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Black Lives Matter set to open 10,000-square-foot art and activism centre in Toronto – CBC.ca

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A 10,000-square-foot hub to promote Black activism and art is opening in the heart of downtown Toronto early next year. 

Black Lives Matter (BLM) Canada is launching the Wildseed Centre for Art and Activism at 24 Cecil St. near Spadina Avenue and College Street. It will be a space where Black community members of all ages can create and meet freely, Sandy Hudson, the group’s co-founder, told CBC News.

“Having a space like this that has a level of permanence, that is large, that allows for different types of organizations to come together and create community. It’s going to be a really, really big shift for Black Canada and Black Toronto,” she said. 

The three-storey building recently purchased by BLM is large enough for a lounge, dance floor, sound recording booth, event space and garden for “explicit political creation,” Hudson said. Black interior designs and architects will lead the renovations. 

Centre has city’s support

The city is providing the Wildseed Centre with  $250,000 for capital upgrades, said Coun. Mike Layton, who represents Ward 11, University-Rosedale. When council meets next week, he will be requesting ongoing funding for the centre’s operations.

“This was our opportunity to demonstrate through a financial commitment that we would like to see Black Lives Matter and Wildseed excel and thrive in this space,” Layton said in an interview Wednesday. 

“And in a neighbourhood that’s becoming increasingly unaffordable, to be able to protect a building like this and insert the type of energy that will be brought by Wildseed, it’s very exciting.” 

WATCH: CBC News Network’s Ginella Massa speaks with Wildseed Centre’s Jessica Kirk:

Since 2014, Black Lives Matter – Canada has discussed the importance of space for Black activists and artists to think big. Now, the organization says it will close a deal on a Victorian mansion in the heart of Toronto on July 22. Ginella Massa spoke with Wildseed Centre executive director Jessica Kirk, in front of what will be their new Black-owned site. 5:00

In the past, BLM struggled to find space to plan demonstrations and hold community meetings — a problem faced by many Black organizations in Toronto, Hudson said. 

“We were always beholden to somebody else’s idea of what we could do or restricted the amount of space that we could get,” said Hudson. “The amount of space that Black people have in the city is limited.” 

The Wildseed Centre’s official launch was set to take place in March 2020 in a smaller rented space, Hudson said. Then the pandemic hit along with the lockdowns. For the past year and a half, BLM has been planning something more ambitious.

Now the fully Black-owned and operated building is almost complete.

A pre-pandemic event at the first version of the Wildseed Centre, in a rented space, on March 7, 2020. It will now be in a much larger building owned by Black Lives Matter Canada in downtown Toronto. (Sandy Hudson/Supplied)

“Community members can just come by and not think they need to edit who they are,” said Hudson. “They will have access to all sorts of space, lots and lots of space. It’s going to be a unique culture to this particular space.”


For more stories about the experiences of Black Canadians — from anti-Black racism to success stories within the Black community — check out Being Black in Canada, a CBC project Black Canadians can be proud of. You can read more stories here.

(CBC)

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Art exhibits return to Callander’s Alex Dufresne gallery – BayToday.ca

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After a long hiatus, art shows are returning to the Alex Dufresne Gallery at the Callander Bay Heritage Museum this Saturday.

The works of Carole Davidson and Sara Carlin-Ball are highlighted in an exhibit entitled “Journeys to a Conversation with Nature.”

In a release promoting the show, Davidson and Carlin-Ball explain the “works display a felt presence of our natural environment in unexpected materials and surprising subjects.”

Their goal in selecting the pieces for the exhibit is to capture “the luscious spectacular that is Nature, Muse, Essence,” and emphasize how these “inspire the audience to revision their place – their gratitude and responsibility – on this Earth.”

See: Callander museum reopens from COVID with new art show

“It feels absolutely wonderful to have art back on the walls,” said Natasha Wiatr, the gallery’s curator.   

The last show was this past April but did not last long before Covid regulations closed the event. Since then, “the walls have been empty.”

“We haven’t consistently had shows in what feels like so long,” she said, and is pleased to launch what will hopefully be a long stretch of exhibits.

Currently, the gallery is booked until 2023, “and we’ve added two more shows per year,” Wiatr explained.

“We see ourselves as a community-based gallery,” she said, and as such, strive to present as many local artists as possible.

See: White Water Gallery has a new executive director

The Museum and Art Gallery are open Tuesday to Saturday from 10:00 – 5:00 p.m.

The gallery can hold 14 people at once, and walk-ins are welcome. Appointments can also be booked ahead of time at www.mycallander.ca/gallery.

Staff remind to you please wear a mask when you visit and maintain social distance.

Admission to the museum is $5 for seniors and students, $4.50 for kids 6-12, free for children under 6 and adults pay $5.50. Family rate for 4 is $15. Entrance to the gallery is by donation.

See: Mattawa museum celebrates reopening with Community exhibit

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Callander museum reopens with art show – The North Bay Nugget

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The art show Journeys to a Conversation with Nature will reopen the Callander Museum and Alex Dufresne Gallery Saturday.

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The works of Carole Davidson and Sarah Carlin-Ball will remain on display to Aug. 20.

“There is an essential longing for life that erupts in a luscious spectacular that we call Nature,” the artists said in a statement.

“The human animal is a part of this longing for life that some might call a Muse – a Muse for artists of every passion and discipline. Artists are at the mercy of their muse and transcribe whatever is whispered to them about life, people, and the compelling natural environment they belong to.

“One may be a studied artist haphazardly trained while another may be an experimental soul, interpreting the ever-changing environment around her.”

Influenced by the gifts of their lives and the natural offerings around them, each artist interprets what touches her soul. Each piece of art tells a portion of her journey, calling to the viewer to look more closely at what life has to teach us.

Carlin-Ball’s muse slumbered as she was raising her children and working. As soon as she could make time, there was an explosion of experimentation driven by her mantra ‘What would happen if…?’

Mistakes happily romped with successes. Now, her careful, unique presentations interpret life and nature, and challenge one’s imagination.

As she learned of the melting of the muskeg and the possibility that Canada will soon lose that habitat and vibrant spring bloom, Carlin-Bell felt the compulsion to replicate that vital image with unexpected media: patinated and fired copper was punched and threaded through with fibre knotted to create the blooms and surface stems.

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Eventually, the vibrant muskeg spring emerged.

One of Carole Davidson’s pieces of art which will be on display at the Callander Museum and Alex Dufresne Gallery until Aug. 20Submitted Photo
One of Carole Davidson’s pieces of art which will be on display at the Callander Museum and Alex Dufresne Gallery until Aug. 20Submitted Photo

For Davidson, nature was a refuge she quietly celebrated with natural and cultivated talent for art and writing. A busy and brief career in graphic design took over until disabling MS symptoms forced (or allowed) her to slow down.

She began a meditation practice to cope with symptoms and immediately began painting again.

Her creative work parallels her spiritual path and the subjects of her study get smaller and smaller as she has the opportunity to stop and notice. She finds joy in a yellow spider on a sunflower or a nest full of baby robins.

Together, their works display a felt presence of our natural environment in unexpected materials and surprising subjects.

The Museum and Art Gallery are open Tuesday to Saturday from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Appointments can be booked ahead of time at www.mycallander.ca/gallery and the museum and gallery also welcome same-day walk-ins.

Those visiting are asked to wear a mask and social distance.

The museum and art gallery are located at 107 Lansdowne St. E., Callander.

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Greenpoint This Week: Art Fair, Staycations and More – greenpointers.com

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Happy Weekend Greenpoint!

This weekend, The Other Art Fair is back in town, with affordable artworks ready for your post-quarantine redecorating plans.

If you’re eager to get out, plan a staycation in the neighborhood, for a change of scenery, without a sink full of dirty dishes. If you prefer your own pillows, consider just spending a day at one of our local outdoor pools. The newly opened Le Doggie Cool also has open cafe hours this Saturday, for pups to play in their backyard pool.

This week, we reported that Brooklyn Bowl is reopening in early September! Get your tickets now for upcoming parties and shows. If you’re looking for a free event, Friday night brings a screening of Frozen to Transmitter Park.

We also reported that a new community fridge has opened on Greenpoint Ave. near Transmitter Park. And shared some unfortunate news about a Greenpoint resident arrested for recording his female roommates without their consent.

Make sure to fit in your last visit to the Leonard Library before it closes for renovations on Monday, August 2. Worry not – Greenpoint Library is still up and running, with computer service and open seating also now available.

Don’t forget to check out our summer 2021 fashion sundae roundup for this season’s best local looks.

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