It’s been another busy week for art news in Canada. Among the stories we reported on include a sit-in by MFA students at NSCAD University, and the end to a strike (but not the end to a labour dispute) at NSCAD as well. Saskatoon scholar Jen Budney provided an in-depth analysis of recent events and conflicts at Remai Modern, and we also reported on recent commentary by leadership there in regards to harassment and workplace complaints. Elsewhere, Canada Council director Simon Brault was reappointed for a second term, and aims to focus on more big changes there—this time in cultural diplomacy. Canada’s Venice Biennale for Architecture picks were revealed, and will be addressing the portrayal of Canadian buildings in international film and television. Last but not least, amid a continuing freeze of Calgary’s public art program, local artist Dick Averns decided to try and look at whether the arts scene there could overcome challenges to see a reboot in 2019.
Read on for more news of note.
The Toronto Arts Council is getting a funding boost. “Toronto City Council approved the 2019 budget last week, which included a $421,000 increase for Toronto Arts Council (as part of a total increase of $1M to the Economic Development and Culture department’s operating budget),” the council said on Facebook. “Council also approved a motion to direct the General Manager, Economic Development and Culture, to consult with the community on priorities for further investment in the arts and report back through the 2020 budget process.” (Facebook)
Zacharias Kunuk is receiving the Order of Nunavut. “Nunavut’s highest honour, established in 2010, is handed out each year to individuals who have made an exceptional contribution to Nunavut’s cultural, social or economic well-being,” reports Nunatsiaq News. Kunuk is in part being recognized for bringing “Inuit culture and language to a global audience.” (Nunatsiaq News)
Montreal’s Momenta Biennale and Les Rencontres d’Arles are starting a new collaboration. “For the 50th edition of Les Rencontres d’Arles, MOMENTA is collaborating with the prestigious French event to present two solo exhibitions by Montréal artists Yann Pocreau and Guillaume Simoneau,” says a release. The exhibitions will run July 1 to September 22. (press release)
Urban Shaman Contemporary Aboriginal Art Gallery in Winnipeg is opening a satellite project in Santa Fe. The project, Kevin McKenzie’s ASAP, will run April 25 to June 29. McKenzie is Cree/Métis, born in and based Regina. He is a member of the Cowessess First Nation of Saskatchewan, Treaty 4. McKenzie earned his BFA and is currently enrolled in the MFA program, at the Department of Visual Arts, University of Regina. (press release)
UBC Library has acquired the archive of Hanne Wassermann Walker. Walker, who lived from 1893 to 1985, was a significant figure of pre-WWII Viennese cultural and social life. She moved to British Columbia in 1943. “One of the highlights is the collection of documents and photographs tracing Wassermann Walker’s life-long friendship with Trude Fleischmann, ranked among the most significant portrait photographers of the 20th century,” says a release. (press release)
Peter Honeywell is retiring as executive director of the Ottawa Arts Council. Honeywell has been involved with the council for close to 30 years. He also helped establish arts grants for the City of Ottawa in general. He will retire from his position following the 2019 council AGM on June 18. (press release)
Ilana Altman and David Carey are going to co-lead Toronto’s Bentway. Altman will be co-executive director, programming & visitor experience, and Carey will be co-executive director, partnerships & communications. Both had worked at the Bentway in different capacities since 2017. They replace Julian Sleath, the founding CEO of the Bentway, who has resigned but is staying on until May 17 to assist with the transition. (press release)