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McMichael Canadian Art Collection

Northwest Coast Art Transforms the McMichael Canadian Art Collection

THE MCMICHAEL CANADIAN ART COLLECTION WELCOMES THE WORK OF CONTEMPORARY NORTHWEST COAST ARTISTS

Northwest-Coast-Aboriginal-Art-McMichael

Calvin Hunt’s Sun Mask and Dempsey Bob’s Wolves in the Snow Blanket are among the contemporary works of Northwest Coast Aboriginal art on display at the McMichael Canadian Art Collection (photos: Craig Boyko)

SEPTEMBER 19 TO FEBRUARY 15 Most of us can picture the iconography of the Haida, Tlingit, Coast Salish and other peoples native to the Pacific Northwest: we’ve seen the historical totem poles, masks and textiles depicting whales, eagles, bears, salmon and wolves. But art, of course, doesn’t exist in a vacuum. The McMichael Canadian Art Collection is renowned for showing us how modern visual storytellers—particularly those of Aboriginal heritage—balance a respect for tradition with an urge to innovate. The gallery’s “Transforming Spirit” exhibition is a perfect example of this mandate, with nearly 50 works by contemporary Northwest Coast artists, including the highly regarded likes of Bill Reid, Robert Davidson and Dempsey Bob. Decorative masks are among the show’s highlights, illustrating the connection between humans, animals and the spirit world that’s intrinsic to many First Nations cultures, while also signaling the renewal of such beliefs through the use of modern techniques and materials.  —Craig Moy

• McMichael Canadian Art Collection, 10365 Islington Ave., 905-893-1121; mcmichael.com
Map and reviews

Discover the First Nations “Group of Seven” at the McMichael Canadian Art Collection

ABORIGINAL ARTISTS ARE IN THE SPOTLIGHT THIS SUMMER AT THE MCMICHAEL CANADIAN ART COLLECTION

McMichael-Group-of-Seven-Aboriginal-Artists

Flock by Jackson Beardy is among the many contemporary works by Aboriginal artists now on display at the McMichael Canadian Art Collection

MAY 9 TO SEPTEMBER 7  A daytrip to the McMichael Canadian Art Collection is a must for anyone seeking a view of this country’s visual arts. Nestled in verdant woodland, the gallery presents our national narrative in historical and contemporary paintings, photographs, sculptures and more. Works by First Nations and Inuit artists—and those inspired by the Aboriginal experience—are particularly well represented in the McMichael’s collection and exhibitions: through September 7, it highlights the other Group of Seven, known as Professional Native Indian Artists Inc., with a survey of works that helped to bring Aboriginal art to prominence in the mid 20th century. Also on the gallery grounds (to October 18) is Thom Sokoloski’s Colour of the River Running Through Us, an installation of canoe-like structures influenced by our First Peoples’ relationship with water.  —Craig Moy

• McMichael Canadian Art Collection, 10365 Islington Ave., Kleinburg, 905-893-1121; mcmichael.com
Map and reviews

Learn About Inuit Art at the McMichael Canadian Art Collection

Inuit Art McMichael Kleinburg Toronto

Jutai Toonoo’s Thinking of Women is one of many Inuit artworks at the McMichael Canadian Art Collection (photo: Feheley Fine Arts)

FEBRUARY 6 TO JUNE 16  What better way to understand a culture than through its art? Learn all about the famously creative Nunavut settlement of Cape Dorset through three Inuit art exhibitions at the McMichael Canadian Art Collection.

The assemblage of works in Where Do We Come From? What Are We? Where Are We Going? explores the blending of traditions and forward thinking in modern Inuit art, with works such as Jutai Toonoo’s Thinking of Women (pictured above).

Whales’ Tails and Other Tales presents the legacy of the artistic Pudlat family—and the social changes its members lived through—in drawings and prints collected since the 1960s.

Kiugak Ashoona: Stories and Imaginings from Cape Dorset features evocative, shamanic sculptures and drawings by the hamlet’s oldest living Inuit artist.  —Anna Marszalek

>> McMichael Canadian Art Collection, 10365 Islington Ave., 905-893-1121; mcmichael.com
>> Map and reviews

Weekend Roundup: November 2 to 4

The Royal is high on horses

Friday, November 2
The Royal Agricultural Winter Fair rolls into town for its 90th year of show jumping, bull riding, giant vegetable displays and more—not to mention special performances by Olympic equestrians and a brand new cooking competition featuring top chefs from Toronto’s premier hotels. Put on your best farm gear and head down Exhibition Place for a taste of the agro-action.

She may once have said that “polite conversation is rarely either,” but writer and humourist Fran Lebowitz is nonetheless game to sit down for a chat with CBC radio’s Jian Ghomeshi tonight at Massey Hall. With astute observations—about everything from politics to smoking to fame—and not-so-thinly veiled sarcasm on the discursive menu, an entertaining evening is all but guaranteed.

Lively colours and social commentary come together in the Art Gallery of Ontario‘s lauded exhibition Frida & Diego: Passion, Politics and Painting. Not only does the show feature stunning works of autobiographical record by Mexican masters (and husband and wife) Frida Kahlo and Diego Rivera, it also boasts an interesting collection of photos taken of the couple during the 1920s and 30s.

The McMichael Canadian Art Collection showcases its favourite sons, Tom Thomson and the Group of Seven

Saturday, November 3
Enjoy an first-hand look at the country’s most famous collective of artists as the McMichael Canadian Art Collection today opens its latest, highly anticipated exhibition. Painting Canada: Tom Thomson and the Group of Seven has already proved a major success on tour in Europe; now it’s come home with more than 120 of the finest works to ever depict the Canadian hinterland.

Are you starting to get into the holiday spirit? Today, there’s no better way to kick-start the season than by partaking in Winter Magic’s Ice, Wine & Dine event. This one-night-only celebration along Elm Street not only offers $5 bites from a number of restaurants and professional sommelier–led wine tastings, it also highlights festive fun with carolers, ice carvings and other family-friendly entertainment.

Canadian synth-pop duo Crystal Castles tonight bring their intense lo-fi sound—including tracks from their new album, set for release on November 12—to the Kool Haus. If the haunting mood of the album’s first single “Plague” and reviews of singer Alice Glass’s performances are any indication, the show promises to be a treat for electronic music fans.

Local artists assemble at the Gladstone Hotel

Sunday, November 4
Get to know some of Toronto’s best independent contemporary artists for free as the Speak Easy Fall Art Fair takes over the historic Gladstone Hotel. On to November 7, this exhibition gives art lovers a chance to view and purchase works from some of the city’s most promising creators.

Halloween may be over, but you can still join in the Day of the Dead at Harbourfront Centre. Though skeletons abound, this is hardly a spooky event. Instead it’s a Mexican cultural celebration that honours the with colourful shrines, and traditional food, music and storytelling.

Orson Welles’ classic radio broadcast of War of the Worlds gets a tasteful makeover courtesy of the renowned Art of Time Ensemble and Harbourfront Centre. The stage adaptation—complete with live music and sound effects, of course—sets an uncanny mood for Canadian performers Nicholas Campbell, Sean Cullen and Marc Bendavid. Last year’s production completely sold out; don’t miss your second (and final) chance to catch this magnificent show.

Staff Picks: 10 Popular Public Art Galleries

The Art Gallery of Ontario features works by Michael Snow and many, many other artists

Become a part of Toronto’s hot art and culture scene by exploring these public art galleries, which are home to timeless masterpieces, contemporary creations, travelling exhibitions and everything in between. (more…)

Hot Art: Selected Works

Edward Day Gallery

Instead of sifting through unfamiliar galleries for that one special visual, consider seeking art consulting assistance from Exclusive Concierge Services. Private concierge Rosemary Muir gauges her clients’ specific artistic interests and then creates a custom itinerary. Visitors who desire a look at hip new artists might be taken for a tour of the commercial spaces along Queen Street West, such as Edward Day Gallery. Intrigued by Aboriginal works? Muir can help organize trips to the Museum of Inuit Art, McMichael Canadian Art Collection and more. With Toronto’s abundant and diverse set of galleries and museums, advice from a local expert can go a long way to alleviating stress and maximizing your art-viewing visit. Call 416-368-6569 or visit here for additional information.

Weekend Roundup, April 22nd to 24th

Friday: See Measha Brueggergosman in La Clemenza di Tito (photo by Bruce Zinger)

Friday, April 22
Opening tonight at the Elgin Theatre, Opera Atelier‘s production of La Clemenza di Tito features star soprano Measha Brueggergosman, male soprano Michael Maniaci and dramatic tenor Kresimir Spicer. Known as Mozart’s “most perfect work,” this opera has everything, from unrequited love to assassination plots.

In celebration of Good Friday, the Toronto Mendelssohn Choir performs “Sacred Music for a Sacred Space” at St. Paul’s Basilica this evening. The concert features sacred works by renowned Canadian choral composer, Healey Willan.

All weekend long, Easter EGGstravaganza: Toronto’s Largest Easter Egg Hunt takes place on Centre Island. From 11 a.m.  to 5 p.m., children and families can join in the Easter Bunny for activities and games like basket-making, bouncy castles, face painting, egg painting, a petting zoo and Centreville rides.

Saturday: Get a scare at Ghost Stories (photo courtesy of Mirvish Productions)

Saturday, April 23
Halloween isn’t for another six months, but that shouldn’t stop you from seeing Ghost Stories at the Panasonic Theatre. Not for the faint of heart, this is a thrilling, live horror show best suited for audiences 14 years of age or older. Are you brave enough?

Head out of the city for a day trip to Stratford, Ontario and catch the first of the Stratford Festival’s plays for the upcoming season. Previewing this weekend are Grapes of Wrath, based on the novel by John Steinbeck, and Camelot, the renowned musical about the King Arthur and his questing knights.

Free Earth Day Celebrations take place at Todmorden Mills Heritage Museum and Arts Centre, from noon to 4 p.m. today. Children and families are invited to learn what they can do to help the planet, create environmentally friendly artwork, tour the wildflower preserve, and learn about the impact of industrialization on the Don Valley’s natural landscape.

Sunday: Cheer on Adam Lind and the rest of the Blue Jays

Sunday, April 24
Catch the last of a three-game tilt between the Toronto Blue Jays and the Tampa Bay Rays at the Rogers Centre on Sunday at 1 p.m. Before filling up on cracker jacks and hot dogs, go for a casual Easter Sunday brunch at Cora Breakfast & Lunch, just steps away from the stadium.

For something a little fancier, Casa Loma hosts its annual Easter Sunday Royal Brunch, with a smorgasbord including pastries, leg of lamb, salad, pancakes and waffles, pasta, seafood and dessert. There’s even a children’s buffet. Kids can also take part in the “Egg”-citing Hunt on at 11 a.m. or 1 p.m.

Don’t miss your last chance to see In Search of Normal Rockwell’s America, which concludes its run at the McMichael Canadian Art Collection on April 25. This collection juxtaposes Rockwell’s work with that of photojournalist Kevin Rivoli, both telling the story of “everyday life.”

Hot Art: Monroe’s Starring Role

John Vachon's Marilyn with Mountie

FEBRUARY 19 TO MAY 15 Almost 50 years after her death, Hollywood megastar Marilyn Monroe continues to fascinate. From meteoric rise to tragic demise, Monroe’s life played out like a classic movie script. The images she left behind, however, offer a much more complex story. On view at the McMichael Canadian Art Collection, Life as a Legend: Marilyn Monroe paints a captivating picture of the actress and her contradictions—vulnerable yet calculating, equal parts innocence and sexual desire, a woman of both integrity and artifice. More than 150 works—including images, such as John Vachon’s photograph Marilyn with Mountie, which reveal Monroe’s Canadian connection—shine the spotlight on this cultural icon.

Fun on Family Day

Ontario’s Family Day holiday falls this year on Monday, February 21, and offers an excellent opportunity to experience Toronto with your loved ones. Some of the city’s top attractions are even offering special family-oriented deals and programs!

Tim Burton is featured at the TIFF Bell Lightbox (photo by Derek Frey)

MOVIES! Family fun is free for the whole long weekend at the Tiff Bell Lightbox. Take the kids to see some fantastic films and explore the world of Tim Burton at the venue’s huge exhibition dedicated to the famous filmmaker. You can also see stand-up/cabaret artist Shawn Hitchins for a hilarious singalong featuring hits from the latest and greatest movies.

VISTAS! View the city from new heights at the CN Tower, which offers discounted Family Day admission. Be sure to stand on the iconic needle’s glass floor hovering 1,122 feet above street level, or go even higher to the Sky Pod and gaze kilometres into the distance. The attraction also offers a “Himalamazon” motion-theatre ride and the thrilling 3D movie Ultimate Wave Tahiti.

AFRICA! Among the thousands of diverse artifacts on display at the Royal Ontario Museum, your family is certain to be captivated by its display of contemporary pieces by Ghanaian artist El Anatsui. For Family Day, the special exhibition is supplemented by musical performances, films, drumming workshops and even a scavenger hunt through the museum’s comprehensive African rooms.

FEET! Kids can be honourary detectives at the Bata Shoe Museum during its weekend of family fun. Hunt for unique shoes throughout the space to earn a Shoe Detective certificate, try on some of the museum’s craziest shoes, and paint a mini clog to take home.

Harbourfront Centre's Natrel Rink (photo by Jennifer Hart)

SKATING! Make tracks to Toronto’s waterfront for a whole day of wholesome activities, as Harbourfront Centre hosts a family skating party with live music plus special guests including superhero characters, dancers, sock monkeys and Canadian Olympic athletes Jayna Heffors and Greg Westlake. Craft workshops help kids make their own mementos to remember the day by.

FINE ART! Discover some of the world’s most wondrous visuals at the Art Gallery of Ontario. Ask for a family activity bag at the ticketing desk to make your journey through the gallery even more enjoyable. There’s even a kid-focused exhibition, Animal Tales, which offers children the opportunity to share stories and create their own creature drawings.

ANIMALS! Walk into the wild at the Toronto Zoo and discover some fun facts about animal packs and how they work as families—just like us! The zoo’s indoor pavilions feature exhibits on family trees and conservation, too.

HISTORY! Step into Casa Loma and partake in an old-fashioned scavenger hunt with Dora the Explorer. Kids can meet Dora in the library, and see other costumed characters while searching for treasure inside Toronto’s famous castle. For a more regal experience, youngsters can see what it was like to be a knight in the middle ages, courtesy of the Barrie Swordplay Association.

See how tornadoes form at the Ontario Science Centre (photo by Carsten Peter/National Geographic)

HOCKEY! Head to the Hockey Hall of Fame and receive free admission for up to four children with the purchase of one regularly priced adult. Kids will also receive a free muffin voucher from Marché—the better to keep their energy levels up! The museum features interactive activities in the NHLPA Be A Player Zone, as well as numerous artifacts, including hockey’s ultimate prize, the Stanley Cup.

SCIENCE! Heat up inside the Ontario Science Centre with the institution’s newest exhibition, Nature Unleashed, which demonstrates how earthquakes, volcanic eruptions, hurricanes, and tornadoes occur from the inside out. Kids of all ages can also marvel at the world’s largest mammals in the Whales/Tohora exhibit, or sit back and enjoy one of three mind-blowing Imax films.

MARILYN! The McMichael Canadian Art Collection in Kleinburg opens two special exhibitions in honour of the American film legend Marilyn Monroe. Guided tours, film screenings, music and other special programming is scheduled to help shine the spotlight on the shows and their superstar subject.

Weekend Roundup, October 22 to 24

Friday: Hear what the Dalai Lama has to say

Friday, October 22
His Holiness the Dalai Lama returns to Toronto to share his personal thoughts on achieving peace in today’s modern world at the Rogers Centre. His speech, titled Human Approaches to World Peace, encourages us to balance material development with spiritual growth.

It’s your last chance to take in a runway show at LG Fashion Week! Today, see Amanda Lew Kee’s nature-inspired designs, the perfectly tailored DUY collection, and textural pieces from Denis Gagnon.

Head to Massey Hall, where comedienne Margaret Cho makes a stop as part of her “Cho Dependent” tour. Her provocative observations are sure to have you rolling in the aisles.

Saturday: Indulge your sweet tooth

Saturday, October 23
The first weekend of the International Festival of Authors brings together the best and brightest of contemporary world literature—including Jonathan Franzen, Nicole Krauss and Yann Martel—at Harbourfront Centre. There are tons of events to check out today, including an interview with legendary Canadian author Farley Mowat.

Satisfy your sweet tooth with the Toronto Chocolate Festival’s city-wide Chocolicious event, where sweet and pastry shops open their doors with tastings and samplings. More delicious happenings are scheduled throughout the weekend.

The countdown to Halloween continues. Get in the spirit at the Powerhouse of Terror! The Powerhouse was built by the patients at Lakeshore Psychiatric Centre in 1936 and is considered to be one of the most haunted buildings in Toronto. With five terrifying attractions, including the House of Carnage, Zombie Marsh and Cornfield maze, it will put your bravery to the test!

Sunday: Get to know the witches of Oz

Sunday, October 24
The smash-hit Broadway musical Wicked is back for its third engagement in Toronto. Return to Oz and hear the story of Glinda the Good Witch met the Wicked Witch of the West, long before Dorothy dropped in. Grab your tickets before they sell out—again!

It’s the 20th-annual McMichael Autumn Art Sale this weekend. More than 200 works are up for sale, including those by acclaimed contemporary artists Cindy Praakel, Kenneth Kirsh and Lynda Cunningham. The event is expected to attract hundreds of art patrons to the pictureseque site of the McMichael Canadian Art Collection. Make sure you’re one of them!

The ImagineNATIVE Film and Media Arts Festival, which celebrates the latest film and new-media works by Indigenous peoples from around the world, concludes today. This evening at Bloor Cinema, catch the aptly titled Closing Night, a psychological drama about the scarring legacy of Canadian residential schools.

Hot Art: Natural Inspiration

Twisted Pine, by Jim Waddington

ON NOW Artists in Ontario have long been inspired by this province’s vast and diverse landscape—its untamed forests, tranquil lakes and rocky northern shores. Few depictions of the hinterland are better known than those by the Group of Seven. In the early 20th century, Arthur Lismer, A.Y. Jackson and their compatriots were inspired by the Canadian Shield’s rugged beauty; their paintings have in turn influenced generations of artists. Among them are Jim and Sue Waddington, whose practice involves locating and photographing the group members’ sketching sites. Their images are juxtaposed with original Group of Seven works at the McMichael Canadian Art Collection, providing insight into the artists’ working methods and the region’s ancient yet ever-evolving landscape

Canada Day Bashes

Join all of Toronto in celebrating Canada’s 143rd birthday! The city is bursting with memorable parties, activities and festivals to commemorate the special occasion.

photo by Ian Muttoo

There’s no such thing as too many birthday parties!
>> Sing “Happy Birthday” to this country on Canada Day at Mel Lastman Square. The North Toronto venue offers magicians, fire-breathers, jugglers and musical entertainment, including performances by Digging Roots and God Made Me Funky. There’s also an opportunity to meet 2010 Olympic gold medallists Vicky Sunohara (from Canada’s women’s hockey team), Kristina Groves (long-track speed skating), and Charles and François Hamelin (short-track speed skating). Fill up on barbecue fare before the evening culminates with an explosion of fireworks. (more…)