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Must-Sees This Week: November 20 to 26, 2014

There are a lot of great art exhibitions opening this week, and interesting art events happening too. Here are our best bets.


Stronger than Stone: (Re)Inventing the Indigenous Monument is an ambitious four-day, two-city, nationally livestreamed symposium considering ideas of the monument through an Indigenous lens. It kicks off November 20 at 5 p.m. at the Alberta College of Art and Design with an exhibition opening and a lecture by Candice Hopkins, followed by panels on November 21 and 22 with Jimmie Durham, Paul Chaat Smith, Jeff Thomas, Ashok Mathur and others before heading to Saskatoon on the afternoon of the 22nd. Elsewhere in Calgary, the Glenbow’s Blackfoot educator, a residential school survivor, provides a tour of “Where Are the Children? Healing the Legacy of Residential Schools” at 12 p.m. on November 20 at the Glenbow Museum, while Herringer Kiss Gallery opens “Chord / Time,” an exhibition that marks a return to etching for influential local artist Bill Laing, on November 22 from 2 to 5 p.m.


Stronger than Stone: (Re)Inventing the Indigenous Monument continues in Saskatoon November 22 to 24 after departing Calgary (see above for Alberta details). Among the highlights are four exhibitions at AKA and Paved Arts that get a symposium-related reception on November 22 at 8 p.m.; drop by to check out work by Mary Longman, Joi T. Arcand, Shelley Niro, K.C. Adams and Terrance Houle. Also on tap are talks with Rebecca Belmore, Ruth Cuthand, Adrian Stimson and Steve Loft, among others, on November 23 and 24 at Wanuskewin Heritage Park. Not to be missed; follow the livestream here.


The marvellous and the mundane meet in the art of Japan’s Shimabuku. Now, Canadians can experience it themselves in “When Sky was Sea,” the first large-scale exhibition of his work opening November 20 from 7 to 10 p.m. at the Contemporary Art Gallery. (There’s also a related artist talk November 21 at 6:30 p.m.) Well before the advent of Tumblr, artists turned to magazines to distribute their work and to dialogue across distances; one of the most influential was Aspen, which ran from 1965 to 1971 and included contributions by David Hockney, Yoko Ono, Jasper Johns and others. This week, all issues the magazine go on view in an exhibition at the Charles H. Scott Gallery starting November 25 at 7:30 p.m. Elsewhere around town, Garry Neill Kennedy (no stranger to art multiples himself) speaks at the Apartment on November 20 at 7 p.m.


Canada Post may be facing a crisis in the age of email, but some artists are doing their best to keep the institution alive. Evidence is on view in “Carte Blanche,” a collaborative mail art project that opens November 21 from 7 to 10 p.m. at DNA Artspace. For it, 70 artists were sent a postcard, an envelope and two stamps, and were asked to create a work with the postcard to collaborate with a fellow artist of their choice. Cards on view include collaborations by Chris Cran and John Will, Jason McLean and Etienne Zack, and Hyang Cho and Shane Krepakevich. Over at Western is Yes/No, a conference investigating current debates on the confluence between sound and image in the context of contemporary practices, which takes place November 21 from 9:30 a.m. to 6:30 p.m. at the John Labatt Visual Arts Centre. Speakers include Annie Macdonell, Rehab Nazzal and Olivia Boudreau, among others.

Thunder Bay

The Wawasayg Film Festival on November 20 is an evening of performance and screenings presented by the White Water Gallery to accompany the Northern Images Festival. Wawasayg (which means Northern Lights in Ojibwe) kicks off at 7 p.m. with Tanya Lukin Linklater‘s performance piece the the.


Art Metropole celebrates 40 years of art-multiple love on the evening of November 20 with Show & Tell & Sell & 40 at Union Station’s Great Hall. Rescue-cat adoption becomes art action in Melanie Lowe’s “They Choose You,” an “art mixer for adoptable cats and people” at Artscape Youngplace that begins November 22 from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. The messy gets organized in Liss Platt’s look at junk drawers opening November 22 from 2 to 5 p.m. at MKG127; also debuting at the gallery is an exploration of weather by Tegan Moore. Multiple versions of the self are investigated in “Hanging Out in Deephaven,” a program of shorts opening at Vtape on November 22 from 2 to 5 p.m. featuring work by Ann Hirsch and Alison KobayashiRita Leistner’s “Looking for Marshall McLuhan in Afghanistan”—a show that combines photojournalism with theoretical inquiry—opens at the Alliance Française on November 26 at 6:30 p.m. Robert Houle speaks about his current intervention into the Art Gallery of Ontario’s Walker Court on November 22, and a related performance there also takes place on the same day.


The Biennale de Montréal’s Future Summit kicks off November 21 at 7 p.m. at UQAM with a lecture by Swiss artist Thomas Hirschhorn (co-presented by the Canadian Art Foundation), continues November 22 and 23 at the Canadian Centre for Architecture with Krzysztof Wodizcko, Fixing the Future and others, and wraps up November 24 at Concordia University with a lecture by Italian theorist Franco “Bifo” Berardi. Also on tap biennale-wise is Mexican artist Pablo Sigg’s film I, Of Whom I Know Nothing, which will be screened on November 22 at 5 p.m. at the Cinémathèque québécoise, as well as at SBC Gallery from November 25 to 29. Paintings, sculptures and works on paper by Luc Paradis make up “Simultaneous Displays,” which begins November 20 at Parisian Laundry. Renowned American photographer Ralph Gibson gets his first solo show in Montreal starting November 20 at 5 p.m. at Galerie Samuel Lallouz. And Luke Painter opens a show of eye-popping drawings at Galerie Trois Points on November 22.


Eli Bornowsky has become known for his abstract painting—and ideas about it—during the past decade or so in Vancouver. “All is Unmentionable, Up in the Air” brings together a number of large canvas “doubles” which mirror each other with their almost-but-not-quite identical forms. Find out more at the opening November 20 from 7 to 9 p.m. at the Burnaby Art Gallery.


The investigating-art-as-therapy-in-art-as-exhibition trend continues in Victoria artist Brian MacDonald’s Video Art Therapy #2: Videopyschotherapy, an interactive media installation that splices together his interest in psychology and technology. The project guides participants through three stages of psychological tests, followed by diagnosis. Drop into Open Space November 21 at 7 p.m. for the opening reception and artist talk.


Stark yet mystical sculptures by Lauren Nurse make up an exhibition at Cambridge Galleries Queen’s Square titled “Cold Comfort.” Check them out at an opening reception November 21 at 7 p.m.

Our weekly must-sees, published each Thursday, are selected from openings and exhibitions information sent to at least two days prior to publication. For listings of exhibitions, openings and other events, visit

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Troy Mamer says:

Just a clarification on live streaming:

The Calgary sessions, November 21 & 22 are being live streamed at this link:

the Saskatoon sessions, November 23 & 24 are being live streamed from this link:

Leah Sandals says:

Thanks Troy! We were working with some incomplete information there. Much appreciated.

Terry Graff says:

Just a reminder that there are also several “must-see” exhibitions happening in Atlantic Canada, such as “Modern in Nature: Bruno Bobak’s Vancouver Years (1947-1960)”, and the nationally touring exhibition “Ron Thom and the Allied Arts” at the Beaverbrook Art Gallery, which opened Nov 20, and also Janice Wright Cheney’s “Cellar” at the Art Gallery of Nova Scotia. Canada also includes the Atlantic region.

Terry Graff says:

Also, in the Atlantic region, “Modern in Nature: Bruno Bobak’s Vancouver Years (1947-1960)”, and the nationally touring exhibition “Ron Thom and the Allied Arts” opened on Nov. 20 at the Beaverbrook Art Gallery.

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