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News / July 22, 2016

News in Brief: New Ontario Cultural Strategy, Open Letter to Mélanie Joly, Accusations of Art Plagiarism

This week, art leaders wrote an open letter to Mélanie Joly, the Ontario government released a cultural strategy and accusations of art plagiarism surfaced.
Natasha Chaykowski, the new director of Untitled Art Society in Calgary. Natasha Chaykowski, the new director of Untitled Art Society in Calgary.

Our editors’ weekly roundup of Canadian art news.

After the announcement that Heritage Minister Mélanie Joly would be working with an “Expert Advisory Panel” consisting of 12 professionals, largely from the broadcast, media and film industries, a number of arts representatives voiced complaints about exclusion. This week, an open letter on behalf of 30 organizations, ranging from the Screen Composers Guild of Canada to the Artists Run Centres and Collectives Conference, has been published, calling for “further clarity regarding the composition” of the panel, and a request for “representative inclusion” across disciplines.

After a year involving a number of community consultations, the Ontario government has released their first Ontario cultural strategy. Constructed around a series of four goals, the strategy aims to: promote cultural engagement and inclusion; strengthen culture in communities; fuel the creative economy; and promote the value of the arts throughout government. Plans are in place to work towards these goals over the next five years.

Calgary gallery Truck announced on Tuesday that Ginger Carlson has been appointed executive director of the organization. Carlson comes to the position from Untitled Art Society in Calgary, where she was director. Prior to UAS, she has works at the school and public programs educator at Contemporary Calgary, and held posts at the Manchester Craft and Design Centre, National Museums Liverpool and Art Gallery of Alberta.

Natasha Chaykowski has been hired as the new director of Untitled Art Society in Calgary, taking over for Ginger Carlson. Chaykowski was most recently a participant in the Walter Phillip Gallery’s Curatorial Research Practicum at the Banff Centre, and she has co-curated the annual emerging artist exhibition at InterAccess in Toronto, and won the 2014 Middlebrook Prize for Young Canadian Curators alongside Alison Cooley. She was also awarded the 2015 Canadian Art Editorial Residency.

Another accusation of a restaurant displaying plagiarised art has surfaced in Toronto (after an incident between Kelly Mark and Dundas Street West restaurant Old School). Now, Israeli artist Amit Shimoni is arguing that a bar on King St. West, Early Mercy, has replicated his Hipstory series, which features portraits of iconic figures in contemporary dress. Shimoni was notified of the plagiarism when Noa Osheroff, the sister of Shimoni’s dealer, Yair Osheroff, was in town and visited the restaurant. Now, Shimoni and Osheroff are preparing to sue Early Mercy.