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Must-Sees This Week: November 3 to 9, 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.


The MacKenzie Art Gallery will launch the North American premiere of “Atom Egoyan: Steenbeckett,” on November 4 with a conversation between Atom Egoyan and Noah Richler at 7 p.m. on that day. Steenbeckett is an immersive installation originally commissioned by Arcangel in the UK, and it immerses the viewer in a continuously moving web of 35mm film strung floor to ceiling and wall to wall. Driven by a Steenbeck editing table, the 2,000-foot film loop features the last reel of Egoyan’s film adaptation of the Samuel Beckett play Krapp’s Last Tape.

The Egoyan exhibition also dovetails with a symposium running through November 5 called “Meet in the Middle | Stations of Migration and Memory Between Art and Film.” The symposium features work by several artists, many of them of Armenian descent, like Egoyan. Tate Gallery’s Judith Wilkinson is one of the speakers.

Identity, geography, landscape, and place-making in the 21st century is also a theme of the exhibition “Bruce Montcombroux: Site, Sight, Cite’” opening November 5 at 1 p.m. at the Dunlop’s Sherwood Gallery.


Brendan Fernandes: Lost Bodies” opens November 9 at the Textile Museum of Canada, bringing this Canadian artist’s work in dialogue with two of this country’s most distinctive collections of African art. Juxtaposing performances of colonial inheritance—ballet gestures and museum-display conventions—with collected objects, he aims to raise questions about visual and discursive practices that shape a range of perspectives of African art within public museums. “Small Wonders: Gothic Boxwood Miniatures” is a unique exhibition opening November 5 at the Art Gallery of Ontario that highlights virtuosic miniature carvings of 16th-century Northern European craftspeople. Contemporary life is the theme of Bradley Wood’s large, wry paintings, opening November 4 from 6 to 9 p.m. at Angell Gallery. Also premiering at the gallery: Galley, a new work by Natalka Husar.

The new exhibition space Franz Kaka presents “of any one of them that is at all,” an exhibition of new work by London, Ontario-based artist Kim Neudorf. Opening reception is November 4 from 5 p.m. to 9 p.m. Pleasure Dome’s annual New Toronto Works screening program kicks off its latest edition November 3 at 7:30 p.m. at the Gladstone Hotel. Included are shorts by Margie Kelk, Matt Macintosh & Keesic Douglas, Serena Lee and others, as well as installations by Meera Margaret Singh and Kara Stone. Influential Vancouver artists Ben Reeves and Evan Lee are featured in a new exhibition opening November 5 at Dupont Projects.

Responding to current space crunches in Toronto, the new gallery Bunker 2 opens an exhibition in a shipping container on November 3 from 6 to 9 p.m. Featured are Daniel Griffin Hunt and Claire Scherzinger, among others. On the evening of November 5, Critical Distance opens “Crossing the Line,” a show of recent art from Denmark that asks, Can a nation define itself culturally by looking beyond its traditional borders? Artists include Jeannette Ehlers and Patricia Kaersenhout, Stine Marie and Lilibeth Cuenca Rasmussen. Opening is at 6 p.m., with a Rasmussen performance at 8:30 p.m. and a video screening at 9 p.m.

Three bodies of work by Meryl McMaster are on view in “Confluence,” opening on November 3 from 5 to 8 p.m. at the Doris McCarthy Gallery. November 5 marks the closing of Clint Neufeld’s “1/2 Price Fireworks” at General Hardware Contemporary, and of “Polychrome,” Douglas Coupland’s show at Daniel Faria.


Get a deeper sense of artist Ursula Johnson’s fascinating practice with a talk by her on November 3 from 7 to 8 p.m. at the Art Gallery of Nova Scotia. Johnson is one of several artists included in the AGNS’s current show “Terroir: a Nova Scotia Survey,” also worth taking in on this Thursday evening, when admission is free from 5 to 9 p.m.


“Parking Lot With a Memory,” a new body of works on paper by Jason McLean, opens at Michael Gibson Gallery on November 4 from 8 to 10 p.m. Included is an art car he has decorated, and redecorated, in his characteristic style. “The Vancouver Carts: Photographs by Kelly Wood” opens November 3 at 7 p.m. at the McIntosh Gallery, highlighting the material culture of itinerant lives. Also opening: “Below The Belt: Film/Video from the Great Lakes Region,” featuring work by Christina Battle, Jean-Paul Kelly, Annie MacDonell, Steve Reinke and others that reconsiders industrialization in the framework of creation.


“The Winnipeg Effect: Should I Stay or Should I Go?” is the provocative title of a symposium at the Winnipeg Art Gallery from November 3 to 5. Among the highlights: “There’s More Than One Way,” An overview of collective art making practices in Winnipeg, 1968 to present, curated by Kegan McFadden at the Special Collections Gallery of the School of Art, University of Manitoba.

Vancouver-based photographer and artist Ho Tam will debut “Cover to Cover,” a solo exhibition at Platform, with an opening reception at 7 p.m. on November 4, followed by an artist talk at 2 p.m. on November 5. The artist has also created Window’s 29th installation at the Artspace Building: “The Biggest Show on Earth,” inspired by dazibao (big-character posters) from China.

Chun Hua Catherine Dong’s “Visual Poetics of Embodied Shame,” opening at Ace Art on November 4 at 7 p.m., examines the visual culture of shame in relation to the body, subjects and power in contemporary art. Elsewhere, Winnipeg artist Kristin Nelson gives an artist talk November 3 at 8 p.m. at Plug In ICA in relation to the exhibition “Superimposition: Sculpture and Image.”

Local references abound in Carole Freeman’s exhibition “Something about Winnipeg,” opening November 4 from 7 to 10 p.m. at Gurevich Fine Art. Find out more in an artist talk on November 4 at 6 p.m. at the Winnipeg Free Press café, where Alison Gillmor will interview Freeman live.


Here’s a first: an artist combining leftover paint from exhibitions by Garry Neill Kennedy and David Altmejd to create a “magical” hue of paint called GNKDA Mystic Grey. Credit goes to Montreal’s Jo-Anne Balcaen, whose cheeky paint-mixing intervention is part of a new solo show of her work opening at the New Gallery on November 4 at 8 p.m.

Over the past four years, artist Wil Murray has split his time at his studios in Okotoks, Alberta, and Berlin, Germany. A new body of work, opening November 4 from 6 to 9 p.m. at Jarvis Hall Gallery, features what is being touted as “post-painterly photography,” with washes of paint over photographic images, turned back into photographs. Find out more during an artist talk November 5 at 2 p.m.

Until November 5, the Intersite Visual Arts Festival—a decentralized festival of contemporary art—invites encourages members of the public to see places like Ogden Park and Texas Lounge in a different light, with art performances and installations on those sites changing experiences of the space. Artists involved include Maggie Flynn, Gabi Dao, Anj Fermor, Friends of Ogden Park and Suzanne Kite.

Artist Larissa Fassler and designer Jimenez Lai converse with local Calgarians about the design of public space and the resulting narrative and movement throughout the city in a panel on November 9 at 7 p.m. at Festival Hall.


Jacynthe Carrier: Brise Glace Soleil Blanc” opens at Galerie Antoine Ertaskiran on November 9. Art Mûr celebrates its 20th anniversary with two exhibitions: “Claude Tousignant: Artist’s Selection” and a group exhibition, “Life Size,” which includes work by Nadia Myre, Patrick Bérubé, Zeke Moores, and Brandon Vickerd, among others. Rituals of accumulation and depletion provide one point of departure in “Dust is Black,” Mitch Mitchell‘s first exhibition in Montréal, opening November 5 at 3 p.m. at Galerie Nicolas Robert.

Milutin Gubash, currently completing a residency in Paris, has new work featured in “Long Way Gone,” a solo show opening at Galerie Trois Points on November 5 at 3 p.m. As part of Fonderie Darling’s ongoing exhibition, “Délicat Pulse,” Brazilian artist Volmir Cordeiro will perform “Ciel,” the artist’s 2012 performance piece in which he addresses “loneliness of those who are condemned to weaken, to disappear, to go off rails,” while directly engaging with the public. The performance takes place November 4 at 6 p.m.


“Luminocity,” a free week-long public art project organized by the Kamloops Art Gallery, featuring video projection, new media works and events in public spaces across downtown Kamloops, closes on November 5 and will have its final curator’s tour at 7 p.m. on November 3. The festival will also feature a final dance performance called “Ma: On Weightless Occupied Space,” with sound design by Ronan McGrath and choreography and light design directed by Monica McGarry and Jessie Kobylanski at 9 p.m. on November 3.


Benny Nemerofsky Ramsay’s À fleurer, opening at AKA on November 4 at 8 p.m., takes as its inspiration the legendary correspondence between the French author Colette and her Swiss publisher, Henri-Louis Mermod. Mermod sent Colette weekly floral bouquets, to which the author responded with floral essays, eventually published in 1949 under the title Pour un herbier. In his project, Nemerofsky Ramsay sends personal letters to a local florist, who interprets the themes of the writing in floral bouquets. The flowers, and screen-printed multiples of the letters, will be exhibited as an evolving display in the gallery, with Nemerofsky Ramsay calling in on November 8 at 12:15 p.m. to read the letters via audio livestream in the gallery. Also opening at AKA on November 4 at 8 p.m. is “Hang upon tomorrow and lose today,” a show featuring floral-motif works by Zachari Logan and Jane Buyers.


The cultural confrontation that followed the landing of Christopher Columbus on a Caribbean island in the late 1400s is the subject of La Rábida, Soul of Conquest: an Anishinaabe encounter, a project by Bonnie Devine on now at the Art Gallery of Peterborough. Devine provides more insight into the project on November 5 at 2 p.m. at the gallery.


This week offers the last chance to get inside the Nanaimo Art Gallery for a while. After “Out of Sight” wraps on November 6, the public exhibition space and gallery store will close for renovations, with the gallery reopening in January 2017.


Gentrification and community in Chinatown and the Downtown Eastside are themes of Keg de Souza’s collaborative installation Appetite for Construction, which is located at 544 Main Street (formerly a seafood restaurant) and will be celebrated with a reception November 4 from 6 to 9 p.m. Visitors are invited to contribute items that represent the changing urban fabric of the Chinatown and DTES area through its food culture. Kelly Lycan showcases the results of a 10-week residency at Burrard Arts Foundation in the exhibition “More Than Nothing,” opening November 4 from 2 to 5 p.m. in the foundation’s gallery space.

At the Djavad Mowafaghian Cinema on November 9 at 7 p.m., short films by Elle-Máijá Tailfeathers and Banchi Hanuse will be screened, with a panel discussion to follow. Films include Cry Rock, a documentary that blends interviews set against the wild beauty of the Bella Coola Valley with watercolour animation, while panellists include Marianne Nicolson, Raymond Boisjoly, and Tarah Hogue. Another filmic event on November 9 at 7:30 p.m. is a program of structural-film shorts by Owen Land at the Cinematheque, programmed by Michèle Smith. Finally, surrealist films are also screened at the Cinematheque on November 3 at 6:30 p.m. (featuring Tamara Henderson, Julia Feyrer and Jean Cocteau) and 8:15 p.m. (Man Ray, Joseph Cornell, Luis Buñuel and others).


Works by late Inuit artist Jutai Toonoo open at Madrona Gallery on November 5 from 1 to 4 p.m.


In the exhibition “Echo of the Unknown,” Brooklyn artist Janet Biggs looks her narratives related to her grandfather’s struggle with Alzheimer’s disease. Centering on the four-channel video installation Can’t Find My Way Home, the exhibition addresses the challenges of maintaining a sense of self in the face of physical and psychological extremes. Footage includes the artist exploring the Merkers crystal cavern, a neurologist doing research in a lab, and an older gentleman wandering the aisles of a gem and mineral show. The show opens to the public on November 3 from 5 to 8 p.m. at the University of Waterloo Art Gallery.


Bacon—yes, bacon—forms a motif in the sculptures of Manuela Lalic, opening November 3 at 5 p.m. at Action Art Actuel.


“Gallery Gab: Contemporary Indigenous Art Practices” presents a free talk with Lisa Myers on November 3 from 7 to 8 p.m. at the Varley Art Gallery.


“Leading the Way: Early Canadian Women Artists” opens November 3 at the Judith and Norman Alix Art Gallery, featuring art by Florence Carlyle, Florence Wyle and Pegi Nicol McLeod, among others. While there, check out JNAAG’s other ongoing show, “In the Shadow of the Millennium,” a meditation at the intersection of the supernatural and the political as a platform for renewing social and ecological relationships.

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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