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Must-Sees This Week: September 28 to October 4, 2017

Nuit Blanche returns to Toronto this weekend with more than 85 projects by 350 artists—all brought together under the theme “Many Possible Futures”

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.


With more than 85 projects by 350 artists, Nuit Blanche hits Toronto on the evening of September 30, heralding a 12-hour stretch of art experiences.

Among the highlights: Monument to the Century of Revolutions at Nathan Phillips Square, which features Condé and Beveridge, Tough Guy Mountain and some 20 other groups outfitting shipping containers to create a “mass shipped revolution that unpacks into a world.” Deanna Bowen, Syrus Marcus Ware, Kaia’tanoron Dumoulin Bush and Tannis Neilsen’s Won’t Back Down at Queen’s Park, which pays homage to Black Lives Matter – Toronto’s encampment at police headquarters last year. And Maria Hupfield’s curatorial project Life on Neebahgeezis, framed as “an Anishinaabe interpretation and tribute to the late David Bowie’s song Life on Mars.”

On a related note, catch Creative Time Summit’s first Toronto event, titled Of Homelands & Revolution, at the Power Plant from September 28 to 30, with talks by Gayatri Chakravorty Spivak, Wanda Nanibush and many more. The Power Plant, on September 28 at 8 p.m., also opens its fall shows, including “Amalia Pica: Ears to Speak Of,” “Urban Now: City Life in Congo,” “Michael Landy: Demonstration” and Kader Attia’s first solo exhibition in Canada.

Also on tap during Nuit Blanche: the 5th birthday party for the Ryerson Image Centre, taking place September 30 from 7 to 11 p.m.

The ghoul-studded exhibition “Guillermo del Toro: At Home with Monsters” opens to the public September 30 at the Art Gallery of Ontario. In other huge affairs, “EDIT: Expo for Design, Innovation and Technology” gives the design-oriented lots to see and think about as it takes over an old soap factory at Don Valley and Lakeshore starting on September 28.

Want to talk about the museum of the future instead? Head over to Vasif Kortun’s talk “Questions on Institutions,” happening October 1 from 2:30 to 4 p.m. at the University of Toronto’s 1 Spadina Crescent. It’s part of a series of talks initiated by Museum of Contemporary Art Toronto, which is currently building a new facility but hosting programs in different venues across the city in the meantime.


“Entangled: Two Views on Contemporary Canadian Painting” is sure to spark conversation at the Vancouver Art Gallery when it opens on September 30. It promises to trace arguments in contemporary painting, as well as “the work of 31 artists who have been largely responsible for the strong revival that painting now enjoys in this country,” including Marvin Luvualu António, Rebecca Brewer, Gerald Ferguson, Sandra Meigs, Ron Terada and more.

“Entangled” is preceded by the conference “A Crimp in the Fabric: Situating Painting Today,” which takes place September 28 and 29 at Emily Carr University and Simon Fraser University. On the docket: a keynote Thursday night with Isabelle Graw and conversations Friday with Mark Igloliorte, Elizabeth McIntosh, Adrianne Rubenstein, M.E. Sparks and others.

Colleen Brown: Hang up, bend and slump, low pressure Ohio.” opens September 30 from 7 to 9 p.m. at Unit 17, bringing together recent shaped paintings and sculptural work produced over the last three years.

The Live! Performance Art Biennial starts on October 3 at a variety of venues. Among the enticing events of the first couple days: Maiko Jinushi’s “Sound of Desires” at Western Front and Nile Koetting’s “first,class,” at the same venue.

The Vancouver International Film Festival kicks off September 28. Promising art-related work at the fest includes Loving Vincent, “the world’s first fully painted feature” on Vincent Van Gogh; Abbas Kiarostami’s final film, 24 Frames; and Human Flow, which Ai Weiwei filmed in 40 refugee camps around the globe.


To celebrate its 10th anniversary, DHC/ART is presenting the group exhibition “L’Offre,” which has an opening reception October 4 from 5:30 to 10 p.m. All the works in the show connect to the complexity of the gift, with artists including Sonny Assu, Phil Collins and Felix Gonzalez-Torres, among others.

Viva! Art Action puts performance art in the spotlight starting October 4 at Ateliers Jean-Brillant and a few other locations. On opening night, check out work by François Morelli at Ville-Marie and performances by John G. Boehme, Mathieu Lacroix, keyon gaskin, Sonja Zlatanova and Andreja Dugandžić at the ateliers.

Also performative on September 30: Dare-Dare’s participatory parade starting at 1 p.m. through the Petit-Bourgougne and and St-Henri neighbourhoods.

September 28 at 6:30 p.m., enjoy a “musical and historical dérive set to a Congolese rumba” with a screening and conversation by Vincent Meessen, Pierre Kwenders, Thomas McDonough and Bob White, all at Bar Le Ritz.

In important closings: this is the final week to see Olafur Eliasson’s exhibition at the Musée d’art contemporain, as well as the MAC’s Expo 67–themed show. Both finish up on October 1. Also worth catching: Dominique Pétrin at Galerie Antoine Ertaskiran, which finishes September 30, and Mark Dudiak at Projet Pangée, also closing September 30.

Jen Leigh Fisher delivers an artist talk at La Centrale September 28 at 6:30 p.m. Join Bénédicte Le Pimpec for a conversation about memorials and monuments on September 28 at 6 p.m. at Darling Foundry. “Jean-Philippe Harvey: This Time Around” opens September 30 from 3 to 6 p.m. at Laroche/Joncas.

La Guilde’s new gallery space is inaugurated September 28 from 6 to 8 p.m. with the opening of the exhibitions “Inuit Qaujimajatuqangit: Art, Architecture and Traditional Knowledge” and “Hot Matter | Matière incandescente.”


Two important exhibitions open at the Southern Alberta Art Gallery this week. The first, “Jeneen Frei Njootli: red rose ad lidii” shows the marks that traditional beadwork makes on the artist’s skin. The other, where/between, is a group show featuring art by Soheila Esfahani, Mandana Moghaddam and Neda Razavipour, among others. Both shows are celebrated with an opening reception September 30 at 8 p.m.


Kitchener-Waterloo Art Gallery’s fall exhibition, “Carry Forward,” is curated by Lisa Myers, with 11 artists in the show shedding “light on the stories, details and lived experiences that, by chance or deliberate choice, are erased from the official record.”

An opening reception takes place September 29, starting with a curator’s talk at 7 p.m. Artists in the show include Brenda Draney, John Hampton, Mike MacDonald and Maika’i Tubbs.


On September 28th at 7:30 p.m., the Art Gallery of Southwestern Manitoba is launching three fall exhibitions. In “The Blue Pill,” Jennifer Chan will offer downtown Brandon a free public Wi-Fi hotspot that replaces the usual terms of agreement with a radical feminist manifesto. In “Pouring Water on a Drowning Man,” Divya Mehra draws on her experiences of racialization and otherness with text-based works, prints on textile and vinyl, neon sculpture, and a 300-foot-long paper print of a carpet.

Also, the AGSM’s Community Gallery showcases work from the Rural Artists Mentorship Program, a partnership between Mentoring Artists for Women’s Arts and the Manitoba Arts Network. Drawing, needle felting, printmaking, sculpture, ceramics and weaving are all on view.


Artist Joi T. Arcand curates “Language of Puncture,” openings September 30 from 8 p.m. at 51B Young Street. Produced with Gallery 101, the show features “Indigenous artists working with the material qualities of language, words and text within their varied practices,” including Amy Malbeuf, Ogimaa Mikana and Rolande Souliere, among others. There will also be a roundtable that same evening from 4 to 6 p.m.

Meet artists Jaime Koebel, Simon Brascoupe, Heather Campbell and Manuel Baez as their public artworks and murals are unveiled at Ojigkwanong Centre on September 28 from 2 to 4 p.m.


Walter Phillips Gallery’s fall exhibition, “Garden Gossip,” opens September 29 at 6 p.m. Garden Gossip is a newly commissioned body of work by Vancouver-based artist Tiziana La Melia and Montreal-based artist Maryse Larivière bringing together feminist and ecological concerns through tableaus, film, painting, sculpture and rot.


Plug In Institute of Contemporary Art’s fall show “Entering the Landscape” is framed as “a contemplative group exhibition featuring 21 artists from Canada, the USA, Denmark, and Berlin” that work with politicized, queer and/or female forms of landscape. Artists include Laakkuluk Williamson Bathory, Jaime Black and A.K. Burns, among many others. Opening reception is September 30 from 8 p.m. to 1 a.m., with a panel earlier that same day from 1 p.m. to 3 p.m.

Nuit Blanche Winnipeg begins 6 p.m. on September 30, running until 4 a.m. on October 1 at venues in Downtown, Exchange and St. Boniface. Among the featured attractions: Red, Green and Blue by Vancouver artist Khan Lee; Overshadow 1 by Toronto artist Lyla Rye; and late-night viewing of “Insurgence/Resurgence” at the Winnipeg Art Gallery. Urban Shaman will also be presenting Nelson Tagoona from 10 p.m. to 11p.m. on the rooftop of the restaurant Deer + Almond; the Baker Lake musician is known for a blend of vocal percussion and traditional Inuit throat singing.

In the exhibition “Uncovering Artists’ Books,” opening September 28 at the University of Manitoba School of Art Gallery, curator Geraldine Davis introduces the multiplicity of forms that are artists’ books. Opening reception is 5:30 to 8:30 p.m. on September 28, with a curator’s talk from 6 to 7 p.m. Also opening on the same evening: “Unfolding Pages: Erwin Huebner’s Artists’ Books.”


Governor General’s Award winning artist Robert Fones is celebrated with an opening reception for his exhibition “Signs | Forms | Narratives” on September 29 from 8 to 10 p.m. at Museum London.

Starting on September 30 at 7 p.m. is London’s own Nuit Blanche event. Most of the action will be on Dundas Street, but there will also be events at Museum London until 12 midnight.


Tapestry artist Jane Kidd shows off her meticulous works starting September 29 from 7 to 9 p.m. at the Kelowna Art Gallery.


The [in]Sites performance series continues this week with Call & Response, a site-specific practices panel talk on October 1 at 11 a.m. at the Art Gallery of Peterborough. Hear perspectives from Brenda Francis Pelkey, Becky Welter-Nolan and Brian Solomon on performance practice today.


The Dalhousie Art Gallery’s acquisition of works by Dana Claxton will be celebrated with a Mi’kmaq welcome with Catherine Martin on September 28 at 5 p.m.

Also on September 28: an artist talk with Stephanie Wu from 6 to 7:30 p.m at the Khyber. Wu will discuss their art practice and their experience making “We Met Online: Finding Each Other,” which wraps up at the Khyber this week.

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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