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Issue 134

Inventory: Canada 150: An Exegesis

On May 9, 2016, the Canada Council for the Arts announced an exceptional funding opportunity entitled New Chapter. The program offered up to $150,000 for individuals, collaborations and artist groups or collectives, and up to $500,000 for organizations, to fund projects that would make “a significant impact in [their] community” or “push the boundaries of [their] artistic practice.” Deadlines for applications fell in July and October of the same year. In March 2017, the first accepted projects were announced via the Canada Council website, and the second round in May 2017; the websites states that 200 successful projects will receive a combined $35 million. Presented here is a selection of submissions from individuals and institutions whose projects were not accepted for funding by this program.


221A – Other Colours: An anti-colonial heritage project researching colour swatches from immigrant, working-class and Indigenous built histories.

Administrations for Public Good Art Gallery of Peterborough: Administrations for Public Good marks 2017 with an exhibition, performances and workshops, educational programs, a symposium and publication. The artists and projects selected reveal how systems of power, inadequacies, and expectations presuppose and condition our encounters. This project addresses hypocrisies buried deep within our practices and explores these issues as they exist within Canada. From Stephen Harper’s formal apology in 2008 to the 94 calls-to-action recommended in the Truth and Reconciliation Commission, it is clear that there is work to be done. Paulette Regan writes “Canada’s apology was a call for settlers to take seriously our collective moral responsibility.” Administrations for Public Good accepts this responsibility on behalf of the AGP and invites artists to imagine alternate futures, for both our institution and our region.

Are We Not Horses: Are We Not Horses is a parable for the histories, present and futures of working folk who travel from place to place, looking for a better future. An outdoor sci-fi musical for a hundred-yard field, music and giant puppets with a team of media artists and their cameras.

Art Metropole / ASSEMBLY: ASSEMBLY is an ambitious, public-facing satellite project dedicated to the production and presentation of artists’ publishing and the discourse that surrounds it. ASSEMBLY is an experiment: a publication-studio, educational tool, residency, research site and gallery — a flexible, shifting site of exchange dedicated to expanding conversations on artists’ publishing in Canada, and internationally.

Artist Material Fund: Artist Material Fund – a service that collects unneeded materials from cultural organizations and donates them to artists.

Connecting and Creating Accessibility through Residencies: A series of residencies were proposed to take place in partner spaces throughout the inner-city, culturally-specific neighbourhood where the arts organization was located, highlighting a recent proposal by a developer that would significantly change the character of this historic neighbourhood, and the developer’s blatant lack of community consultation prior to appealing to City Council for support of the project.

Dance Machine: Dance Machine is an installation that invites diverse artists and publics into a guided & facilitated immersive experience. This project proposes to present the Dance Machine in various cities across Canada between May and November 2017 alongside the creation of an accompanying Manifesto and short film.

Decoding Drake: Decoding Drake is a travelling research, production and dissemination platform which is premised on a circumnavigation of the globe by 35 artists on commercial container ships in seven phases over a 12-month period and includes over six International public programs, two Canadian exhibitions, a publication and an interactive web platform. The project will support 10-15 Canadian artists of diverse experience, among a group of 20 additional international artists to create exceptional and vital works from the unique vantage point of a commercial shipping vessel. Decoding Drake is based loosely on a re-charting of the path of Operation Drake, a utopian multinational and neocolonial project, from 1978-80 in which a group of 414 YEs (Young Explorers) participants and researchers circumnavigated the globe along the original pathway of Sir Francis Drake, in commemoration of the 400 year anniversary of his journey.

Embodied Aura: Embodied Aura is a nine-month social exhibition featuring a sculptural installation that opens in conjunction with a performance and presentation series, a risograph publication and an evolving online conversation space. The exhibition will open in the Fall of 2017, hosted by (Toronto), before traveling to other locations internationally, including Hudson, NY; London, UK; Riga, Latvia and Beijing, China. Each exhibition is presented in partnership with a local artist-run institution, facilitating a growing rhizomatic conversation that fosters collaboration between communities. Locations have been selected to represent a diverse range in the spectrum of international cities balanced with de-centred localities more removed from the international contemporary arts community. Our aim is to expand and diversify the conversation that circulates around the notions of image, body and embodiment by engaging marginalized voices in community networks both locally and internationally.

Everybody Knows: Everybody Knows enacts a performance of betrayal by public figures who either symbolize this betrayal, or oppose this betrayal. Cohen’s words, “Everybody knows that the boat is leaking / Everybody knows that the captain lied / That’s how it goes/ Everybody Knows,” resonate, but which side is the performer on?

The Force of What’s Possible: The Force of What’s Possible is a radio show, an exhibition and a parallel publication created by Alissa Firth-Eagland and cheyanne turions that tracks conciliation efforts that have risen up across Canada in response to the Truth and Reconciliation Commission’s (TRC) calls to action.

Good Women Dance Collective: Establish a national touring network for small-scale, experimental work created by late-emerging and early mid-career Canadian dance and performance artists.

Jericho: Jericho is a feature-length documentary about noise, silence and how sound shapes humanity.

MetaObjects Digital Commissions: MetaObjects Digital Commissions are a series of works created in collaboration with artists looking to explore new technologies, including 3D printing, VR and robotics, in their work. The project aims to enable artists to develop new knowledge and skills to expand their practice and to create a platform to address the unique considerations of creating, distributing and presenting digital works.

Four projects were proposed including works by Ryo Ikeshiro (UK), Chris Shen (UK), Katie Torn (US), Quintin Teszeri (CA).

The intention is to provide support for artists who do not have the resources to create the work and to allow them to explore a new technology they have not used before in their work.

The Sesquicentennial Supper: I am proposing a touring artwork and installation piece composed of a “restaurant.” This installation will have all the contents of a restaurant, but without any walls, and it will travel, place-to-place, across the countryside. It will only present itself outdoors in various landscapes; it’s location is simply Canada. It will be open to the general public, inviting them to a powerful, daring and immersive artistic experience.

Unmaking Monuments: Unmaking Monuments acknowledges the complexities of the idea of legacy, and foregrounds the problematic nature of commemoration. The project aims to expose untold stories, and explore sites where disparate cultures and scales of time intersect.

Untitled Art Society – City of Voices: City of Voices is a large-scale exhibition of new works by Indigenous artists to be exhibited on billboards across Calgary

Wood Land School: Wood Land School 2017 will present two performative gatherings with exceptional writers, thinkers and artists in Montreal, QC, and North Bay, ON, an innovative publication that documents the gatherings, an online intervention and outreach programming to Indigenous youth.

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