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Must-Sees This Week: March 23 to 29, 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.


“Everything I Say Is True” is a solo exhibition and performance by Southern California–based, Oglala Lakota artist Kite (aka Suzanne Kite) that opens at the Banff Centre’s Walter Phillips Gallery on March 29 at 4 p.m. (for the performance) and 7 to 9 p.m. (for the exhibition). In this newly commissioned body of work, Kite constructs a complex, non-linear narrative that draws on the history of Pine Ridge Reservation, South Dakota, where her grandparents were born, as well as on other aspects of her family’s history. Also worth checking out March 29 at the Banff Centre: open studios for artists in the Visual and Digital Arts independent residency from 4 to 7 p.m.


In a conversation titled Hold Everything Black and See on March 23 at 7 p.m. at Access Gallery, social scientist Elizabeth Lee addresses some historical and contemporary questions arising on the North American scene between blackness as a matter of sociopolitical concern and blackness as a matter of aesthetic concern. She considers the myriad uses of the colour black in art and activism in the late 20th and early 21st centuries—a theme of relevance to the gallery’s current exhibition “A Terrible Signal.” Kim Kennedy Austin’s “Fast Girls Get There First,” is an exhibition of new works inspired by back issues of the American teen magazine Seventeen; find out more at the opening reception at Wil Aballe Art Projects on March 23 from 7 to 9 p.m.

Artist Diane Borsato and members of the Ikebana (Japanese flower arranging) community in Vancouver will be hosting a collaborative workshop at the Contemporary Art Gallery on March 25 from 6 p.m.

On March 25 at 1 p.m. at the Belkin, Marianne Nicolson will discuss her artistic practice as it engages with Indigenous histories and politics, referencing her works currently on view at the Belkin’s exhibition “To refuse/To wait/To sleep.” The talk coincides with a catalogue launch for the exhibition, which follows at 2 p.m. Also at the Belkin, musicians from the UBC Contemporary Players play pieces inspired by Nicolson’s exhibition—and a range of affective expressions of late capitalism—on March 29 at 2 p.m. Western Front screens Luke Fowler’s Electro-pythagorus, which combines new and archival footage to create a study of Canadian computer-music creator and Western Front co-founder Martin Bartlett, on March 29 at 7 p.m. Also at Western Front: artist Raymond Boisjoly offers a reading of a Fugazi album on March 30 at 7 p.m.


This is the last week to catch “Landfall and Departure: Prologue,” featuring art by Stan Douglas, E.J. Hughes, Marina Roy, Tommy Ting and Hajra Waheed, among others, at the Nanaimo Art Gallery. A mix of contemporary art, archival work, and historical art—all responding to the notion of harbour as a place where goods, labour, and stories are exchanged—the show is appropriate to the gallery’s site one block away from the city’s harbour.


At Galerie D’este, two shows begin March 23 at 5 p.m.: the Society of Affective Archives, consisting of Fiona Annis and Véronique La Perrière M., present the results of a trip to Death Valley national park in “All the Wild Horses”; and a show of Annie Baillargeon’s garden-inspired work. A large panel discussion on a wide range of topics related to identity is held at MAI (Montreal, arts interculturels) on March 22 at 7 p.m. Darling Foundry hosts an evening of discussion and debate about art in public space, specifically in reference to the installation of art in the Place Publique, beginning 6 p.m. on March 24. Galerie René Blouin hosts an vernissage for new works by Numa Amun and Francine Savard on March 25 at 3 p.m.

In terms of last chances, Les Ramsay’s “You Go Disco & I’ll Go My Way” closes at Galerie Antoine Ertaskiran on March 25. All are welcome to join in a reading marathon (in French) of the Report of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Canada on March 25 from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. at the Leonard and Bina Ellen Gallery. Several recording stations amid the exhibition “Sovereign Acts II,” curated by Wanda Nanibush, will be available to readers.

Galerie Bernard opens a selection of bronze works and works on paper by Rusdi Genest on March 29 at 5 p.m. A screening of Shahrzad Arshadi’s Dancing for Change, a story about secular and socialist women of the Islamic world, takes place at Maison de la culture du Plateau-Mont-Royal on March 28 at 7:30 p.m.


Opening March 27 at 5:30pm, Centre for Art Tapes presents “Sound Etiquette,” an international exhibition of video-based works by Sonia Boyce MBE, Christine Sun Kim and Benny Nemerofsky Ramsay. The exhibition is on view at Khyber Centre for the Arts.

To celebrate their 40th anniversary, Visual Arts Nova Scotia (VANS) is presenting a free lecture by author and cultural critic Lewis Hyde titled “The Public Life of the Imagination” at the Halifax Central Library at 7 p.m. on March 28, preceded by a dessert reception at 6 p.m.


Gallery 17/18 launches “Microcosmos,” a show featuring work by Josef Duchan and Jesse Stewart, on March 28 at 6 p.m.


Maggie Groat: Suns Also Seasons” opens March 24 at 8 p.m. at the Kitchener-Waterloo Art Gallery. An artist talk precedes it at 7 p.m. to explore Groat’s practice in site-specific interventions and salvage. The exhibition’s title refers to celestial bodies and decolonized systems, and to seeing seasons and returns as a form of agency.


New contemporary art gallery Matter launches with a show of six international artists and collectives on March 23 at 6 p.m. Artists include Malehkeh Nayiny, Simon Back and Nest Collective. Birch Contemporary debuts new bodies of work by Jaan Poldaas and Ginette Legaré with a vernissage on March 23 from 6 to 8 p.m. On March 23 from 6:30 to 9 p.m., Xpace hosts Kitchen Table Conversations, a curatorial walk and potluck led by the curators of the current exhibition “Blood Ties,” Geneviève Wallen and Eve Tagny. Artists Omar Badrin and Fallon Simard will also be present for the potluck. The biennial exhibition “Craft Ontario ’17” opens March 23 from 6 to 9 p.m. at the Craft Ontario gallery.

“Crash Burn Heal,” featuring work by Anjuli Rahaman and Humboldt Magnussen, has an opening reception on March 24 from 7 to 10 p.m. at the Art Hut. The exhibition is “a visualization of self-care culture and the struggle to take care of oneself in a city that prioritizes productivity and output.” A contemporary spin on woodblock printing is offered by German artist Gabriela Jolowicz in her exhibition “Church Playground,” opening 6:30 p.m. on March 24 at Open Studio.

The book Here Is Information. Mobilise collects the published texts of artist and curator Ian White for the first time, and it is celebrated with a launch at Gallery TPW on March 25 from 6:30 to 8 p.m. The launch is preceded by a workshop with Emma Hedditch and Jacob Korczynski from 4 to 6 p.m. that will involve a collective reading of White’s text “Palace Calls Crisis Summit.”

An evening with award-winning Canadian poet, novelist, playwright, essayist and short-story writer as well as a Guggenheim and Rockefeller fellow M. NourbeSe Philip takes place March 28 from 6 to 8 p.m. at the Justina M. Barnicke Gallery. It will be hosted by Jessica Karuhanga. Tonia Di Risio’s exhibition “Spread,” featuring collage works drawn from the pages of food and design magazines, begins at Red Head Gallery on March 29.

In closings, the show “In the Shadow of Paradise,” which brings together work by three contemporary artists with roots in Scarborough—Annie Onyi Cheung, Anique J. Jordan and Deirdre Logue—wraps up at Y+ Contemporary on March 25.


Cosima von Bonin: Who’s Exploiting Who in the Deep Sea?” and “Sojourner Truth Parsons: Holding Your Dog At Night” are two notable exhibitions opening March 26 at Oakville Galleries. Originally curated for New York’s SculptureCenter and the Glasgow International, the Cosima von Bonin show offers more of the Cologne artist’s ongoing fascination with the ocean—including a performance with Toronto artist Oliver Husain and others. It opens from 3:30 to 5 p.m. at Oakville Galleries’ Gairloch Gardens location. Meanwhile, “Holding Your Dog At Night” brings together a series of canvases produced by Sojourner Truth Parsons since she relocated to Los Angeles in 2015. It will open from 2:30 pm to 3:30 p.m. at Oakville Galleries Centennial Square.


Quest Art Gallery brings together work by Kate Civiero, Becky Comber, Liz Eakins and Liz Menard to form “UN/Natural,” a show that focuses on the Anthropocene, “a geological era marked by the industrial inventions and waste of humankind.” It opens with a reception on March 24 at 7 p.m.


Art Placement hosts an exhibition of work by faculty members of the University of Saskatchewan on March 25 at 2 p.m. “Altered States,” featuring work by Troy Gronsdahl and Sarah Anne Johnson opens March 24 from 7 to 10 p.m. at 330g.


On March 25 from 2 to 5 p.m., Hamilton Artists Inc. launches its spring programming featuring a solo exhibition by Jennifer Willet entitled “Laboratory Ecologies” as well as the group exhibition “Guidance” featuring the work of Bogdan Luca, Nancy Anne McPhee and Trudy Perks.


A screening of Hieronymus Bosch: Touched by the Devil—a documentary covering a 2016 exhibition at the Noordbrabants Museum about the artist—looks at the secrets behind Bosch’s iconic work. View the film March 23 from 7 to 8:30 p.m. at the Esker Foundation.

Two sci-fi-related exhibitions open at Truck in Calgary on March 24 at 8 p.m.: Romeo Gongora’s The Future Behind Us is video installation featuring a science-fiction pilot about the story of Zai, a young girl who must save the world in the year 3010 with a product called Perinium. Skawennati’s TimeTraveller™ is a 75 minute, 9-part machinima that tells the story of Hunter, an angry young Mohawk man living in the 22nd century and Karahkwenhawi, a young Mohawk woman from our present, who must criss-cross time to discover the complexity of history, truth, and love. On March 25 at 2 p.m., Truck is also holding a workshop titled Creating Science Fiction Objects.


This is the last week to catch Richard Ibghy and Marilou Lemmens’ show “Putting Life to Work” at Galerie d’art Louise-et-Reuben-Cohen. The final day of the exhibition is March 26.


Lisa Kehler Art and Projects presents “This Must Be the Place (Home Pt.2),” a group exhibition featuring work by Peggy Kouroumalos, Claire Milbrath and Sherry Walchuk in which each artist offers different visions of what “home” looks like. The show opens on March 24. Also on March 24, Edward Vazquez delivers a talk titled Co-production and Coalescence in Fred Sandback’s Sculpture at Plug In ICA in conjunction with the gallery’s current Fred Sandback exhibition.

In conjunction with Gallery 1C03’s current exhibition, “Cafeteria II,” artist, curator, chef and musician Lisa Myers presents a talk on her ongoing project Shore Lunch on March 24 at 11:30 a.m. (Shore Lunch is a multi-site art venue that takes the form of a makeshift camp kitchen.)


The Judith and Norman Alix Art Gallery opens “York Wilson: The Story of Oil,” featuring a donation from the Imperial art collection, on March 23.


University of Lethbridge faculty members Don Gill and David Miller present a screening and discussion of Nancy Kates’s film Regarding Susan Sontag (2014) on March 23 at 7 p.m. at the Southern Alberta Art Gallery.


Arthur Shilling: The Final Works” opens at the Art Gallery of Peterborough on March 23 from 7 to 9 p.m., with a curatorial tour on March 24 at 12:15 p.m. The show features paintings and drawings produced between 1976 and 1986 that offer a combination of Western painting techniques with traditional Anishinaabe imagery.


Stephanie Cormier’s “Something from Nothing,” opening March 23 from 7 to 10 p.m. at DNA Artspace, features a collection of silkscreen prints and large-scale fused plastic works inspired by gestures from a mother to a daughter, as well as the linkage between consumerism and resourcefulness in times of displacement and socioeconomic hardship. Elsewhere, at the McIntosh Gallery, “In the Beginning, 1942” and “Behind the Lines: Canada’s Home Front During the First and Second World Wars” opens on March 23 at 7 p.m. Curated by Catherine Elliot Shaw, “In the Beginning, 1942” reunites works by A.Y. Jackson, Arthur Lismer, Frederick Varley and Maurice Galbraith Cullen that were featured at the gallery’s inaugural exhibition in that year. In closings, “Clark McDougall: Paintings 1944-1954” wraps up at Michael Gibson Gallery on March 25.


Lauren Marsden’s “Birds of Paradise” opens on March 24 at 7 p.m. at Deluge Contemporary Art with a “video installation that tells the story of a near-future, post-energy crisis world, one in which pole dancers become symbols of the human struggle for resources. Set amidst a series of energetic landscapes, dreamy narration and kinetic props, their performances point to a seductive yet frustrated vision of paradise.”

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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