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News in Brief: Kenojuak Ashevak’s Art on $10 Bill, New Canada Council Board Members, Manitoba Budget Slices Arts Funding

Our editors’ weekly roundup of Canadian art news.

Cape Dorset artist Kenojuak Ashevak’s stonecut print Owl’s Bouquet (2007) will be replicated on a commemorative $10 banknote that was unveiled by the Bank of Canada in Ottawa for Canada 150. Ashevak is the first Inuit artist to have work on a banknote. The Bank of Canada will begin circulating 40 million banknotes on June 1; they will be used alongside the existing $10 bills. The original Owl’s Bouquet print was on view at the unveiling of the note, and Dorset Fine Arts, which is involved in the marketing of Cape Dorset prints, has given a studio proof to the Bank of Canada’s permanent collection.

Minister of Canadian Heritage Mélanie Joly announced on Friday that eight part-time members have been appointed to the board of directors of the Canada Council for the ArtsDavid W. Binet (Ontario); Cheryl Hickman (Newfoundland and Labrador); Yann Martel (Saskatchewan); Sidney Ben Nind (Northwest Territories); Jesse Wente (Ontario); Jennifer Dorner (Quebec); Beverley K. Foy (Alberta); and Nathalie Bondil (Quebec). Foy and Bondil are being reappointed to the board, and all eight part-time members will have a four-year term.

Manitoba’s arts funding will take a cut under the new provincial budget, which was released on Tuesday by Finance Minister Cameron Friesen. The decreases will affect a number of areas: there will be a $700,000 reduction in grants offered to cultural organizations; the Arts Branch’s grant assistance program will lose $200,000 in funding; and the Arts Branch’s film and sound program is facing a decrease of $300,000. The Manitoba Arts Council, which is facing $200,000 told the CBC about the strain that the changes will place on their organization, noting they have already “trimmed…their administration in the past year, leaving six positions unfilled after vacancies. ‘We’ve already tightened the corset as much as we can tighten it,’ said Akoulina Connell, Arts Council CEO.”

The University of Windsor’s foundry, the first of its kind in Ontario, has closed down. As Chris Hampton reports for CBC, closing the foundry down is part of move that the University of Windsor is making into a new School of the Creative Arts facility, and the foundry “would have been too costly to redesign for zero emissions,” a goal of the environmentally focused program. The foundry has been at the school since 1970, when artist and professor Bill Law first opened it, and artists including Ray Cronin, Alison Oulette-Kirby and Kim Adams have used it.

The Vancouver Art Gallery announced a number of acquisitions this week. Some of the purchases: Rodney Graham’s triptych Paddler, Mouth of the Seymour (2012–13), a monumental lightbox work; Coast Salish artist Susan Point’s carvings Up Stream Quest (2016) and Birth of a Star (2016); three works by Jerry Pethick; Skeena Reece’s installation and performance piece Raven: On the Colonial Fleet (2010); and two large photographic pieces by Stephen Waddell, Big Room Caveman Autoportrait (2016) and Stain (2012). A number of the works in the current exhibition “Ambivalent Pleasures” have also been added to the gallery’s collection, which contains more than 11,800 pieces.

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