Indigenous peoples of the Arctic have been making art for thousands of years. In this exhibit, we will look at an ancient artifact fashioned by unknown hands, the work of the first generation of Inuit artists, and two contemporary Inuit artists whose work has become part of the international art world.
For most contemporary art critics, the term “decorative” is pejorative, implying that a work, while perhaps pretty, lacks content and depth. The decorative arts, it is commonly assumed, have two features that are at odds with what we think of as fine art: decorative art is typically associated with function – glasses, plates, bowls, jars, carpets, clothes – and its purpose is to project a style or mood rather than to transmit meaning and incite dialogue.
This Collection explores visual arts in Canada through articles, photo galleries, Heritage Minutes and more, and is presented in partnership with Charles Bronfman’s Claridge Collection. Above image: Untitled. Acrylic on canvas, painted by Max Johnson. Courtesy of the Charles Bronfman's Claridge Collection.
Based on an ancient Inuit folktale, Atanarjuat (The Fast Runner) is the first Inuktitut-language feature film ever made. A critically-acclaimed commercial success, it won numerous awards worldwide, including the Camera d’or for best first feature at the Cannes Film Festival and five Genie Awards, including Best Screenplay, Best Direction and Best Motion Picture, as well as the Claude Jutra Award (now the Canadian Screen Award for Best First Feature). It is widely considered one of the best Canadian films ever made, and in 2015 was ranked No. 1 of all time in a poll conducted by the Toronto International Film Festival (see Top 10 Canadian Films of All Time).
The Inuit artist Pitseolak Ashoona was born in a skin tent between 1904 and 1908 while her family was making a spring trek from Salluit, in the Nunavik region of Arctic Québec, to the south coast of Baffin Island (Qikiqtaaluk), during an era when Europeans still had relatively little impact on the far north and when the Inuit still lived on the land as semi-nomadic subsistence hunters and trappers.
Government has always been the most important patron of ARCHITECTURE in Canada, and this role has increased rapidly over the past few decades. As its duties and responsibilities expand, so do its building needs. Today all levels of government contribute to all aspects of our built environment.
In 1848-49 Bellevue was leased to John A. MacDonald, then a member of the Legislative Assembly and receiver general for the Province of Canada. Bellevue was purchased by Parks Canada in 1964 and is now operated as a national historic park. It has been restored to the late 1840s period.
Toronto’s Soulpepper Theatre was founded in 1998 by 13 actors with the assistance of a grant from the Stratford Festival. Considered the best year-round repertory company in Canada, it has presented such acclaimed productions as Anton Chekov’s Uncle Vanya (2001, 2002, 2008) and Tony Kushner’s Angels in America (2013). Since relocating to Toronto’s Distillery District in 2006, Soulpepper has presented such Canadian plays as Sharon Pollock’s Doc (2010), John Murrell’s Waiting for the Parade (2010), and Ins Choi’s Kim’s Convenience (2012). In January 2018, the company was rocked by allegations of sexual harassment against founding artistic director Albert Schultz and accompanying lawsuits against Schultz and Soulpepper.
The term "festival theatre" emerged in England in the nineteenth century to refer to special theatrical performances mounted to celebrate exceptional authors or dates. The festival held in 1864 at Stratford-Upon-Avon, England, to mark the tercentenary of Shakespeare's birth is an early example.
Major's tenure as artistic director (1963-68) was characterized by seasons that featured the classics interspersed with contemporary plays - such as the first North American production of A Man for All Seasons (1968) and Canadian plays such as Arthur Murphy's The Sleeping Bag (1967).