Our editors’ weekly roundup of Canadian art news.
Imperial Oil has announced its largest ever art-donation program: 43 paintings, worth some $6 million, will be donated to 15 museums across the country. One such donation was unveiled on Thursday at the National Gallery of Canada, where paintings by Lawren Harris, Paul Peel, Prudence Heward, Kathleen M. Morris and A.J. Casson will be gifted. Other galleries included in the Imperial Oil donation are: the Art Gallery of Alberta; the Judith and Norman Alix Gallery in Sarnia; the Dalhousie Art Gallery in Halifax; the Vancouver Art Gallery; McIntosh Gallery in London; the Musée National des beaux-arts de Québec; and the New Brunswick Museum, among others. The donation is intended to mark 150 years since Canada’s Confederation.
The Winnipeg Art Gallery announced the creation of an Indigenous Advisory Circle on Thursday. Dr. Julie Nagam and Dr. Heather Igloliorte will be co-chairs of the Circle, which aims to “give voice to Indigenous people (Inuit, First Nations and Métis), and provide leadership and counsel in the development and planning of related WAG exhibitions, education, community outreach, partnerships, and programming.” It will also serve as a guide in the opening of the new Inuit Art Centre. The circle will consist of between 12 and 15 advisors, who will come from the four regions of Inuit Nunangat, as well as urban Inuit and circumpolar Inuit communities, and they will meet annually with key WAG staff.
The BC Alliance for Arts and Culture announced on Tuesday the creation of a new award for cultural criticism, which was spearheaded by philanthropist Dr. Yosef Wosk. The prize, the Max Wyman Award for Cultural Commentary, has been named for Max Wyman, a critic and longtime writer for the Vancouver Sun and the Province, with bylines in Maclean’s and the New York Times. The biennial award, which includes a $5,000 prize, will recognize “achievement in critical writing and commentary on the visual, performing and literary arts.” Wyman’s career will be celebrated at an event in Vancouver on April 18, and further details about the prize’s criteria are forthcoming.
Artists from a range of disciplines were recognized at the Mayor’s Lunch for Arts Champions in Calgary this week. Among them, the New Gallery won the 2017 Sandstone City Builder Award, which is one of the Cultural Leaders Legacy Artist Awards, and includes a $5,000 cash prize funded in part by a local philanthropist or organization with matching money from legacy municipal funding. At the event, Mayor Naheed Nenshi called for greater support for the arts from private and public sources, saying, “The kinds of incentives we’re talking about are very small numbers, compared to $500 million for the petro chemicals industry, for example. So I’m really encouraging the provincial government to be super creative and think about the ways we can kick start the industry.”
Documentary filmmaker and OCAD University professor Min Sook Lee, with Toronto filmmaker Lisa Valencia-Svensson, has won the 2017 Hillman Prize for the documentary Migrant Dreams. The Hillman Prize honours “investigative reporting and deep storytelling in service of the common good,” and Canadian journalists “whose work makes a difference to the lives of Canadians.” The documentary Migrant Dreams follows workers on Ontario who are working in greenhouses as part of Canada’s Temporary Foreign Worker Program.
The board of the Textile Museum of Canada in Toronto announced on Friday that Emma Quin has been hired as the museum’s executive director. Quin is currently the CEO of Craft Ontario, where she has worked for the last 25 years. Quin oversaw the rebranding of Craft Ontario in 2014, which increased the organization’s visibility, and she led the 2015 move of the organization into a building in Toronto’s West Queen West neighbourhood. Quin will assume her role at the TMC on May 1, 2017.