The Canada Council for the Arts announced the introduction of a pilot program that aims to connect Syrian refugees with the Canadian art scene on Wednesday. Called Welcome to the Arts, the program will provide refugees with free admission to eligible performances, exhibitions and art events. To fund the program, the Canada Council has committed $150,000, and Sun Life Financial will also contribute $50,000. Participating organizations include the Art Gallery of Alberta, Art Gallery of Greater Victoria, Art Gallery of Peterborough and Museum London.
The Toronto International Film Festival released their 2016 Wavelengths programming on Tuesday. This year, the program will include 51 films videos and installation works, including an exhibition of work by Cuban-born artist Ana Mendieta, which will include restored film and related photographs. Other highlights include Scottish artist Douglas Gordon’s film I Had Nowhere to Go, the latest work by Albert Serra, shown alongside his five-screen installation Singularity. TIFF runs from September 8 to 18, 2016.
The Toronto Arts Council released their new nine-year strategic plan on Wednesday. The plan, Arts-Making 2025, includes a goal of doubling grant funding during the next nine years. Also in the plans: achieving $40 million annual municipal investment in the arts, formalizing the TAC’s equity policy, increase grants that recognize diversity and partner with other funding bodies and institutions including ArtReach and the Toronto District School Board for a wider reach.
Racist graffiti was sprayed on a piece of art at the Cambridge International Street Art Festival this week. Although the festival organizers initially urged the artist, Evond Blake, to paint over the graffiti, Blake decided to leave the piece unfinished with the vandalism visible. “It’s a bitter reality that people don’t want to deal with and I think their suggesting that I paint over it would be to sort of hide it and get rid of it so the public don’t have to be confronted or hit by what was written or what was done,” he told CBC.