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July-August 2017

Q&A: Canadian artist Adrian Stimson on Canada 150 and diverse storytelling

In conversation with the curator behind Vancouver Queer Arts Festival's UnSettled

Carine Abouseif@carineabouseif

How were you chosen to curate UnSettled? I was approached in August when they had already created the UnSettled theme, linked to reconciliation. In taking it on, I decided to drop the reconciliation piece, since it’s a fundamental part of a lot of things Indigenous people are doing right now. I also wanted to give […] More »
May-June 2017

Saskatchewan artist creates her own Canada 150 tribute

Heather Cline goes against the grain in recognizing our country's sesquicentennial

John Thomson

Apartment, acrylic panel, 2016. Courtesy Heather Cline. Regina, Sask., artist Heather Cline has her own ideas about Canada’s sesquicentennial. There’s nothing wrong with a big national blowout, she says, but Ottawa’s version of an official birthday party isn’t for her. “In Canada, we talk a lot about big history moments, but I’ve always thought about […] More »
May-June 2017

Partner brings lesbian garage rock to cities across the country

This New Brunswick band isn’t afraid to talk sexuality, feelings, or Ellen Page

Marko Woloshyn

Although labelling a band “lesbian garage rock” may sound reductive or even backhanded, in the case of Sackville, N.B.-based Partner, it’s welcomed. “Most songs are straight, but our songs aren’t straight, because we’re not,” says the band’s guitarist- vocalist Lucy Niles. “We’re just plain old fashioned dykes, really.” These kinds of matter-of-fact declarations are scattered […] More »
May-June 2017

New film follows a Toronto sexual assault trial, featuring an all-female crew

Behind the scenes of Slut or Nut: The Diary of a Rape Trial

Leah Lalich@LeahLalich

The same day the Jian Ghomeshi trial began at Toronto’s Old City Hall, another sexual assault trial was taking place just one floor above. Kelly Showker’s upcoming documentary film, Slut or Nut: The Diary of a Rape Trial, follows York University PhD student Mandi Gray as she settles her human rights case with the university, following […] More »
May-June 2017

Manitoba artist uses portraits to comment on the realities of Iranian women

Behind Zahra Baseri's award-winning Outcry #3

Sharon Kashani

Behind black lattice, parts of women’s eyes, lips, and noses peer out of the art piece, fighting to be individualized. While women in Iran are not the shrouded masses that the media stereotypes them as—a walk through Tehran, the country’s capital, usually includes women dressed in fashionable colours, patterns, and makeup—they are nevertheless required to abide […] More »
May-June 2017

The curse of nostalgia on millennial television

Shows for millennial audiences rely on sentimentality to reel in its viewers. In the case of Riverdale, it’s a detrimental move

Richard Kelly Kemick@richardkemick

The camera pans the much-anticipated pep rally, tasked with cheering-up the students of Riverdale High after their classmate’s recent murder. The cheerleading squad performs a dance to a mash-up of “Sugar, Sugar” (aptly, by The Archies), and even though the choreography is composed mainly of coquettish shrugging, the performance is so emotionally damaging to Cheryl Blossom—twin […] More »

Want to be part of Toronto’s art scene? New monthly event encourages emerging artists to join in

The Slackline Creative Arts Series creates a welcoming environment for newbies

Allyson Aritcheta@ariCheddar

The seating area of the Burdock music hall is cast in a faint glow by the string lights above. A spotlight creates a faint hue behind a microphone. Tonight’s artist line up is taped on the microphone stand. The Slackline Creative Arts Series is ready for another show. The volunteer-run arts series started in July […] More »

Halifax exhibit explores the politics of sound

Sound Etiquette is open until April 24

Madi Haslam@madihaslam

The sound of biting lips softly. The sound of bones cracking. The sound of a light that never flickers. What we hear depends on who we are. These personal politics of sound are the focus of a challenging art exhibition in Halifax. Sound Etiquette explores the social conventions around sonic communication the hearing community might […] More »
March-April 2017

How traditional Greenlandic mask dance has helped an Inuit performance artist tell her stories

Laakkuluk Williamson Bathory is known for appearances in Tanya Tagaq's videos and her own body-positive performances

Beatrice Paez@beatricespaez

Imagine a teenager, face smeared in soot and red and white paint, summoning the crowd to its feet. This was the breathtaking scene at Laakkuluk Williamson Bathory’s pep rally in the 1990s. Pep rallies, stirring and spirited as they are, don’t immediately evoke images of overtly political, much less radical, acts. But for Williamson Bathory, […] More »

Q&A: Award-winning Indigenous artist Shelley Niro

On her start, working with family, and working in multiple mediums

Anqi Shen

Mohawks in Beehives (1991) Shelley Niro’s visual art and film have explored a borderless continent, power and pop culture, life on First Nations reserves, and much more – never without a sense of self. Niro, born in 1954 in Niagara Falls, New York, is a Mohawk artist from the Six Nations Reserve near Brantford, Ont. Living […] More »
March-April 2017

New film takes a much-needed glance into Canada’s uncomfortable past with racism and slavery

An inside look at Howard J. Davis's C'est Moi

Melissa Gonik

She strolls softly through a deserted modern-day Montreal. Her outfit—and the way she seems to float through the streets—indicate her lack of connection to this modern scene. This is Marie-Josèphe Angélique, a slave “owned” by François Poulin of Montreal in the early 1730s. Canadian filmmaker Howard J. Davis uses his film C’est Moi as an […] More »