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Must-Sees This Week: November 17 to 23, 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. Visit our Exhibition Finder for even more worthwhile shows that are already open.


Issues of class, gentrification, sexuality and ethnicity intersect in a discussion about the recently demolished Cecil Hotel taking place at the Central Calgary Public Library at 2 p.m. Included in the panel is Mark Clintberg, who recently presented an installation about the hotel at Truck, as well as Cynthia Bird, Thomas Jonsson, TracyRay Lewis and other speakers. Toronto art collective VSVSVS does a talk November 18 at 6 p.m. at the Alberta College of Art and Design. It’s in advance of the group’s Contemporary Calgary show, opening next week.

The group exhibition “This Is What Makes Our Guts So Vibrant,” including work by Cassandra Ellanor Avery Faire, Dainesha Nugent-Palache, Emily MacDonald, Laura Hudspith, Nine Kennedy, and Susan Clarahan, opens at Truck as part of Femme Wave on November 18 from 5 to 7 p.m. A Printed Matter Affair brings together makes of zines, prints and artists’ books on November 19 and 20 at Stride Gallery.

Jessie Short employs a self-reflexive and interdisciplinary practice to best explore constructs of Métis identity and contemporary visual culture in her current show at Untitled Art Society. Celebrate the show at a reception November 17 at 8 p.m. The closing reception for “Skins & Shirts” by Polina Teif and Shannon Garden-Smith happens November 17 at 6 p.m. at Arts Commons.

Montreal & Area

The new Michal and Renata Hornstein Pavilion for Peace opens to the public at the Musée des beaux-arts de Montréal on November 19, including major donations of Old Master paintings and a new atelier for education and art therapy. Sculptor Valérie Blass delivers an artist talk November 17 at 6 p.m. at 5480, rue Saint-Dominique as part of the Biennale de Montréal.

Visit multiple Montreal galleries under one roof during La Soirée Belgo on November 17 from 5 to 10 p.m. “Patrick Bernatchez: Les Glaciers” opens at Battat Contemporary on November 17. “legacy” by Winnipeg artist Ted Barker was created while living in the home of the artist’s deceased grandfather, with each image was made from sources found within the house. Meet Barker at a reception November 19 from 3 to 6 p.m. at Laroche/Joncas. The two-venue Gilbert Poissant show “L’objet et le territoire” is celebrated on November 19 with talks, receptions and a book launch at Plein sud at 1 p.m. and at Expression at 3 p.m.


Simon Starling: Collected Works” opens at the Rennie Collection on November 18, marking the first time this British Turner Prize recipient has held a solo exhibition in the West Coast since 2002. The Charles H. Scott Gallery presents the work of Irish artist Sean Lynch in his first solo exhibition in Canada, debuting with a reception November 22 at 7:30 p.m. at the gallery. Watch for a new video installation on technocracy and materials scavenged from around the Emily Carr University campus, as well as work Lynch presented at the 2015 Venice Biennale. Artist talk is November 23 at 4 p.m.

“This is it with it as it is,” a group exhibition examining relations between humans and nature, is curated by Wil Aballe and features artists Ruth Beer, Douglas Coupland, Beau Dick and Kika Thorne, among others. It opens at UBC’s AHVA Gallery on November 23 from 5 to 8 p.m.

On November 19, join a downtown galleries tour including a talk by Contemporary Art Gallery director Nigel Prince at 2 p.m. regarding Guillaume Leblon’s current exhibition there. That same day, American artist Martine Syms returns to Vancouver to co-lead a tour of her Audain Gallery exhibition “Borrowed Lady” at 3 p.m. and a screening of her films under the heading “The Unreliable Narrator” at 7 p.m. There will be a Q&A after the screening.

Gwenessa Lam: In Search of Fire” is a new body of work incorporating painting, drawing, and video, opening November 19 from 2 to 4 p.m. at Republic Gallery. Artists Marian Penner Bancroft and Michael Morris deliver talks November 18 at 7:30 p.m. at Griffin Art Projects. “The Renegade Library” is a mail art project and artist talk by Lois Klassen to be presented on November 19 from 2 to 5 p.m. at VIVO, with a related exhibition in the three days preceding. “Is Crimson the Colour Blue?” presents new paintings by Simone Jarvis starting on November 17 at 7 p.m. at Field Contemporary.


What if we existed in a culture that valued consent and embraced a spectrum of identities, where violence towards women and the LGBTQ community did not exist or get shrugged off as “boys will be boys”? This and other questions form a point of departure for “In the Thick of It,” an exhibition opening November 18 at 7 p.m. Idea Exchange Art + Design’s Preston Gallery. Featured in the show are the League of Lady Wrestlers, Andrea Manica, Victor Romão, and Anna van Milligen.


“Boarder X” at the Winnipeg Art Gallery features new work by Indigenous artists that use snowboarding, skateboarding, and surfing to demonstrate knowledge and relationships to the land. Artists include Jordan Bennett, Roger Crait, Steven Davies, Mark Igloliorte, Mason Mashon, Meghann O’Brien, and Les Ramsay. Also opening at the gallery on November 18 from 7 to 10 p.m.: “Vernon Ah Kee: cantchant.” Award-winning author Marina Nemat’s experiences of being a prisoner in Tehran in her teen years are dramatized in a dance performance on November 19 at 1:30 p.m. at the Canadian Museum for Human Rights.


The increasingly urgent issue of social inclusion is considered in the panel Yonder Perspectives: Inclusion Through Artistic Practices taking place November 20 at 2 p.m. at Artscape Youngplace. Join Sarindar Dhaliwal, Srimoyee Mitra, Alain Pescador, Mona Filip to discuss the topic in conjunction with the Koffler’s current exhibition “Yonder.” “Alan Belcher: Objects,” the artist’s first Toronto solo exhibition since 1999, opens at MKG127 on November 18 from 6 to 9 p.m. It’s a rare local opportunity to see the current practice of this Toronto-based artist, who co-founded Nature Morte in New York in the 1980s and has shown at the Whitney, Elizabeth Dee and other venues.

Jennifer Rose Sciarrino: Thrummer” opens November 17 from 6 to 8 p.m. at Daniel Faria GalleryElise Rasmussen’s “She Doesn’t Get the Rules” is a performance lecture that explores the role of the muse through channeling the surrealist technique of automatism as a way to examine the inability for the avant-garde to be radical under a patriarchal capitalist system. Catch it November 23 at 6 p.m. at Gallery 44.

“Her(s)” is a video screening bringing together video works by seven Asian Canadian women artists, including Maria Patricia Abuel, Lesley Loksi Chan, Chun Hua Catherine Dong, and others. Partake on November 18 from 7:30 p.m. to 9:30 p.m. at 187 Augusta Avenue. Since 1981, Cliff Eyland has been making art the size of the traditional 3″ by 5″ library catalogue card. “Cliff Eyland: Librarians, Books and Clouds,” opening November 17 at Project Gallery, includes 300 works, all acrylic and/or mixed media paintings of that size.

“Can an artwork make itself?” Barb Hobot addresses this question in drawings and sculptures presented at Olga Korper Gallery beginning on November 19 at 2 p.m.

Franz Kaka presents Sound bath, a three-night program featuring new and recent sound work by Kelly Akashi, Georgia Dickie, Laurie Kang, Rachelle Sawatsky and others on November 17, 18 and 19 at 8 p.m. At A Space Gallery, the works of Hector Calma, Jaret Vadera and Kwentong Bayan combine to reveal bayan and notions of Filipinx diaspora in various ways; find out more at a panel 6 p.m. on November 18, which is followed at 7 p.m. by performances and at 8 p.m. by a reception.

New works by influential Canadian painters John Kissick and Landon Mackenzie debut November 19 from 2 to 6 p.m. at Katzman Contemporary. Textile artists are pushed to new limits in Anouk Desloges and Helen Liene Dreifelds’ exhibition “Outside the Lines,” which begins at Lonsdale Gallery on November 23. California-based Canadian artist Jesse Colin Jackson looks at making as architectural and algorithmic production, an influence on view in his exhibition “Marching Cubes,” opening November 17 from 6 to 8 p.m. at Pari Nadimi Gallery.

Prefix Institute of Contemporary Art presents a curator’s talk by Betty Julian on November 18 at 3 p.m., focusing on the exhibition “Facing” by American artist Renée Green. The final exhibition at Diaz Contemporary, “John Massey: Black on White,” closes the gallery on November 19.


On November 17 at 7 p.m., the Dalhousie Art Gallery presents a discussion between Mayann Francis and Shauntay Grant surrounding their respective curated projects The Dress: Mayann Francis and the Call to Serve and Stitched Stories: The Family Quilts. The discussion, called Common Threads, is moderated by Peter Dykhuis.


The abstract sculptures of Peter Hide—influenced by his former teacher Anthony Caro—are featured in the book “Peter Hide: A Sculptor’s Life” launching November 19 from 1 to 4 p.m. at Scott Gallery. Also on view at the gallery are new works by the Edmonton-based artist. Take an art break for lunch and explore “The Edge: The Abstract and the Avant-Garde in Canada” during a quick tour on November 17 from 12:10 to 12:50 p.m. at the Art Gallery of Alberta. November 19 is the last day to see “Floods, Blood, and Bitumen,” an anthropologically angled exhibition at University of Alberta Museums at Enterprise Square.


Centre Bang celebrates exhibitions by Quebecois artists Annie Charland Thibodeau and Laurie-Ann Dufour-Guérin at Espace Virtuel on November 17 from 5 to 7 p.m.


Evans Contemporary presents “CEREMONY,” an exhibition of paintings by Brian Rideout as the debut show at a new, ground floor space in Bankers Common. Opening reception is November 18 from 6 to 11 p.m. Also being celebrated at the gallery that evening is “Bernie Martin: Of Another Place,” part of a multi-venue tribute to the influential local creator, with a curator’s talk at 8 p.m.


Art Beyond Itself: Mountains & Rivers without End is a conference at Western University on November 19 from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Like the related exhibition “Mountains & Rivers without End,” opening on November 18 at 7 p.m. at Artlab, the conference focuses on an interdisciplinary group project involving artists and scholars from Canada and Ecuador.

Quebec City

It’s the last chance to see exhibitions by Matthieu Brouillard and Jérémie Lenoir at Vu—both shows close on November 20. Same for exhibitions by Vicky Sabourin and Steven Baelen at l’Oeil de Poisson.


The Art Gallery of Guelph is host to the Middlebrook Prize for Young Canadian Curators as well as to this year’s exhibition—“Blood, Sweat and Tears”—produced by the winners Isabelle and Sophie Lynch. Join in the award presentation and curators’ talk by the 2016 winners on November 19 at 4 p.m.


Enjoy a curator’s tour of Oakville Galleries’ current Judith Scott exhibition on November 17 at 7 p.m.


Works by Daniel Crawford and Matthew Borrett go on view at the Latcham Gallery starting on November 19 at 1 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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