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Must-Sees This Week: August 4 to 10, 2016

Lots of great art exhibitions and events are taking place across the country this week. Here are our recommendations for debuting shows and events, and a few reminders about shows that are closing. (And remember to visit our Exhibition Finder, or download the Canadian Art Finder in the App Store or Google Play for even more worthwhile shows that are already open.)


Ryan Quast’s “Everyday Living” opens on August 9 at 7 p.m. at Wil Aballe Art Projects; reminiscent of Liz Magor, Quast’s paintings “look like sculptures,” and concern themselves with the issue of representation and facsimiles. On August 4 at 7 p.m., Access Gallery sets exhibiting artist Ed Spence in conversation with Ian Wallace and curator Helga Pakasaar to consider the ways in which Vancouver’s photo-conceptual avant-garde photographers have become subject to the creative branding and historical narrative of the city. Instagram photos work best when there’s no crowds—Elena Soboleva told us so—luckily, the Vancouver Art Gallery is hosting a #EmptyVanArtGallery for all of your social-media needs, beginning August 5 at 8:30 a.m. and running until 10 a.m.


Visual Arts Nova Scotia’s 2015–16 Mentorship Program Exhibition at the Craig Gallery, “How We Are Talking,” closes on August 7. Just prior to closing, participating artists Claudia Legg and Alice MacLean share their experiences in the program in an artist talk on August 6 at 1 p.m. at the Craig Gallery. NSCAD’s Anna Leonowens Gallery opens “Ritual/Virtual” on August 8 at 5:30 p.m. Curated by Lucy Pauker and Camila Salcedo, “Ritual/Virtual” will feature multimedia works by Maya Ben David, Kyle Alden Martens, Annie Onyi Cheung and other recent NSCAD alumni.


Artspace reveals the second mural for the Hunter Street Bridge, by artist Jill Stanton, who works with comics and graphic novels to examine themes of dreams, nature, technology and the future, in a public media launch at Flavour on August 6 at 11 a.m.


Plug In ICA and the Wood Land School will be hosting open studios at 12 p.m. and a wrap party at 4 p.m. on August 5 to conclude three weeks of critical investigation by 12 artists facilitated by Jaimie Isaac and Duane Linklater, with the imagery of Daphne Odjig’s “Thunderbird Woman” as a symbolic starting point. “I saw you as a soft touch” by Cameron Cummings and Shaylyn Plett opens at La Maison des artistes visuels francophones on August 5 at 7 p.m. The collaborative show explores the ideas and processes of the translation of moment and feeling through painting, sculpture and text.

Quebec City

There’s lots to see at the newly opened addition of the Musée national des beaux-arts du Québec. And there’s also an artist talk there by Dgino Cantin on August 7 at 11 a.m. Part of the “Humanorium” project currently at the museum, Cantin will talk about his sculptural practice.


Emily Lendl’s “Unhinged” opens at Untitled Art Society on August 8, with a later reception on September 15. Her assemblages of found objects work within the tradition of figurative sculpture and surrealism to challenge traditional notions of sexuality, gender roles and body image. On August 6, the Esker Foundation leads a day trip to the Banff Centre, where participants will tour artist studios, see a cyanotype demonstration, and tour the Walter Phillips Gallery’s current exhibition, “On Cohabitation,” by Israeli filmmaker Yael Bartana (make sure to register if you want to participate). The Glenbow Museum’s monthly free Thursday night lands on August 4, beginning at 5 p.m.; use the chance to take in the current exhibitions including “First Person: Contemporary Indigenous Portraiture,” a selection of work by Edward Curtis and a show about graphic novels.


The Ottawa Art Gallery hosts an evening inspired by their current show “Jerry Grey on the Grid: 1968–1978” on August 9 beginning at 6 p.m.; the evening includes grid-based board games hosted by local game collector Robert Parungao and music by DJ Hobo.


Summerworks brings live art to various spaces starting on August 4 and continuing through to August 14. Watch for participatory movement exercises led by collective vjk at Craft Ontario on August 7; Duets for Beginners by Clayton Lee at Factory Theatre on various dates; and Ellen Furey‘s Performing Performance at the Theatre Centre on August 5 at 10:30 p.m. On the gallery scene, Toronto-based painter Michael Badour’s first solo exhibition “Repeaters” opens at Roberta Pelan on August 6 at 6 p.m. Cooper Cole opens two solo exhibitions on August 4 at 6 p.m.: Jenine Marsh’s “The Extrovert” and Mark DeLong’s “Seven Shades of Sugar.”

Buddies in Bad Times Theatre will host “Rise Up! Solidarity with BLMTO,” a night of spoken word and poetry by Toronto’s Black and Indigenous artists, on August 7 at 8 p.m. Red Head Gallery opens Cate McGuire’s “Lost Time” on August 6 at 1 p.m. Chen Minghui and Zou Qionghui’s “Swamps & Cicadas: Records and Metaphors” opens at Gallery 50 on August 4 at 5 p.m. This instalment of the Power Plant’s Sunday Scene tour series features Maryse Larivière discussing Ulla von Brandenburg’s exhibition “It Has a Golden Red Sun and an Elderly Green Moon” on August 7 at 2 p.m. And in “Holding Up Front,” Shannon Garden-Smith works with the “materiality of artifice” with “sculptures that act like pictures.” The show opens at Y+ Contemporary on August 6 at 7 p.m.

Our weekly must-sees, published each Thursday, are chosen from opening and event announcements sent to at least two days prior to publication. For listings of art openings, exhibitions and events, visit

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