemporain de Montréal. Watch Dan Cameron’s talk on our Vimeo site. The Images Festival was once again a partner for our annual School Hop in Toronto. Now in its ninth year, the School Hop enables secondary school students to engage with contemporary art and artists through free gallery tours and artist talks.

Gallery Hop Vancouver, presented in partnership with the Contemporary Art Society of Vancouver featured free talks and tours at Vancouver galleries all afternoon, preceded by an engaging conversation between artist Myfanwy MacLeod and Presentation House Gallery director/curator Reid Shier. Listen in as MacLeod and Shier discuss The Birds to the beyond in our special audio feature. The day wrapped up with a screening of Ai Weiwei: Sunflower Seeds and China, the Empire of Art?, two films that examine the state of art in contemporary China.

June
The summer edition of Canadian Art magazine was launched in Venice, featuring a profile by critic Sarah Milroy on Vancouver artist Steven Shearer, who represented Canada at the Venice Biennale. Find out who was on the scene this year with our Venice slideshow. Editorial Resident Tess Emondson was welcomed to our offices through MENTORS: Canadian Art Foundation Editorial Residency program, which provides a paid opportunity for an art or art history student to spend a summer honing writing and editorial skills while being mentored by our staff.

September
The 16th annual Gallery Hop Toronto took place with a day of free talks and tours at galleries across the city. The day began with a panel on the theme of Location3 featuring artists An Te Liu, Sarah Anne Johnson and Jed Lind. The annual Gallery Hop Gala Dinner and Auction at the Carlu showcased Toronto artist Jon Sasaki’s specially commissioned art environment based on iconic national treasures like the northern lights. Fifty artworks were generously donated for auction by established and emerging Canadian artists, and Student Art Ambassadors engaged guests in conversations about the auction items on view. Now, the art and ideas of this year’s Hop are available online. Both the video and photos are available in our Gallery Hop roundup, and are also accessible through our Vimeo and Flickr pages.

October
Montreal writer and curator Véronique Leblanc was awarded the third annual WORD: Canadian Art Foundation Writing Prize, an award created to encourage new contemporary-art writers. As the winner of this nationwide competition, Leblanc received a monetary prize and will write a feature story for an upcoming issue of Canadian Art magazine. On October 14, the poet, art historian, art critic and literary critic Michael Fried spoke at the Art Gallery of Alberta in conjunction with TALK: Canadian Art Foundation International Speaker Series. The author of the well-known essay “Art and Objecthood” focused on the subject of photography and its importance in contemporary art.

For the third year in a row, Canadian Art Weekly, our free email edition, was a finalist in the Canadian Online Publishing Awards’ Best E-Newsletter category. Other COPA nominations included a canadianartschool.ca photography video in the Best Video/Multimedia Feature category, John Bentley Mays’ article “Letter From Venice” in the Best Online-Only Article or Series category, and a commissioned series of articles by Nancy Tousley in the Best Online-Only Article or Series category. Read more about our these nominations in our COPA report.

November
Canadian Art Magazine won Silver at the Advertising and Design Club of Canada Awards in the Editorial Design division’s Best Portrait Photography category. It was for Donald Weber’s photo project “Interrogations,” which appeared in the Fall 2010 issue: see this award-winning photo essay on canadianart.ca. In collaboration with the art-excursion group Variant Path, our Turin and Venice Art Tour, involved museum visits, private tours of foundations, and excursions to both the Artissima International Fair of Contemporary Art in Turin and the Venice Biennale. All patrons who donate $500 or more receive priority registration for these tours. For more information, visit our donations page.

Visit canadianart.ca/programs anytime to find out more about our year-round educational initiatives, and view canadianart.ca/support to find out how you can help promote the visual art across the country. Donation information can also be accessed by phone at (416) 368-8854 ext 110.