Montreal’s Association des galeries d’art contemporain (AGAC) announced in a message to members yesterday afternoon that the organization’s Toronto art fair, Feature, would not be returning in 2016.
Founded in 2014, Feature marked a bricks-and-mortar foray into the Toronto art market for AGAC, which also presents the popular Papier art fair in Montreal. Feature ran concurrently with Art Toronto, a larger art fair of longer standing.
Project director Stefan Hancherow helmed the 2015 edition of Feature with ambassadors Jeanne Parkin and Ann and Marshall Webb. The show included 29 exhibiting galleries from across Canada.
AGAC’s release to members explained that Feature is ending due to financial reasons, specifically the Canadian economic downturn, and because AGAC felt that the event had met its goal of being an “opportunity to showcase leading contemporary Canadian art in a unique and innovative environment.”
While the fair will not be returning, AGAC nevertheless plans to maintain a presence within the city.
“We take this opportunity to rethink our presence in Toronto and the new possibilities that await. A think tank, comprised of AGAC members, is already in place,” said Émilie Grandmont-Bérubé, chair of AGAC’s board, in the email.
The plans for this renewed presence aren’t ready to be revealed yet, explained Grandmont-Bérubé to Canadian Art in a phone interview earlier today, but the think tank comprises galleries from across Canada.
While the changes are still in the works, they are imminent. “We will be seeing the results of this this year,” said Grandmont-Bérubé. “We are not sure where [the new form for Feature] will physically be, but we are thinking about the best way for the association to suit the needs of members across the country.
“We have always considered Feature to be a synonym of change, vision, doing something audacious…the vehicle for that doesn’t have to be an art fair.”