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News in Brief: Khyber Campaigns Continue, Canadian Art Writing Prize Announced, PIA Expands

Our editors’ weekly roundup of Canadian art news.

Pearl Van Geest won the 2015 Canadian Art Foundation Writing Prize, announced Monday, alongside runners-up Nancy Webb and Benjamin Hunter. Now in its sixth year, the Writing Prize is an annual juried prize designed to encourage new writers on contemporary art.

Jesse McKee has been announced as the curator of projects and residencies at Vancouver artist-run centre 221A. Arriving in August, McKee will be responsible for exhibitions, publications and overseeing the gallery’s curatorial residents. Previously, McKee was curator at the Walter Phillips Gallery at the Banff Centre and exhibitions curator of Vancouver’s Western Front.

The Power Plant in Toronto will participate in the seventh Creative Time Summit, an annual international conference of art and politics. This year, the Venice Biennale will host the conference, focused on the theme “curriculum.” The Power Plant will bring a group of artist delegates to Venice: Adrian Blackwell, Deanna Bowen, Carole Condé and Karl Beveridge, Jen Delos Reyes, Elle Flanders and Tamira Sawatzky, Justin A. Langlois, Duane Linklater and Nadia Myre.

A group called Friends of the Khyber has launched a fundraising and awareness campaign to save the historic building that housed Halifax’s Khyber Centre for the Arts. The degraded structure, which was vacated in March of 2014 due to asbestos and lead remediation, was removed from the city’s surplus properties list last year, however significant renovations are still necessary. Friends of the Khyber will present a plan for a “viable arts and community hub” to Halifax Regional Council this October.

Partners in Art, the Toronto-based, member-driven corporation that supports art projects, is expanding nationally. The group has announced a new funding project, ArtTracks150, which will support collaborations in 13 sites across Canada in national parks and along the Trans-Canada Trail. Curatorial proposals for the project, which launches in 2017, are now being accepted.

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