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Must-Sees This Week: February 23 to March 1, 2017

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. Visit our Exhibition Finder for even more worthwhile shows that are already open.


On February 23 from 7 to 9 p.m., the Robert McLaughlin Gallery in partnership with the Durham Black Educators’ Network presents “The Art of Black Lives Matter,” a discussion surrounding the role of art in social justice and activist work. The event will include a pop-up exhibition of works used in demonstrations, as well as student performances.


In dialogue with exhibitions at the Ryerson Image Centre and Gladstone Hotel, Black Artists’ Networks Dialogue – BAND presents “Protest in Print,” a series of protest-inspired works by Andre Alexander, opening February 23 from 6 to 8 p.m. at 19 Brock Avenue. Also on February 23, beginning at 6 p.m., Toronto For Everyone launches “An Honest Ed’s Farewell” with the opening reception “Ed Lives!” featuring live sign painting by Douglas Kerr—the artist behind Ed’s infamous signs. The event runs until February 26 featuring a variety of programs, performances and installations by Kaeja d’Dance, Dreamwalker Dance Company and the Soft City, to name a few.

“FEMINISTRY IS HERE,” an exhibition and event series presented by Mercer Union, featuring Buzz, Jazmine V.K. Carr, Victoria Cheong, Marcelline Mandeng, Lido Pimienta and Zoe Solomon in collaboration with Cameron Lee, opens on February 23 with a reception and performance by Marcelline at 7 p.m. On February 24 from 10 p.m. onward, the Round will host the offsite event “FEMINISTRY” that coincides with the exhibition.

On February 23 and 24 at 7 p.m., the Art Gallery of Ontario will screen Where Is Rocky II?, a film by Pierre Bismuth on artist Ed Ruscha. The AGO will also screen director James Crump’s Troublemakers: A Story of Land Art on February 25 at 2 p.m. followed by the 1970 Spiral Jetty film directed by Robert Smithson. This week sees the Artist Project celebrate its 10th year with a reception on February 23 from 7 to 10 p.m. The fair remains open daily until February 26. As part of “как всегда / As Always,” Felix Kalmenson will give a artist talk and tour on February 24 from 7 to 7:45 p.m. at Pari Nadimi Gallery.

Zalucky Contemporary hosts the opening reception for Lili Huston-Herterich’s “We of the Middling Sort” on February 25 from 4 to 6 p.m. Loop Gallery opens two exhibitions on February 25—Kim Stanford’s “You knocked my teeth out” and Yael Brotman’s “Time. Story. Tree.” At 7:30 p.m. on February 26, Gendai Gallery presents the launch of Mitchell Akiyama’s Elements of Exchange, a series of three salt vessels, with “Salt of the Body,” a culinary workshop with Stuart Sakai.

An artist and audience conversation will be held on March 1 from 4 to 5 p.m. at Open Studio Gallery with Sirkku Ketola discussing her current exhibition “A Body Called Paula.” The Red Head Gallery opens “Hypnagogic City,” an exhibition of work by Matthew Borrett that presents fictional visions of the city of Toronto, on March 1. The Gladstone Hotel and Workman Arts present “Being Seen,” the 16th annual juried art exhibition, opening March 1.

As part of its ongoing group exhibition “Blood Ties,” Xpace Cultural Centre, in partnership with the Pendulum Project, hosts “Uprooted,” a presentation and artist talk with Liz Ikiriko, Zinnia Naqvi, and Diana Yoo on March 1 from 6:30 to 9:30 p.m. at 223A Augusta Avenue. Also accompanying the show is a game session, facilitated by Golboo Amani, on February 28 from 6 to 9 p.m.  On March 1 at 7 p.m., OCAD University and the AGO host “Losing Site: Public Art Forum,” the first of two sessions discussing the impact of Toronto’s development on public art. Panellists include Rebecca Carbin, Aisha Sasha John, Kari Cwynar and Catherine Dean.

Vancouver & Area

Access Gallery hosts “A Night of Readings on the Dark” on February 23 beginning at 7 p.m. The event coincides with the ongoing exhibition “A Terrible Signal” and will feature participating artists Megan Hepburn, Daniel Phillips, M.E. Sparks, Carolyn Stockbridge, and Joseph Strohan reading from selected poetry, fiction, and even children’s literature dealing with the theme of darkness.

At 4:30 p.m. on February 23, Emily Carr University hosts a talk by REDCAT associate curator Sohrab Mohebbi as part of the Vancouver Art Gallery’s ongoing programming alongside its triennial. Later that evening, ECUAD also presents a talk by Heather Igloliorte titled “Rewriting Inuit Art History – Towards an Inclusive Futurefrom 7 to 9 p.m.

Unit 17 presents a solo exhibition by past RBC Canadian Painting Competition finalist Jessica Bell with an opening reception on February 24 from 6 to 8 p.m. Djavad Mowafaghian World Art Centre and the SFU Galleries host the book launch for Jaleh Mansoor’s Marshall Plan Modernism: Italian Post War Abstraction and the beginnings of Autonomia, focusing on the works of Italian artists Lucio Fontana, Alberto Burri and Piero Manzoni, on February 24 at 7 p.m. Macaulay & Co. Fine Art will present the opening reception for Walter Scott’s “A Small Metal Crow with Wings on the Way” on February 24 from 7 to 9 p.m. 221A will also host a book launch and reading for Walter Scott’s second graphic novel Wendy’s Revenge on February 25 at 7 p.m.

New Media Gallery in New Westminster opens the group show “Brink,” with a reception beginning at 7 p.m. and a talk by participating artist Stefan Tiefengraber from 7 to 7:30 p.m on February 24. The show will feature seven robotic and electronic media works by Stefan Tiefengraber, Miguel Angel Rios, Nelmarie du Pereez/Gui, David Bowen, and Jacob Tonski.

On February 25, from 1 to 5 p.m., the “Vancouver Special Forum” will feature talks by artists and writers including Raymond Boisjoly, Gareth James, Matt Browning and Krista Belle Stewart, among others. The forum will be presented in collaboration between 221A and the Vancouver Art Gallery in Theatre C300 at UBC Robson Square.

On February 28, the Charles H. Scott Gallery presents the opening reception for “Goodbye Charles, ” featuring works by Ron Tran and Cullinan Richards alongside works from archives and collections celebrating artist Charles Hepburn Scott, beginning at 7:30 p.m. The show serves in part as a farewell to the gallery space before ECUAD moves over to Great Northern Way.

Plaza Projects in Richmond hosts the opening reception for “What you looking at?!,” featuring works by numerous Guangzhou-based artists alongside local artists Woojae Kim, Amy Thompson, Wei Cheng, Charlotte Yao and Marina Roy, on February 25 from 6 to 9 p.m.


On February 27 from 5 to 7:30 p.m., the Carleton University Art Gallery hosts the opening party for its winter exhibitions. These shows include “Outside These Walls: Photographs by Yannick Anton and David Ofori Zapparoli,” “The Other NFB: The National Film Board of Canada’s Still Photography Division, 1941-1971” and “Making Radio Space in 1930s Canada.” In conjunction with the exhibition “Outside These Walls,” photographers Yannick Anton and David Ofori Zapparoli will participate in a conversation on documenting urban space on February 28 from 7 to 8:30 p.m.

Studio Sixty Six hosts the opening reception for “Time / Frame,” featuring works by Sharon Katz and Veronique Sunatori, on February 23 from 6 to 9 p.m. “Face Time,” featuring works by Katherine McNenly, Kim Cristopher, Ken Ryan, Kristy Gordon and Tony Clark, opens on February 28 at Cube Gallery.


Galerie de l’UQAM opens a series of solo and group exhibitions this week addressing the context of Black History Month. “The Slave’s Lament,” the first Canadian solo exhibition by Scottish artist Graham Fagen, opens with a reception on February 23 at 5:30. On February 24 at 5:30 p.m., the film Silent by Pauline Boudry and Renate Lorenz opens, while “AfroScots,” a series of film, video and sound works by Rayanne Bushell, Irineu Destourelles, Kapwani Kiwanga, Tako Taal and Alberta Whittle, begins on February 25 at 1 p.m.

On February 23, Atelier Circulaire Gallery presents the opening reception for “100 Faces and Friends,” an exhibition by Tomiyuki Sakuta featuring a series of 100 small-format drawings. Parisian Laundry presents the opening receptions for two exhibitions on February 23 from 6 to 9 p.m. Dean Baldwin’s “Fiasco” draws on the artist’s time spent in Rome, while Michelle Furlong’s “Collision 13: Divining Inflexions” looks at the concept of chance through symbols appropriated from games.

As part of DARE-DARE’s ongoing project “The Sanctimonious Sect of Nothing is Sacred,” Victoria Stanton will lead a walking tour on February 24 at 3 p.m. entitled “Watching the Montreal Skyline Disappear.”

On February 25 at 3 p.m., Galerie Nicolas Robert presents the opening reception for “In Dusk’s Dust: To Become Day,” an exhibition featuring new work by Andréanne Godin. ELLEPHANT will also host the opening reception for Jean-Pierre Gauthier’s “Uncertainty Markers” on February 25 from 12 to 6 p.m. On February 25 at 5:30 p.m., Galerie Leonard and Bina Ellen presents a concert by the Indigenous women’s drum group Odaya in response to the current exhibition “Sovereign Acts II.”

Projet Pangée will host the opening reception for “Shapeshifter,” a solo exhibition featuring the work of RBC Painting Competition finalist geetha thurairajah on February 25 from 3 to 6 p.m. Pierrer Dussault’s solo exhibition opens at L’espace contemporain on February 26 with a reception from 2 to 4 p.m.


Centre [3] for Print and Media Arts opens “All That is Left Unsaid / at the very point where words fail us” on February 24. The exhibition features works by Michèle Pearson Clarke and Erika DeFreitas that share in their exploration of mourning and loss.


The Art Gallery of Greater Victoria presents “Moving Forward by Looking Back — The First 30 Years of Collecting Art at the AGGV” with an all-day open reception on February 25. The exhibition includes numerous works by national and international heavyweights such as Emily Carr, A.Y. JacksonJohnny InukpukKatsushika Hokusai and Rembrandt Van Rijn, to name a few.


VU Photo and the Musée d’art contemporain de Baie-Saint-Paul present the opening reception for the group exhibition “Extending the practice of ideas” on February 25 at 2 p.m. with a roundtable discussion at 3 p.m. The exhibition features a selection of works Karole Biron, Martin Boisseau, Eveline Boulva, François Mathieu, Ariane Plante, Reno Salvail, François Simard, among others, as part of Manif d’art.


The Gallery/art placement inc. presents the opening reception for “Prairie Abstraction, Modern and Contemporary,” featuring new work by Douglas Bentham, Robert Christie, Jordan Danchilla, Lorenzo Dupuis, Jonathan Forrest, Steph Krawchuk, Allysha Larsen, Melvyn Malkin, Leslie Potter, Tamara Rusnak and Jon Vaughn with select works by William Perehudoff and Alicia Popoff, on February 25 beginning at 2 p.m.


This week sees the Dunlop Art Gallery opening two solo exhibitions. An artist talk and reception will be held on February 24 at 6 p.m. for “Booklover,” a show featuring a collection of book works by Derek Sullivan. At the Central Mediatheque, Krista Belle Stewart’s Her Story, a silent film borrowing material from the CBC’s documentary of her mother, begins its run on February 23.


At 7 p.m. on February 23, Urban Shaman presents “The Embargo Collective II,” a series of films by Caroline Monnet, Zoe Leigh Hopkins, Elle-Máijá Tailfeathers, Lisa Jackson and Alethea Arnaquq-Baril. Ace Art Inc. opens “Station” on February 24 with an artist talk and launch at 7 p.m. The exhibition features works by Michael McCormack that draw on sounds and structures to explore our role as both information archivists and communicators.


On February 24 from 7 to 9 p.m., Alberta Printmakers presents the exhibition opening and artist talk for Marek Pośpiech’s “The Dormant Consciousness / Sleeping Awareness of a Human Within Urban Space.” Presented in collaboration with d.talks and the Esker Foundation, “Placeholder,” a discussion in response to the ongoing exhibition “Earthlings,” begins at 6:30 p.m. on February 24.


Tove Storch’s “Sculpture” opens on February 25 at the MSVU Art Gallery after a three-week long residency by the artist that involved engaging the gallery’s structure. Storch will also present an illustrated talk on the project alongside the opening at 2 p.m.


Gallery 78 opens two exhibitions beginning February 24. Guy Vézina’s “Signals” concerns our changing relationships and interactions with the environment while “Painting in Barcelona” features works by Danielle Hogan that draw on her past residency there.

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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