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Must-Sees This Week: August 15 to 21, 2013

There are lots of great shows opening across Canada this week, and notable art events happening too. Here are our best bets.

Comprised of work produced over nearly a decade, the new Dunlop Art Gallery exhibition “Through That Which is Scene” brings together selected projects by Saskatchewan Cree/Métis artist Joi T. Arcand. Arcand’s work has ranged widely, but it often involves manipulation of photographs; her current work combines cutout figures from childhood family photos with miniatures, toys and other ephemera to address identity and memory. Find out more at the opening reception and artist talk on August 17 at 1 p.m.

The big news in Hogtown this week is the opening day of “Ai Weiwei: According to What?” at the Art Gallery of Ontario on August 17. It’s the international touring survey’s only Canadian stop. Elsewhere in the city, emerging Halifax artist Carly Butler opens a show of work at p|m Gallery on August 15 from 6 to 9 p.m., and Ottawa curator Ming Tiampo—who co-curated the Guggenheim’s recent Gutai survey—lectures about Japanese artists at the Venice Biennale on August 16 at 6:30 p.m. at the Japan Foundation.

Eastern Edge’s annual Art Marathon always offers a variety of creative pursuits, and this year is no different. Running August 15 to 18, the festival promises art at various city sites created by Toronto’s Sean Martindale, French street artist Nelio, St. John’s local Philippa Jones and many others. There will also be a screening at a makeshift drive-in theatre on August 16 from 8 to 11 p.m. featuring films by Miranda JulyLisa Lipton and Michael Flaherty, studio visits with Will Gill (who participated in the collateral events of the Venice Biennale this year), community barbeques, a clay firing on Middle Cove Beach, and much more.

The Burnaby Art Gallery’s summer art project Kiosk has already brought two art projects to a public square outside Bob Prittie Library. Starting August 15, artist Vanessa Kwan plans to turn the site into a small, personal sign shop. Over the course of two weeks, signs will accumulate on the outer spaces of the structure, adding an emotional inflection to a civic site. In other activities, Broken City Lab co-founder Justin A. Langlois gives a talk about the organization’s work in creative practice and social change August 17 at 4 p.m. at the Field House Studio at Burrard Marina, while Roselina Hung launches an edition of a work influenced by time in Banff on August 17 from 2 to 4 p.m. at Wil Aballe Art Projects.

It’s rare to see a public invitation distributed from an individual artist’s studio, but printmaking/installation duo Séripop is laying out the welcome mat on August 15 from 5 to 8 p.m. The draw is a chance to see Yannick Desranleau and Chloe Lum’s latest work in progress, Looming, which will be displayed at Toronto’s YYZ Artists’ Outlet this fall. Fans of printmaking may also want to check out Todd Stewart’s exhibition at Wilder & Davis Gallery opening August 16 at 7 p.m. Trained as a landscape architect and urban planner, Stewart has ventured into illustration and paper-based arts in recent years; the body of work on view is based on a group expedition into the wilderness.

This week, two events postponed by the Alberta floods are on tap. In the first, Lethbridge artist David Hoffos addresses the fact that he gave up his studio practice for a few years right in the midst of a high-profile national exhibition tour due to a studio fire and other factors. He also discusses how he returned to creation in a “post-studio practice” mode at the Esker Foundation on August 16 from 6:30 to 7:30 p.m. Also happening in Calgary this week is the opening of “White Heat,” a group exhibition originally slated to take place as part of the Sled Island Music Festival at Avalanche Institute of Contemporary Art. Now situated in a new, drier space, Avalanche is opening the show August 16 at 8 p.m.

If you want to see a wide cross-section of contemporary Canadian art, MSVU Art Gallery will be the venue to check out starting August 17, when the show “The Art Bank in the 21st Century” begins. Consisting of works by Sonny Assu, Kent Monkman, Brendan Tang and Spring Hurlbut, among others collected by the Canada Council Art Bank since 2001, it promises to present a variety of perspectives. A number of Halifax artists and musicians will also be found 90 minutes’ drive away in Upper Economy for the White Rabbit Celebration, a quirky residency/festival taking place August 17 and 18.

These picks are chosen from press material submitted to at least two weeks in advance of publication. Listings of exhibitions, openings and events can be found at

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