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News / March 29, 2018

News in Brief: Funding for Free Admission at Quebec Museums

Plus: NSCAD and the AGNS explore the possibility of sharing a new hub space on the Halifax waterfront
Interior of the Musée national des beaux-arts du Québec. The Quebec government is offering museums in the province specific funding for free-admission days. Photo: Facebook. Interior of the Musée national des beaux-arts du Québec. The Quebec government is offering museums in the province specific funding for free-admission days. Photo: Facebook.

Quebec’s new budget offers incentives to museums that provide free-admission days. The Montreal Gazette reports that “The Quebec government wants more people to visit museums, and has budgeted $5 million over five years to help them open for free visits one Sunday a month. Dozens of museums in all regions of Quebec are part of this program, including 12 in Montreal.” The Montreal Museum of Fine Arts, Musée d’art contemporain de Montréal and Canadian Centre for Architecture are all part of the plan, though no start date was included. (Montreal Gazette)

Also included in Quebec’s budget was more for the arts. Budget lines included $3 million for the Musée d’art contemporain to operate in a temporary venue during its upcoming renovations; $35 million for cultural field trips for school daycare students, $168.9 million in new funding for arts organizations and cultural tax credits; $5 million for large-scale cultural events in Quebec City; and $40 million for the creation of digital cultural works. More money for the arts is also hoped to be generated by the budget’s announcement of a Netflix tax; the company must begin charging QST in 2019. (MAC website, Montreal Gazette)

NSCAD University and the Art Gallery of Nova Scotia are moving to Halifax’s waterfront. Planning will begin this spring for a proposed cultural hub on the Halifax waterfront which will include a new building for the Art Gallery of Nova Scotia and a new NSCAD University campus, says a press release from Nova Scotia’s Department of Communities, Culture and Heritage. A request for proposals will be issued in the coming weeks, with fall being slated for next steps. The co-location idea was also explored in 2016 in a Lord Cultural Resources study for the Art Gallery of Nova Scotia. (report) (NSCAD press release, AGNS study)

The Royal Ontario Museum has appointed a new curator of Islamic art and culture. Fahmida Suleman is the museum’s new curator of Islamic art and culture. Suleman will be responsible for developing and implementing strategy to build, manage and interpret the ROM’s collection of Islamic art and material culture, which represents the largest collection of its kind in Canada. Fahmida, who was raised in Toronto and holds a graduate degree from Oxford, joins the ROM from the British Museum where she was Phyllis Bishop curator for the modern Middle East. She will start her new role in January 2019. (press release)

Ontario’s new budget had little for the arts per se, but much for its precariously employed workers. The new provincial budget promises $800 million over three years to provide some drug and dental coverage to those without workplace-coordinated health insurance. It also promises $547-million over five years for repairs and retrofits to affordable and social housing stock, reductions to certain GTA transit fares, and $2.2 billion over three years to provide free licensed childcare for children two-and-a-half years of age to junior kindergarten age (usually three or four years old). (Globe and Mail)

Pussy Riot and a feminist town hall leads the Luminato lineup for 2018. Belarus Free Theatre joins forces with Pussy Riot’s Maria Alyokhina in Burning Doors, a performance that takes on oppression and art as political demonstration. The festival’s town hall meeting NO GOING BACK, Future Feminism includes artist Vivek Shraya, Native Youth Sexual Health Network advocacy and outreach coordinator Krysta Williams, and filmmaker and advocate Tessa Hill. And the documentary theatre piece Out the Window charts playwright Liza Balkan’s multi-year journey through the justice system after witnessing a man die during an altercation with Toronto Police. Panels on anti-Black racism and police bias round out some of the offerings of the festival, which runs June 6 to 24 in Toronto. (press release)

The National Gallery of Canada’s garden court has gotten a Canadian-Shield makeover. Located in the Canadian and Indigenous Galleries of the National Gallery of Canada, the garden court has been reimagined by its original designer, landscape architect Cornelia Hahn Oberlander, in close with Vancouver’s Enns Gauthier Landscape Architects. The new greenery installation aims to reference the Ottawa River Valley and Nepean Point. The Rideau Chapel, which was closed during the garden redesign, reopens March 31 and features Janet Cardiff’s Forty-Part Motet. (press release)

A painting Winston Churchill made in B.C. in 1929 is returning to Canada. The former British prime minister, who was an amateur painter, created the canvas of Emerald Lake, in Yoho National Park, while travelling with his brother and sons prior to taking office. Ryan Green, owner and president of Masters Gallery in Calgary, bought the painting (which has deteriorated physically) in a Sotheby’s of London online auction on March 20 for $87,257. The previous owner is Churchill’s bodyguard’s son. Masters Gallery will hold a private viewing of the work in Calgary on April 12, the first time the painting has been on Canadian soil since it was painted in 1929. (press release)

And in case you missed it: A huge billboard project is bringing the work of 50 Indigenous women artists to venues across Canada, and the Biennale de Montreal has filed for bankruptcy. (Canadian Art)