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News in Brief: Toronto Arts Group Wins Space Dispute and More

Plus: a leader for Canada’s Indigenous Screen Office, and an artist-in-residence for Edmonton’s waste-management sector

The Toronto Media Arts Centre (TMAC) has reached a settlement with the City of Toronto after a prolonged legal dispute over the organization’s access to space. The city blocked the arts hub’s attempt to move into a long-contested condo space in a building at Queen and Dovercourt. The space was built for the organization as part of a city cultural development program, but the city barred TMAC from occupying the facility when the developer, UrbanCorp., failed to complete it by the May 2015 deadline. TMAC then sued the city and UrbanCorp for breach of contract, leaving the space largely empty ever since. The terms of this new agreement will require TMAC to “successfully operate the Cultural Space for the benefit of the community.” (Toronto Star)

Jesse Wente began his new post as director of Canada’s Indigenous Screen Office on February 1. The broadcaster was the director of film programs at the TIFF Bell Lightbox for the last seven years and has contributed to CBC Radio as a critic, reporter and producer since 1996. His new position will facilitate long-term mentorship for a wide variety of film-industry roles. The Indigenous Screen Office’s task is to “support the development, production and marketing of Indigenous content, thus contributing to a vibrant Canadian Indigenous screen-based industry.” (Akimbo)

Neil Richards, a collector and archivist of gay history on the Prairies, has passed away at the age of 68. Richards amassed one of Canada’s most extensive LGBTQ collections, comprising ephemera, artefacts and serials, which came to be housed in the Provincial Archives of Saskatchewan for its documentation of the Prairies’ gay community. The University of Saskatchewan, where Richards was a library employee, accessioned his special collection in January 2010 and established the Neil Richards Collection of Sexual and Gender Diversity. It includes “the records of many gay and lesbian organizations, collections of lesbian and gay pulp literature, magazines and newsletters published in LGBT communities, documentation about theatrical cross-dressing, novels and nonfiction published before the 1969 Stonewall Riots which led to the birth of the modern Gay Rights movement.” (Calgary Gay History Project

Leanne Olson is the first artist-in-residence at the Edmonton Waste Management Centre.The six-month residency at the Waste Management Centre will give her full access to the 600-acre facility, with behind-the-scenes insight into the city’s garbage management process. Olson’s $30,000 project is funded through the Edmonton Arts Council, not the centre’s operating budget. Olson’s practice has focused on “documenting impermanence and adaption to changing environmental conditions.” (CTV)

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