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News / November 28, 2019

News Roundup: Attendance and Access Grows at Montreal and Toronto Museums

The Montreal Museum of Fine Arts hits 1 million visitors, and the Art Gallery of Ontario extends its free and low-cost passes after a strong response
Visitors at the Montreal Museum of Fine Arts Jean-Noël Desmarais Pavilion. Photo: François LeClair, MMFA. Visitors at the Montreal Museum of Fine Arts Jean-Noël Desmarais Pavilion. Photo: François LeClair, MMFA.

The Montreal Museum of Fine Arts welcomed its millionth visitor of the year. On the afternoon of November 27, it was visitor Xueyi Xie who made it happen. Among the MMFA’s popular exhibitions this year was “Thierry Mugler: Couturissime,” which attracted close to 300,000 people, making it the sixth most popular exhibition in the museum’s history. (press release)

In 2019, the Art Gallery of Ontario reached a record high number of visitors aged 25 and under. In the six months since it launched, more than 100,000 people have signed up for the $35 AGO Annual Pass, which is free for visitors 25 and under; visitors between the ages of 14 and 25 account for roughly 70 per cent of the AGO’s annual pass holders, and the gallery is making the pilot program a permanent part of its admission structure. (press release)

New analysis is out regarding artists in Canada. The study from Hill Strategies, based on 2016 census data, found that British Columbia has the highest concentration of artists (1.18 per cent of the overall labour force) and the second-highest concentration of cultural workers (4.7 per cent) in the country. Nunavut has the second-highest concentration of artists in the country (1.17 per cent), and 91 per cent of them are Indigenous—by far the largest proportion in the country. (Hill Strategies)

The Canada Council for the Arts released its annual open dataset and funding results. The council gave $242.7 million in grants in Canada in 2018–19, and it supported 2,032 arts organizations and 2,851 artists. (Canada Council)

The Cape Dorset Archive is launching online this December. Iningat Ilagiit (A Place for Family) is a partnership between the McMichael Canadian Art Collection, the West Baffin Eskimo Co-operative and Dorset Fine Arts. The website offers a historical record of the art produced between the 1960s and 1980s by the residents of Kinngait, and includes public access to more than 3,700 prints and drawings, as well as 250 photographs by Inuit artists. (press release)

The 2019 Ontario Association of Art Galleries Awards were presented this week. In all, 25 awards were named, including the inaugural Changemaker BIPOC Award, which went to Emelie Chhangur, interim director/curator of the Art Gallery of York University. Jan Allen, the director of the Agnes Etherington Art Centre, was awarded the Lifetime Achievement Award. The Blackwood Gallery’s “The Work of Wind: Air, Land, Sea” won Exhibition of the Year (Budget Over $50,000). Museum London’s “BGL: Spectacle + Problems” won the Exhibition Installation and Design Award. (OAAG)

Two established Montreal art dealers are joining forces. Antoine Ertaskiran, director of Galerie Antoine Ertaskiran, and Megan Bradley, director of Parisian Laundry, are planning to launch Bradley Ertaskiran in January 2020. The gallery will be located at 3550 Saint-Antoine West, in what is currently the Parisian Laundry building. (La Presse)