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Must-Sees This Week: November 16 to 22, 2017

New sculptures by Shary Boyle, going on view in Quebec City, lead our weekly roundup of top openings and art events

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 more listings of worthwhile shows that are already open.


The new solo exhibition by Shary Boyle, “The Smile at the Bottom of the Ladder (Le sourire au bas de l’échelle),” opens on November 17 at 5:30 p.m. at Galerie 3, running until December 17. Known for having represented Canada at the 2013 Venice Biennale, Boyle has spent two years on this exhibition; it will showcase Boyle’s reflections on what it means to lead a life creating art. Boyle’s inspiration for her latest work came from literature and film, notably from Marcel Carné’s Children of Paradise and Charlie Chaplin’s films, and the show is titled after Henry Miller’s 1959 novella The Smile at the Foot of the Ladder. Looking at themes of clowning and performativity, Boyle’s new multidisciplinary works apply these themes as a fable for art and art-making.


Two events are happening on November 16 at Onsite Gallery. From noon to 4 p.m., the first Inuit Artist Database Edit-a-Thon of the Inuit Art Foundation’s database, which features both historical and contemporary artists from Inuit Nunangat and southern Canada, will take place. Afterwards, Onsite partners with Native Women in the Arts to present Ka’nikonhrí:yo Gatherings: Indigenous Tattoo Resurgence panel at 6 p.m. The panel will feature Holly Nordlum, Maya Jacobsen and Jay Soule, moderated by Aylan Couchie, and it will address topics such as revitalization, ancient traditions, design, technique and preservation in relation to tattooing.

Angell Gallery presents “Bound in Shallows,” a new series of paintings by Steve Driscoll. The exhibition opens on November 17 with a reception from 7 to 9 p.m., and will run until December 21. Later, on November 18, Haley Uyeda’s “Wading Through” opens at Zalucky Contemporary. The exhibition features new paintings by Uyeda, taking its starting point from water and its aesthetic representations. Elsewhere, at Olga Korper Gallery, John Brown’s new series of paintings debut on November 18, where the artist plays with layering to reveal abstracted figurations addressing contemporary anxieties. Over at Feheley Fine Arts, the exhibition “Kinngait Memories” also opens on November 18, centred around John Hartman’s experiences in Cape Dorset in 1989, the year he was a visiting artist at the Kinngait Studios. Alongside his works, drawings by artists present during Hartman’s visit are also featured, including ones by Kenojuak Ashevak, Pudlo Pudlat, Napachie Pootoogook, Qavavau Manumie, Osoochiak Pudlat, Tikitu Qinnuayuak and Simeonie Quppapik.

The Aga Khan Museum presents the lecture “Creative Algorithms: From Islamic Art to Digital Media” by Laura U. Marks on November 19 from 2 to 4 p.m.

Over at Blackwood Gallery at the University of Toronto Mississauga, the third circuit of the project “Take Care,” entitled “Infrastructures and Aesthetics of Mutual Aid,” opens on November 20. This third instalment is composed of the group exhibition “The Sustenance Rite,” curated by Lauren Fournier, the project MKV: Credit River Immersion by Radiodress and the performance Turbulence (a dance about the economy) by Circo Zero. Further west, Oakville Galleries is offering free exhibition tours on November 18: A guided tour of Tamara Henderson’s “Seasons End: Out of Body” will take place at 2 p.m., followed by a tour of FASTWÜRMS’ “#Q33R_WTCH_P155” at 3 p.m.

In closings, the exhibition “An unassailable and monumental dignity” at CONTACT Gallery, featuring works by Alexandra Bell, Mohamed Bourouissa, Leslie Hewitt, Aaron Jones and Keisha Scarville, closes on November 18.


Projet Pangée presents the exhibition “Reverie” on November 16, featuring works by Michelle Bui, Laura Findlay and Xan Shian. An opening reception will be held from 5:30 to 8:30 p.m.

Also on November 16, Montréal, arts interculturels (MAI) hosts a panel discussion on cultural appropriation and systemic racism from 6:30 to 9 p.m in both French and English. Organized in association with the Centre for Community Organizations, the panel will address recent events within the city’s arts community, and the recent passing of Bill 62 in Quebec. Panelists include Philip Howard, Guy Sioui Durand, Marilou Craft, Kama La Mackerel and Angie Cheng, and will be moderated by Rhodnie Désir.

On November 18, “Threads of Self” by Meryl McMaster opens at Pierre-François Ouellette art contemporain with a reception from 3 to 6 p.m. The photographic works presented in this exhibition stem from three series by McMaster: In-Between Worlds (2010-15), Wanderings (2015) and Bring me to this place (2017). The exhibition will run until December 23.

Elsewhere, Sara Angelucci’s solo exhibition “Arboretum” debuts at Patrick Mikhail Gallery on November 18 with a reception from 2 to 5 p.m. In these new works, Angelucci looks at 19th-century landscape painting and its portrayals of nature.

In closing, Erin Shirreff’s “Concrete Buildings” at the Darling Foundry, curated by Ami Barak, ends on November 19.


An official presentation of Kent Monkman’s work Nativity Scene at Museum London will take place on November 16 from 2 to 3:30 p.m. The work was purchased for the museum’s permanent collection. Later that day, an artist talk and Q&A with Robert Fones is scheduled for 7:30 p.m., as part of the programming for his current exhibition “Signs │Forms │Narratives.”


The Galerie d’art Louise-et-Reuben-Cohen presents the exhibition “Territoire (Land)” as part of the International Francophone Film Festival in Acadie 2017. An opening reception will be held on November 17 from 4 to 6 p.m. to coincide with the festival, and the exhibition will run until December 17. Featuring works by artists Antoine Amnotte-Dupuis, Hannah Claus and Mariana Lafrance, the exhibition assesses questions of land and sovereignty within Canada’s colonial context.


Wil Aballe Art Projects presents “Dirty Clouds” by Marina Roy, opening on November 16 with a reception from 6 to 8 p.m. Running until December 16, the exhibition explores Roy’s cosmic musings. Over at Catriona Jeffries, Elizabeth McIntosh’s exhibition “ISLANDS” also opens on November 16. McIntosh’s latest series of paintings were produced during her summer residency at Fogo Island Arts in Newfoundland, and will be on display until December 22.

Elsewhere, at VIVO Media Arts Centre, the exhibition “Before and After the Sixth Radar Conference” opens on November 16 featuring work by Byron Peters. The exhibition is constituted of two works by Peters, namely the sound installation and film score Added Value and the film Anti-Racist Mathematics and Other Stories: Pure Difference, the first episode in a series of educational films.

At Simon Fraser University’s Audain Gallery, a tour of Walid Raad‘s exhibition “Sweet Talk: Commissions (Beirut 1994)” with curator Melanie O’Brian and art historian Jeff O’Brien will take place on November 18 at 2 p.m. Later that day, Contemporary Art Gallery’s executive director Nigel Prince will lead a curatorial tour of Andrew Dadson’s “Site For Still Life” at 3 p.m., as part of the downtown galleries tour in conjunction with the Audain Gallery.

UNIT/PITT Projects presents “Papa was a Garbage Man” by Matthew Shields, running from November 18 to January 13. In this installation, Shields transforms trash into an imposing throne, turning garbage into a sculptural work. Meanwhile, both the exhibitions “Unapologetic – Romantic Notions of a Modern Woman” by Sara Robichaud and “Here be Dragons” by Clint Neufeld at Gallery Jones wrap on November 18.


Two exhibitions open at the Herringer Kiss Gallery on November 16. Marked by an opening reception from 5 to 8 p.m, Joe Fleming’s “Signs of the Time” and Jason Frizzell’s “Worn Out Shoes and Back Page News” will both debut. Over at VivianeArt Gallery, Scott Everingham’s latest paintings will be shown in “Post-Forest,” using forests as a metaphor for loss and regeneration. The exhibition opens on November 17.

EMMEDIA Gallery & Production Society presents “Infiltrating and Dismantling Dominant Narratives: The Manifestation of Intersectionality in Modern Feminist Shorts,” an evening of screenings and a panel as part of the Femme Wave Feminist Music and Arts Festival’s Femme Film series. Curated by Amanda Foote and Ami Kenzo, the event will take place on November 17 with a panel from 6:15 to 7 p.m.—moderated by Geneviève Dale featuring panelists Vicki Van Chau, Anna Cooley, Cheryl Foggo, Suza Singh and Amber Twoyoungmen—followed by looped screenings from 7 to 9 p.m. The panel and films will together examine the feminist landscape in Calgary and the art of activist storytelling.

Over at Truck Contemporary Art, “Behind Our Eyelids” by Ruby Smith-Diaz and  Isha Adams, along with Susan Clarahan, will be housed in the centre’s U-HALL from November 17 to December 9, also as part of the Femme Wave Festival.

At Jarvis Hall Gallery, an artist talk with Calgary artist Bill Rodgers will take place from 1 to 2 p.m. on November 18. Rodgers will discuss his recent series “Further Studies in Citizenship, Fiction” and the origins of this work.


A retrospective of abstract painter Michèle Drouin’s work from 1977 to 2007, entitled “Gardens Ablaze/ Jardins de lumière,” opens at Bugera Matheson Gallery on November 17. An opening reception will be held from 6 to 9 p.m.

Over at Peter Robertson Gallery, Greg Hardy’s “Of Sky and Water” debuts on November 16, showcasing his continued painted examination of Saskatchewan’s skies. A reception will be held on November 18 from 2 to 4 p.m. followed by an artist talk at 4 p.m.


As part of the programming for the exhibition “Entering the Landscape,” Plug In Institute of Contemporary Art presents an artist talk by Lori Blondeau on November 16 at 7 p.m.

The second instalment of “Isolated landscapes: Video by Prairie Women (1984–2009)” opens on November 19 at Platform Centre for Photographic + Digital Arts, showcasing videos made from 2000 to 2009. A weekend gathering of performances, discussions and panels programmed alongside the exhibition will ensue from November 17 to 19 at both Video Pool Media Arts Centre and Mentoring Artists for Women’s Art. Performances are scheduled by Ming Hon; the Ephemerals (Jaimie Isaac, Niki Little and Jenny Western); Shawna Dempsey and Lorri Millan; and Freya Björg Olafson.

These must-sees are selected from submissions and press releases sent to at least two days prior to publication. Listings can be found at

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