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Must-Sees This Week: March 10 to 16, 2016

Lots of great art exhibitions open across the country this week. Here are our recommendations for upcoming shows, 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.)


Massimo Guerrera, known for his intertwining of art and life, debuts a new show “Un moment donné” at Galerie Joyce Yahouda on March 12 from 4 to 6 p.m. (During the show, he also invites the public to make appointments for encounters in his studio/home, or behind the scenes at the gallery.) Familiar objects rendered unusable—in a spin on the model-home ideal—are presented by Tim Messeiller in “Contextual Furnishings,” opening March 10 at 6 p.m. at Diagonale. Anxiety and urban spaces form the focus for Nelly-Ève Rajotte’s project at CIRCA opening March 12 at 3 p.m. And Peter Harris presents realist paintings on sombre urban settings beginning on March 10 at Galerie d’Este.


Wood Land School: Critical Anthology, a symposium on directions in Indigenous contemporary art, takes place at Or Gallery from March 11 to 13. The focus of this particular manifestation of the ever-shifting Wood Land School platform focuses on the lack of critical writing on the work of contemporary Indigenous artists. Speakers include Duane Linklater, Raymond Boisjoly, David Garneau, Candice Hopkins, Amy Kazymerchyk, Tanya Lukin Linklater, Liz Park, Postcommodity, Walter Scott and cheyanne turions, with the presentations due to cohere into an anthology published at the end of the year.


Canada’s newest art museum—the Audain Art Museum—officially opens to the public on March 12 with the chance to check out not only the new building but also the exhibition “Mexican Modernists: Orozco, Rivera, Siqueiros and Tamayo.” For more information on how this museum came to be (and thoughts on how it may reflect founder Michael Audain’s passion for his adopted BC home following a nomadic childhood) read Robin Laurence’s in-depth feature “Whistler Wonders.”


Vancouver-based artist Ron Tran is known for works that are by turns wry and poignant. In January, he moved to Nanaimo to connect with this community, and to develop an exhibition for the Nanaimo Art Gallery. The results debut March 10 at 7 p.m., with an artist tour March 12 at 2 p.m. It’s a mini-retrospective of projects previously created in different international locations, and reimagined for Nanaimo, with many works produced by or in collaboration with local artists, local businesses and members of the community.


Michel Gignac has some tales to tell. In October 2014, a broken-ribbed and barely breathing Gignac came out of the Yukon’s remote Peel River Watershed after his second and last season guiding trophy hunters. Since then, in his art practice, he has attempted (in part) to shed light on the dark side of Canada’s wilderness tourism industry. Find out more at AKA Artist-Run at the opening of “Bells & Airplanes” March 11 at 8 p.m. The idea of a “dark side” gets a different spin at AKA the evening prior, March 10 at 7 p.m., as the gallery hosts an informal exchange of ideas with new Nuit Blanche Saskatoon guest curator Wayne Baerwaldt. Also featured is a surprise performance by Calgary’s Emily Promise Allison.


Internationally renowned Canadian filmmaker Guy Maddin gives a public lecture at Ryerson University on March 16 at 7 p.m. Artist duo Blue Republic kicks off a new collaborative project titled Mademoiselle Kobro this weekend, with the first project—co-curated with philosopher Mark Kingwell—opening at Katzman Contemporary on March 12 at 2 p.m. Painter Scott Everingham premieres new work in “Mires,” opening at General Hardware on March 10 from 6 to 9 p.m. Ceramics are used as a sculptural medium in Lisa Creskey’s “When Horses Walked On Water,” a series of works drawing on Victorian-era Toronto, opening March 10 from 6 to 9 p.m. at Craft Ontario. “NSFW” screens videos reflecting the diverse experience of those involved in sexual commerce starting March 11 from 6 to 8 p.m. at Vtape. Josh Thorpe and Emily Smit-Dicks debut a new “flash fiction, poetry, and picture book” at G Gallery March 10 from 7 to 9 p.m. Up and coming performance artists take the stage at Xpace March 10 from 6 to 8 p.m. for “Intra-Action.” Photographer Chris Manson highlights the plight of diabetics living in remote Moose Factory in an exhibition whose first full day is at the Ryerson Image Centre on March 10. Last but not least, British artist and critic Victor Burgin chats at Prefix ICA on March 10 at 7:30 p.m.


Shaun Morin‘s first solo exhibition with Lisa Kehler Art and Projects, titled “The Quiet Crescendo,” opens March 12 from 2 to 5 p.m. Combining this iconography with his constant and varied culling of source imagery, Morin’s paintings provide the viewer with endless, scattered narratives. Elsewhere, at Plug In ICA, Aston Coles and Irene Bindi project the documentary Kestrel’s Eye (a film about kestrels living on a 13th century chapel) into the night sky. The gesture unfolds March 10 from 7 to 9 p.m.


The Art + Feminism Wikipedia Edit-A-Thon continues its cross-Canada activity at Catharine Parr Traill College from 3 to 7 p.m. on March 10. Tutorials for the beginner Wikipedian, reference materials and refreshments will be provided. Bring your laptop, power cord and ideas for entries to be updated or created.


Franco-Ontarian artist Geneviève Thauvette takes on the narcissism of our age in La Fugue, a mirrored tunnel filled with flashing lights and special effects. The soundtrack for the installation? A piece that Mozart reputedly composed for his own funeral. Thauvette’s meditation on excess opens March 11, at the Galerie du Nouvel-Ontario, from 5 p.m. to 7 p.m.


The Dalhousie Art Gallery continues its explorations into Halifax’s artist-run-culture scene with “Why are we saving All these artist publications + Other Galleries stuffs?” Titled for a note found in the Eyelevel archives, the show opens March 10 at 7 p.m. Also on view at the gallery is Centre for Art Tapes’ “Archives of the Future,” a look at how the cultural workforce is in constant competition with itself by unwittingly contributing to the global power structures that underpay, overwork and exploit. And Halifax artist Becky Welter-Nolan asks whether the artist-run centre is evolving or revolving in an archive-based project of her own, presented by Eyelevel at Dal.


Works by Emily Carr, E.J. Hughes, David Milne, Maxwell Bates, David Blackwood, Joseph Plaskett, Allen Sapp, Gordon Smith, Takao Tanabe, Toni Onley, Don Jarvis and others are part of “Historic Canadian Works” opening at Madrona Gallery on March 12 from 1 to 4 p.m.


In addition to the monthly James Street North Art Crawl this Friday, March 11, it’s worth checking out one of the Art Gallery of Hamilton’s panels this week. “In Contemporary Terms: Responding to the Beaver Hall Group,” taking place March 10 at 7 p.m. at the gallery, features artists Andrea Kastner, Katherine MacDonald and Christina Sealey talking about the Beaver Hall Group and the way its history and legacy may reflect their own practices today.

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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