Current Issue Cover

Must-Sees This Week: October 6 to 12, 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.

St. John’s

iNuit Blanche, the world’s first all-circumpolar, all-night arts festival, takes place on the evening of October 8 at several St. John’s venues. Watch for Barry Pottle and Justin Igloliorte’s photographic and gustatory tributes to the north’s community-freezer tradition at Eastern Edge; a talk by Jennie Williams at the Rooms about her recent projects photographing Inuit in Nain and St. John’s; and Avataq, an installation of foil balloons that recall sealskin floats, created by Couzyn van Heuvelen at Leyton Gallery of Fine Art. Also make sure to catch the opening night of “Sakkijâjuk,” a group show featuring dozens of artists and highlighting the little-known craft and artworks produced in Nunatsiavut over half a century. This exhibition, curated by Heather Igloliorte, will tour Canada following its premiere at the Rooms.


“Contrarieties & Counterpoints: Recent Paintings by Melanie Authier” comes to the Ottawa Art Gallery on October 6 at 6 p.m. Also on deck at the OAG: “Expo: Recent Acquisitions Related to the Firestone Collection of Canadian Art” and “Love Letters to Arts Court” by Pat Durr, Penny McCann, Marie-Jeanne Musiol, and Jeff Thomas. (The latter show marks the fact that this is the Ottawa Art Gallery’s last exhibition at Arts Court—come January, it will move an interim space at City Hall while awaiting for its new digs to be completed.) Elsewhere, architecture fans will want to see “Public Ambitions,” and exhibition about Italian buildings and design, opening at SAW Gallery on October 6 from 6 to 10 p.m.


Join artists Carey Jernigan and Julia Campbell-Such at the Workers Arts and Heritage Centre in a free, interactive tour of their film and performance based-exhibition called “Patternmaker,” on October 8 at 2 p.m. Artist collective TH&B gives a talk October 6 at 6 p.m. give a talk at the McMaster Museum of Art—including comment on their recent outdoor installation near the MMA.

Vancouver & Area

Theories on how feminine characters are constructed through the compositing of ideal physiological and psychological features form a touchpoint for Borrowed Lady, an installation by Los Angeles–based artist Martine Syms at the SFU Audain Gallery opening on October 12 at 7 p.m. The reception is preceded by a conversation with the artist at 6 p.m. at the nearby Djavad Mowafaghian World Art Centre—an opportunity, perhaps, to find out more about her founding of Dominica, a publishing imprint dedicated to exploring blackness in visual culture.

Elsewhere, Presentation House Gallery opens “Screens and Thresholds,” works in photography, video, and installation curated by Raymond Boisjoly, on October 7 at 7 p.m. Included are works by Scott Benesiinaabandan, Tricia Livingston, Mike MacDonald, Karthik Pandian, Krista Belle Stewart, and the art collective Postcommodity. Sean Lynch, who represented Ireland at the 2015 Venice Biennale, inaugurates his residency at Emily Carr University with a talk October 6 at 6:30 p.m. at the ECU Theatre. And those who work in film will want to consider VIFF’s Sustainable Production Forum, a “first-of-its-kind, one-day event that will lay the groundwork to showcase Vancouver as a world-class destination for sustainable screen-based industry production” all day on October 7 at Vancity Theatre.


Aleesa Cohene and Benny Nemerofsky Ramsay’s sophisticated explorations of queer history combine in So Far, It’s The Same Problem, a video installation opening at the Dunlop’s Central Gallery on October 7 at 6 p.m. A related artist talk and performance (the latter created in collaboration with Toronto dancer Mairi Greig) happen during the reception as well.


This week, Ydessa Hendeles mounts her first Toronto show since the closing of Ydessa Hendeles Art Foundation in 2012—be at Barbara Edwards Contemporary on October 7 at 7 p.m. to hear the renowned artist-curator talk about her new work Death to Pigs. Barbara Steinman responds to the anxieties of our time in an exhibition of new work opening at Olga Korper on October 6 from 6 to 9 p.m. “Facing,” a solo multimedia exhibition by American filmmaker and artist Renée Green, curated by Betty Julian, opens at Prefix Institute of Contemporary Art with a reception on October 6 from 7 to 10 p.m.

Katie Bethune-Leamen opens her emoji-titled exhibition (addressed as an image of the Japanese Dango mochi snack) on October 8 at Dupont Projects. Recent RBC Canadian Painting Competition finalist geetha thurairajah debuts a Toronto solo show, “Boons of Another,” at AC Repair Co. on October 7 from 6 to 8 p.m.

Fractured Land, a film by Damien Gillis and Fiona Rayher about a young Dene lawyer, screens October 6 at 7 p.m. at Ryerson’s School of Image Arts in conjunction with the university’s exhibition “The Edge of the Earth: Climate Change in Photography and Video.” Maria Ezcurra’s first solo exhibition in Toronto, “In Your Shoes,” addresses murdered and missing women with an installation opening at Sur Gallery on October 6 from 7 to 10 p.m. (artist and curator talk at 8 p.m.).

A few exhibitions of note wrap up on October 8: “Last Chance,” a solo exhibition by David R. Harper at MKG127; “Violent Whimsy” by Matt Crookshank at General Hardware; “to space in” by VSVSVS at Katzman Contemporary.


David Altmejd’s wondrous installation The Vessel will be on display from October 8 onwards at the Art Gallery of Alberta. Also worth seeing at the AGA: “The Edge: The Abstract and The Avant-Garde in Canada” opens this weekend, demonstrating the trajectory of modern painting in Canada from Post-Impressionism through early abstraction with works by Lawren Harris, Kathleen Munn, Marion Nicoll, Paul-Emile Borduas and others. If you want to dig deeper into this history, attend the curator’s talk by Laura Ritchie on October 12 at 7 p.m., too. In newer media, “Ghost Dance” by Tony Stallard, featuring works in video, neon, sand and lead, and “Game Start,” a group exhibition on experimental games, open to the public at Latitude 53 on October 8.


To celebrate its 40th anniversary, Walter Phillips Gallery has invited several contemporary artists—Maggie Groat and Jimmy Limit, Julia Crabtree and William Evans, Liz Magor, Amy Malbeuf and Lisa Myers—to create a new work that takes namesake Walter J. Phillips’ 1923 print Flying Island as starting point.

Alongside these new works—which are grouped under the title “No Visible Horizon”—will be a partial rehang of Walter J. Phillips’ works from the gallery’s inaugural exhibition in 1976.

Both exhibitions open on October 7 from 6 to 9 p.m. In related events, Groat and Limit will give an artist talk October 8 at 1 p.m., while Crabtree and Evans will do the same on October 12 at 1 p.m.


Get a sneak peek for next week’s Nocturne with the panel “Mixed Motives: Nocturne Artists in the Foreground” at the Halifax Central Library on October 11 from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m.—artists David Clark, Amanda Christie, Rachael Shannon and Jason Skinner will participate. Also in the pre-Nocturne file: Baltimore-based artist and architect Rachael Shannon begins a residency at the Khyber on October 10, with a related architecture and inflatables workshop on October 12 from 6 to 8 p.m. And on the regular gallery-program front, from 6 to 8 p.m. on October 6, the Khyber will also host PEOPLES CHORUS, a “music, singing and performance practice space that centres BIPOC (Black, Indigenous and People Of Colour) folks and femme, trans, queer and intersex people.”


The Art Gallery of Southwestern Manitoba opens its fall exhibitions with a reception on October 6 at 7:30 p.m. Saskatoon-based artist Amalie Atkins’s “we live on the edge of disaster and imagine we are in a musical” is a merging of film and performance drawing on her reflection on her childhood’s prairie landscapes. And a solo exhibition by award-winning photojournalist Tim Smith charts communal life on Manitoba’s Hutterite colonies over the course of some seven years.


Althea Thauberger holds a scripted critical conversation about the exhibition “Putting Rehearsals to the Test” at the Leonard and Bina Ellen Art Gallery on October 12 at 6 p.m. Works by Geneviève Cadieux, Kiki Smith and four other female artists will be on view at Galerie René Blouin starting on October 8. Pierre Ayot‘s La croix du Mont Royal—a topic of public-art debate in the city of late—will be inaugurated at the corner of Parc and des Pins on October 7 from 5 to 7 p.m.

Feminist art is celebrated at the Prix Powerhouse reception on October 7 at 6 p.m., which also serves as a finissage for an exhibition by finalists kimura byol-nathalie lemoine, Manon Labrecque and Alexis O’Hara at La Centrale. Notions of public protest, the crowd and the grotesque get a workout in Coco Guzman’s installation The Demonstration, opening October 6 at 5 p.m. at MAI. Vie Dange, a garage-turned-gallery space, inaugurates its program with “Vie d’Ange,” featuring Alan Belcher, Simon Belleau, Julian Garcia, and Kelly Jazvac as they navigate concepts of fluidity, the divine and its discontents in both French and Quebecois contexts. Vernissage is October 7 from 7 to 10 p.m.

Quebec City

At 5 p.m. on October 6, VU Photo hosts “Image Family/On Friendship,” a roundtable with Raymonde April, Nathalie Caron, Charles Guilbert and Marie-Christine Simard as they discuss friendships through and across the practices of arts and photography. The gallery space will also see the closing of “Ensemble,” its latest exhibition featuring the works of Nadia Myre, Jinyoung Kim, Chih-Chien Wang and many other artists, on October 9.


Musée d’art de Joliette launches four exhibitions—“Yan Giguère: Croisements,” “Marcel Barbeau: Vibrato,” “Charles Stankievech: Timbral” and “Pierre Ayot: Femmes de Toilette”—on October 8 at 2 p.m. (The latter work from the late 1970s is actually installed, in an unusual turn, in the third-floor ladies’ washroom.) Tours with curators and artists start at 2:15 p.m.


For those who have yet to see Duane Linklater and Brian Jungen’s Modest Livelihood, the 50-minute film edited from over 50 hours of footage shot in two hunting trips made to the Dane-zaa Territory in Northern B.C., it screens for the last time in Winnipeg on October 7, beginning every hour on the hour, at the Platform centre for photographic + digital arts.


Conflations of digital and natural form one thread of inquiry in Mackenzie Kelly-Frére’s textile-based exhibition opening at DNA Artspace on October 7 from 7 to 10 p.m. Find out more at the artist-led tour on October 8 at 1 p.m.


Marjan Eggermont meditates on migration in “You May Find Yourself Living in Another Part of the World,” opening October 6 from 5 to 8 p.m. at Herringer Kiss. Storefront advertising images are returned to a windowspace in Polina Teif and Shannon Garden-Smith’s Skins and Shirts, opening October 7 at Truck’s +15 window in Arts Commons.


An Arbour Aboriginal Art Collective youth workshop takes place at the Kamloops Art Gallery on October 6 from 6 to 9 p.m. Also worth checking out at the KAG: the recently opened “All membranes are porous,” a group exhibition featuring Margaret Dragu, Pascal Grandmaison, Sarah Anne Johnson, Zoe Kreye, Luanne Martineau and Jeremy Shaw.

Thunder Bay

“The Unvarnished Truth: Exploring the Material History of Paintings” opens October 7 at the Thunder Bay Art Gallery. Learn more about this complex topic with a talk by Brandi Lee MacDonald on October 6 at 7:30 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

Print Friendly, PDF & Email

Leave a Comment



Note: Fields denoted with (*) are required.