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News in Brief: Annie Pootoogook Honoured With Donation, 401 Richmond Under Threat, Art Gallery of Alberta Gets Funding Boost

Our editors’ weekly roundup of Canadian art news.

The Donald R. Sobey Family Foundation will be donating $100,000 towards the Kenojuak Cultural Centre and Print Shop in honour of the late Sobey Art Award–winning artist Annie Pootoogook. Construction recently began on the Cape Dorset centre, which will offer 10,440 square feet for community events and facilities for lithography, etching, stone cutting and drawing. The fundraising campaign for the building aimed to raise $8 million from public sources and $3 million from the private sector. So far, $7.8 million in public funds have been committed and $2.6 million have been secured. The building is slated for completion in spring 2018.

Arts organizations housed within the 401 Richmond building are facing a large tax increase that could threaten the long-standing Toronto arts hub. The property tax, which is paid to the city, will be increased by some 85 per cent, according to a report in the Toronto Star. The increases over the next few years will be daunting: “Trinity Square pays about $4,000 per month in rent for a 1,700-square-foot space. In 2016, the annual tax bill was $3,566. In 2017, it jumps to $6,808, and by 2020, it will be $11,900.”

The Art Gallery of Alberta has received an increase in funding from the Edmonton City Council. The funding boost will be implemented in 2017 and 2018, and will help the AGA fulfill its 2016–20 strategic plan. Councillors voted in favour of a $250,000 commitment that will go towards the gallery’s plan for free access. The funds will also help with a range of programming, including free refugee programs. The increase comes after erroneous reports in the CBC last year suggested that the AGA had been denied a request for emergency funding at the municipal level.

Line Guillemette has been appointed the director of the Fondation du Musee d’art de Joliette. Her first task will be organizing an inaugural gala for the museum, in addition to their annual fundraising campaign. Guillemette has worked for more than years in the philanthropic sector, organizing events, handling public relations and managing business development. Recently, she worked with the Fondation du Centre jeunesse de Montréal and the Fondation des petits trésors on a number of fundraising campaigns.

Adrienne Fast has been appointed the interim curator of the Kamloops Art Gallery, effective immediately. Fast will be taking over for KAG curator Charo Neville, who is on parental leave. Fast recently completed a PhD in art history and theory from the University of British Columbia, and has worked as an adjunct professor at the University of Western Washington and a teaching assistant at UBC. She comes to the position from the Vancouver Art Gallery, where she worked as an assistant curator.

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