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News / January 18, 2018

News in Brief: McDonald’s Pulls Anti-Museum Ad and More

The McDonald’s ad suggested $5 is better spent on a value meal than on a museum tour. Plus: a new RBC curatorial fellow at the Power Plant
The first McDonald’s restaurant outside the United States opened in Richmond, B.C., in 1967. Photo: McDonald's Canada The first McDonald’s restaurant outside the United States opened in Richmond, B.C., in 1967. Photo: McDonald's Canada

Our editors’ weekly roundup of arts and culture news.

McDonald’s Canada pulled a radio ad suggesting that $5 is better spent on a value meal than on a museum tour. The 15-second ad sparked outrage from BC museums and museum supporters last week, eliciting critiques of its suggestion to prioritize fast food over museum literacy. Multiple members of the BC Museums Association contacted its staffer Ben Fast to express their disdain. “They’re disappointed that McDonald’s would kind of take a shot at the cultural sector like that, and it’s not exactly true that $5 [at a museum] isn’t worth the same thing as a hamburger,” Fast told the CBC. Adam Grachnik, external communications manager for McDonald’s Canada, told the CBC that​​ “it was meant as a humorous way of promoting the new $5 McPick Meal Deal, and in no way meant to offend. We appreciate that museums are trusted, respected and informative places about Canadian culture and apologize for any offence.” (CBC)​

Saskatoon was the only Canadian destination to land on the New York Times list of top places to visit in 2018. But unlike many surprised by the prairie city’s inclusion on the list of 52 must-see locations, the Remai Modern expected such recognition. “I’m delighted,” gallery executive director and CEO Gregory Burke told the Star Phoenix. “Of course, we’ve been executing a strategy to get that sort of attention for years. We’ve been nagging the New York Times now for years,” Burke said. The NYT mention follows the Remai Modern’s recent coverage on the front page of the Wall Street Journal’s life and arts section, and inclusion in similar tourism lists in Azure magazine, Wallpaper* magazine and the Travel Channel. The gallery’s construction was plagued by multiple delays and rising costs, so for Burke, “the glowing reviews are vindication for a venture that has been divisive.” (Star Phoenix)

The Power Plant announced Justine Kohleal as its third RBC curatorial fellow. The Toronto-based curator and art critic recently acted as curatorial assistant to Gerald McMaster and Denise Birkhofer at the Ryerson Image Centre on “The Faraway Nearby: Photographs of Canada from The New York Times Photo Archive” and to curator Kari Cwynar for Duane Linklater’s installation Monsters for Beauty, Permanence and Individuality for Evergreen. She has also interned with the Smithsonian American Art Museum and with public programs at the Art Gallery of Ontario. Kohleal holds a curatorial studies MFA from OCAD University and a BA from the University of Alberta. (Press release)​

The Audain Art Museum was named one of only eight winners at the 2018 American Institute of Architects Awards. The 56,000-square-foot Whistler museum houses the private collection of philanthropist Michael Audain. It was designed by John and Patricia Patkau and completed in 2016, and has already received the 2017 AIBC Lieutenant Governor of British Columbia medal in architecture, as well a Canadian Wood Council design award. (Canadian Architect) ​

Sara Cwynar, Janice Kerbel and Sarah Morris will be making public art for new transit stations in Toronto. This week, Metrolinx announced the artists who would be creating permanent public installations for six new stations on Eglinton Crosstown Light Rail Transit (LRT). Renderings of the eight public art projects were released, including projects by Sara Cwynar, Janice Kerbel, Sarah Morris, Rodney LaTourelle with Louise Witthöft, Hadley + Maxwell, Douglas Coupland, Joseph Kosuth and Dagmara Genda. The LRT line is due to open in 2021. (website)