Art Van began its final sale Friday.
The Warren-based retailer’s sudden announcement that it would wind down operations comes only three years after its late founder, Art Van Elslander, sold the company to a Boston-based private equity firm, Thomas H. Lee Partners LP, in an estimated $550 million deal.
How did a seemingly healthy, valuable and beloved company go so wrong so fast?
After its 2017 acquisition, Thomas H. Lee set an aggressive strategy to open 200 more stores and double revenue to $2 billion by 2020.
But being saddled with roughly $400 million in debt and no financial cushion to respond to the disruption of changing furniture habits left Art Van’s business model sitting on a tinderbox. Management missteps were all the fuel needed to burn the house down.
The story of Art Van’s demise is full of finger-pointing and finger-wagging from consumers and experts blaming bad management from financial acquirers, and consumers’ growing penchant for online retail.
They’re all true.
Private equity and hedge funds have a rough history in the retail sector, despite a growing presence across all industries.
Companies owned by private equity firms accounted for 8.8 million jobs in the U.S. in 2018, according to a Feb. 1 New York Times story on the demise of Payless ShoeSource under Alden Capital Partners.
However, 10 of the 14 largest retail bankruptcies since 2012 have been owned by private equity, including Toys R Us and RadioShack.
Thomas H. Lee entered the business with no previous experience in the furniture retail market. But it’s not a retail virgin, as the private equity firm manages a $22 billion portfolio that includes 1-800 Contacts, Bargain Hunt Superstores, Dunkin’ Brands, Fogo de Chao and Party City.
Diana Sikes, senior vice president of marketing at Art Van from 2010 until August 2018, said Thomas H. Lee wasn’t brought in to rescue a struggling retailer, but to modernize its IT infrastructure and build its online presence. However, all it brought was a misunderstanding of retail and inept executives.
“(Thomas H. Lee) had blind spots,” Sikes said. “They had a complete disregard for Warren, Michigan, and its ability to attract top talent. They were of the belief that if you weren’t Ivy League talent and vetted by Boston Consulting Group or KPMG, you couldn’t possibly be capable of growing a company.”
The company was profitable when Thomas H. Lee entered, but its cost-cutting strategy quickly dismantled its balance sheet, said a former executive who spoke to Crain’s on the condition of anonymity due to a nondisclosure agreement.
“The first thing (Thomas H. Lee) did was start cutting costs and cutting people,” the executive said. “When everyone starts looking back and analyzing this, how it happened, they are going to see they took a successful brand with a successful executive team and destroyed a great company in three years by bringing in the same team that ran the demise of Kmart and Sears.”
Longtime CEO Kim Yost retired from the company in February 2018, less than a year after Thomas H. Lee acquired the company and only days after Van Elslander died.
Yost was replaced in April 2018 by Ronald Boire, a former Barnes & Noble Inc. CEO and executive at Toys R Us, Brookstone, Kmart and Sears. Yahoo! Finance ranked Boire as the worst executive of 2016 after Barnes & Noble reported a $24.6 million loss that year.
The executive said Thomas H. Lee terminated or accepted the resignation of upward of 22 Art Van executives in the first two years of its ownership.
“(Thomas H. Lee) did not put passionate leaders in seats,” Sikes said. “They replaced people working crazy hours and with passion with a team of numbers crunchers who would fly in on Monday and fly out on Thursday night. That might work in manufacturing, but not in retail.”
Boire left the company 14 months later in July. Gary Fazio took over the top executive role in September. Fazio had retired in 2015 as the CEO of the Serta-Simmons Bedding Co., the world largest bedding manufacturer and supplier to Art Van. Gail Galea, Art Van’s executive vice president and chief merchandising officer, also departed last year.
To fund the transaction, Thomas H. Lee loaded up Art Van with debt — a common private equity tactic to reduce the firm’s financial exposure. Art Van carries $178 million in debt with FS KKR Capital Corp., the publicly traded business development and lending arm of New York private equity firm KKR & Co. Inc.
KKR declined to comment.
Crain’s was unable to independently verify the rest of Art Van’s debt, but sources said the company owed $60 million to Wells Fargo & Co. with an additional roughly $180 million in unsecured debt. Wells Fargo did not respond to inquiries.
The bent of private equity often is to extract as much cash as possible, as quickly as possible from a company, said Pat O’Keefe, CEO of Bloomfield Hills-based advisory form O’Keefe & Associates Consulting.
At closing in 2017, Thomas H. Lee entered into a series of sale-leaseback deals on Art Van’s real estate, including its 1.06 million-square-foot headquarters in Warren and 20 locations in Michigan, with a variety of buyers after closing the deal to buy Art Van.
“Private equity saw value outside the business in the real estate owned by Art Van, who owned a number of their stores,” O’Keefe said. “They entered into a massive sale-leaseback to liquidate the value of the real estate and recover a big part of their initial investment.”
The executive said the move constrained cash flow as the retailer became bogged down by high rents.
Thomas H. Lee then made the bolt-on acquisitions of Levin Furniture in Pittsburgh and Wolf Furniture Co. in Altoona, Pa., in separate deals Crain’s estimated at a total of $260 million.
The acquisitions boosted Art Van’s workforce by 1,900 to 5,500 employees and added 53 stores. Art Van reported to Crain’s revenue of $850 million in 2018, up from $650 million in 2015.
O’Keefe said the bolt-on formula that was popularized in manufacturing routinely fails under finance-driven private equity ownership.
“This is almost always a disaster, as the PE firm rarely executes on the plan post closing as they don’t devote resources to the synergies they are hoping to get from centralized purchasing, human resources and other administrative duties,” O’Keefe said.
“They often don’t plow money into the business and the companies now under a sea of debt often don’t make it, especially if there is a small hiccup in the numbers.”
Thomas H. Lee told Crain’s in an emailed statement that “investors in the March 2017 acquisition, including THL, will lose 100 percent of their principal investment in the company and never received any dividends or returns of capital from their investments.”
Online companies such as Wayfair in furniture and Casper, Leesa and Tuft & Needle in bedding have gobbled up market share away from legacy traditional retailers like Art Van and competitor Gardner White. Online retail giant Amazon is also cutting into its bottom line.
The 25 largest furniture and bedding retailers in the U.S. combined for a 7.5 percent increase in sales to $45.7 billion in 2018, according to a report in Furniture World. However, it was Amazon and Wayfair that dominated those increases. The pair combined for an estimated 35.8 percent increase in estimated furniture and bedding sales in 2018.
Nearly 20 percent of all U.S. furniture sales are now online, according to IBISWorld data. Traditional brick-and-mortar outlets continue to lose market share even as total sales increase, with the exception of manufacturer-branded companies such as Monroe-based La-Z-Boy Furniture, according to Furniture Today.
“Despite our best efforts to remain open, the Company’s brands and operating performance have been hit hard by a challenging retail environment,” Diane Charles, Art Van Furniture’s vice president of communications, said in a statement upon announcing the liquidation.
But all the evidence of decline didn’t stop retailers from expanding, In 2018, there were more mattress stores in the U.S. than McDonald’s, USA Today reported. The number of mattress stores in the U.S. increased by 32 percent between 2009 and 2017 to 15,255, according to IBISWorld.
An Art Van competitor, Houston-based Mattress Firm Holdings, entered Chapter 11 bankruptcy after an acquisition binge that grew its footprint to 3,230 storefronts and 10,000 employees. The mattress retailer ballooned revenue to $3.4 billion in 2018 from just $432.3 million in 2009, but was bleeding money for years. It reported a $54 million net loss in 2018.
Upon exiting bankruptcy in November 2018, Mattress Firm closed as many as 900 underperforming stores.
The executive said Art Van’s move to mattress stores was likely unwise, as it reduced foot traffic at its furniture stores.
“Bedding is a major driver of furniture sales,” the executive said. “When you put them out separately, you have those additional (real estate and marketing) costs and one product line to make up all the money. That didn’t work.”
Art Van attempted in recent years to upscale its product line, under the belief that the store had more opportunity to compete with home furnishing retailers Pottery Barn and Ethan Allen Interiors, said retail and urban planning expert Robert Gibbs, CEO of Birmingham-based retail advisory firm Gibbs Planning Group.
“Art Van never got over the image of being the low-cost option, or the middle-class’ furniture store,” Gibbs said. “They believed the newer, higher quality merchandise and price points would reflect differently on the brand. At the same time, Pottery Barn and Ethan Allen reduced their prices and offered many more promotions. Art Van never caught up. They were having a once-in-a-lifetime sale every weekend.”
Sikes disagrees that Art Van’s PureSleep stores or upscaling had anything to do with its demise.
“(Thomas H. Lee) is promulgating this idea that the challenging retail environment did this. No way,” Sikes said. “Mr. Van built up a strong company where people in their first apartment with a $500 budget would be well served and people building their dream home with a $50,000 budget could be served. All of this is such a minuscule piece of the pie. Did millennials kill Art Van? No. Did a shift in product kill Art Van? No. We were in a wonderful spot when they came in.”
Thomas H. Lee also slashed the company’s marketing budget, making it even more difficult to communicate its new quality and stores, the executive said.
“If you watch TV in Michigan, you couldn’t miss an Art Van ad,” the executive said. “It was in your face every day. But when they cut that back, we struggled to get people in the door.”
Conway said cutting the advertising spend was the death knell for the company.
“Art Van is a huge marketing play. Art was a marketing genius and that’s what grew the company,” Conway said.
Another compounding factor was the ongoing trade war between the U.S. and China.
China was the top furniture exporter to the U.S. in 2018, sending $34 billion in tables, chairs, couches and other home furnishings to our shores. Those imports were hit with a 10 percent tariff in September 2018, but then jumped to 25 percent in May 2018 after the U.S. and China trade talks stalled.
The tariffs would add $4.6 billion a year to what consumers will spend on imported furniture such as recliners, couches and upholstered living-room items, according to a June study from the National Retail Federation.
Alex Calderone, managing director of Birmingham-based Calderone Advisory Group, said the tariffs have lowered margins significantly for major furnishing retailers.
“Some of the furniture retailers our firm has come across simply couldn’t pass these costs on to consumers,” Calderone said.
Despite announcing liquidation last week, a Chapter 11 bankruptcy filing was expected as early as March 6 or early this week.
Hilco Global and Gordon Brothers have been retained to assist Art Van in liquidating, the company told employees in a memo sent last week and obtained by Crain’s. The liquidators would sell all of Art Van’s remaining inventory, including office equipment and wall fixtures, and any other assets to repay creditors.
Art Van’s approximately 44 Levin Furniture and Wolf Furniture stores, which the company acquired in 2017, will be sold back to former owner Robert Levin, pending court approval, the company said in a news release. Eight of those stores, however, will be liquidated.
There are another 146 Art Van stores remaining. An unknown portion of those stores are franchised and will not be liquidated.
Approximately 3,100 employees, including 262 at its headquarters in Warren, are scheduled to lose their jobs as the company winds down, with all stores expected to be closed by May 31.
The Van Elslander family, led by Gary Van Elslander, was in discussions to buy back the company in a stalking-horse bid under the Chapter 11 reorganization, but a deal never materialized.
On whether the family could return to the table, Conway said it’s unlikely.
“I don’t see the family coming back in,” Conway said. “Art has about 40 grandchildren. I don’t see Gary wanting to get in the middle of that mess.”
A buyer could yet emerge to salvage parts of the company and the valuable name.
“Art Van is really one of the best-known furniture stores in the country,” Gibbs said. “It’s highly respected. I’d hate to see it just go away.”
Sotheby's CEO on Why the Art Market Is Soaring – The Wall Street Journal
Amid London’s ongoing summer auction series, Sotheby’s Chief Executive Charles Stewart is taking stock of the global art market, and he likes what he sees.
On Wednesday, Sotheby’s sold $182 million worth of art over a couple hours in London, meeting the house’s expectations even though a few works by artists such as David Hockney and Ernst Ludwig Kirchner failed to find buyers. Top sales included Francis Bacon’s $53 million “Portrait of Lucian Freud” and Andy Warhol’s $16 million “Self Portrait.” Feverish bidding followed young upstarts like Flora Yukhnovich, whose smudgy Rococo-style painting, “Boucher’s Flesh,” sold to a bidder in Asia for $2.8 million—10 times its low estimate.
London’s sales mark the latest win for Mr. Stewart, who joined Sotheby’s after telecom titan
bought the auction house for $3.7 billion three years ago. Mr. Stewart, who previously worked in telecom and banking, had barely made the rounds to meet his international team when the pandemic hit. Overnight, he had to cancel hundreds of in-person auctions and pivot the company to operate in a marketplace entirely online. The company took a hit in 2020, reporting $5.5 billion in sales, but it bounced back to $7.3 billion last year—a record-high for the 278-year-old company.
Mr. Stewart, a 52-year-old Connecticut native, said he applied lessons learned from the telecom industry to broaden access to Sotheby’s offerings by retooling its online auctions to be easier to find, livestream and click-to-bid. These moves are paying off now even as the world reopens.
“The art market is still really opaque, so we are trying to reduce barriers and allow more people to feel comfortable buying art from us,” he said. “I’m always going to be interested in extending our reach.”
Mr. Stewart recently spoke with The Wall Street Journal from the auction house’s office in Paris. Here are edited excerpts:
Despite the volatility in the broader financial markets, art sales are surging. How do you explain what’s happening in the art market right now?
We’re not impervious to global economic woes, but great material performs well, and we’ve had some strong pieces come to market. I think we’re also seeing the importance of the global nature of our business. We’ve had collectors from over 50 countries bid in our sales, and whenever we’ve noticed stress or anxiety coming from country X, sector Y, category Z, the bidding is so broad-based that it offsets these concerns. That keeps prices strong.
The market has also expanded to include people who are stepping in to bid at all levels, not just at the top. And I think there’s just more interest overall in owning tangible, physical objects at this point in time. In a world of volatility and uncertainty, people crave things that endure.
Is the market nearing a peak?
Art is probably more of a lagging indicator rather than a leading indicator of where the markets are. We don’t necessarily see dramatic corrections. When our market slows down, fewer things become available to sell, but anyone waiting around to get a 30% discount on a masterpiece may be disappointed and frustrated.
We’re kind of like the oceanfront property that everyone’s waiting for the right moment to buy, but there’s a lot of money waiting for that moment. As soon as the price for anything goes down even a little bit, people start to jump in. I see a similar dynamic in our brackets.
Inflation is high in the U.S., and yet that doesn’t appear to have dampened the art market. Why is that?
Art is priced globally, and people bid in whatever currency they use. You may own an object and think about it in dollars, but the bidders trying to win it might be thinking in euros or Swiss francs. Inflation can accompany currency weakness, but art is valued at a globally determined price, so it can be a good hedge against inflation made worse by currency weaknesses.
Cryptocurrencies are flatlining. What’s your outlook on NFT art?
Crypto has clearly repriced significantly, and that’s had implications for the NFT market. But I think people are starting to understand the difference between NFTs created by artists and those made for the collectible markets or for communities like the Bored Apes. Last year it was all sort of lumped together. Now, there’s some clear distinctions.
I also think there’s so much yet to be unlocked in terms of blockchain usage, and the day will come when the physical art we sell will somehow be recorded and supported by a token on the blockchain. It’ll be the standard because it has the potential to solve a number of long-standing issues around things like title, authenticity and provenance. It took the rise of NFT art to raise our own collective awareness to these possibilities.
Where else are you seeing growth and potential in your industry?
We bought a majority stake in our car auction partner, RM Sotheby’s, a few months ago because we see the power and the size of the collectible car market. It’s incredible.
Our luxury categories are also up significantly, more than 30% higher than last year. Even though we’re associated with the best masterpieces, 80% of our bidding goes to win objects under $25,000. Our clients aren’t just looking for the best Van Gogh—they’re buying things across 70 different categories in the 500 sales we hold each year, at all price ranges.
From sneakers to handbags to jewelry to wine and certainly collectible cars, collectors are thinking differently about these categories as well. Years ago, you’d buy a nice watch and you’d have it for your whole life. Now, you might sell it in three years because there are different ways to do that without much time or cost friction.
What parts of the world intrigue you now as potential art hubs?
Korea is an incredibly strong market, and even though we don’t host auctions there, we are paying attention to it. Hong Kong continues to be the hub despite its challenges, but we’re selling a lot to Japan, Singapore, Southeast Asia, Indonesia, Vietnam. China’s very important and obviously very large, but it’s not the only thing.
We are seeing bigger cultural ambitions across the Middle East, from the Emirates to Saudi Arabia. We’ve just opened a beautiful space in Cologne, Germany, and we have a gallery in Los Angeles. We have to engage people where they are and not wait for them to pass through New York, Paris or London.
SHARE YOUR THOUGHTS
Why do you think art sales don’t track with higher inflation?
Shiny sculpture relocated to shady northeast Calgary streetcorner – CTV News Calgary
A piece of public art that was removed and put into storage after burning a hole through a spectator’s jacket has been reinstalled in a new location.
The Wishing Well made a splashy return Thursday morning in the Bridgeland neighbourhood.
“Great cities have great public art and Calgary is a great city,” said Alex MacWilliam, president of the Bridgeland-Riverside Community Association.
“This is just one more reason for people to be proud that (they) live here and we’re excited for people to come and visit us.”
The piece was initially installed outside the Genesis Centre in the city’s northeast in 2012.
A year later, someone admiring the stainless steel statue complained her coat had been scorched by the refraction of the sun’s rays.
It was removed in 2014 but the City of Calgary has been working with the San Francisco-based artists, Living Lenses, to fix the safety issues, including putting non-reflective coating inside the sculpture and moving it to a 20 degree angle.
“We’ve done a lot of study around this, how the sun moves in this space and the 20 degree angle really mitigates the remaining safety concerns,” said Julie Yepishina-Geller, the public art liaison for the City of Calgary.
Geller said the piece’s new home at the Bridge, a multi-family rental living space and retail plaza by JEMM Properties located in the 900 block of McPherson Square N.E., will also help as it provides more shade.
Geller said the piece’s new home at the Bridge, a multi-family rental living space and retail plaza by JEMM Properties located in the 900 block of McPherson Square N.E., will also help as it provides more shade.
“It’s really a combination of factors that we had to consider so we started the process three years ago and have been sort of chipping away at it ever since,” she said.
Edan Lindenbach, principal of land planning and development with JEMM Properties, said it’s been a dream of the company’s to “activate” Bridgeland.
“We really wanted to give back more than just by providing more density and creating more residences for Bridgeland,” he said.
“We’re just so excited to have achieved that. I think this sculpture is going to be enjoyed by so many people. I think it’s going to be great for kids. It’s going to be an awesome corner for Bridgeland now.”
The art piece isn’t just a visual experience. People can also send a text with a message or greeting that will be played inside through light and sound.
“The sounds are made from voice recordings of people across Calgary, so essentially the melodies created are your fellow Calgarians singing messages back to you,” Geller said.
Ward 9 Coun. Gian-Carlo Carra said as more people in Calgary choose to live in higher density areas, there needs to be access to all types of amenities.
“Amenity is access to beautiful parks, it’s access to amazing shops and services, and then it’s also access to amazing culture and having a stunning piece of public art on this corner really plants that flag,” he said.
Committee chair Gian-Carlo Carra, a long time advocate for increased housing density, says there are no easy decisions to accommodate the sudden burst of growth.
Many people in the area also agree that having more public art around the city adds value.
“I think it’s nice to have something here instead of just having nothing there around this community, it’s growing,” Ethan Do said.
Willow Walker, another resident, took a break from her bike ride to admire The Wishing Well.
She said she appreciates works of art like it and would like to see more.
“It makes people pause and talk and share their ideas and it’s a happy thing,” Walker said.
Carlos Valdez agreed, and said, “It’s pretty nice just to walk around downtown and see art the people have made and it makes the city come more alive.”
SMALL SCALE PROJECTS COMING SOON
The city’s public art liaison said there are going to be several small scale projects in the northeast, including at the Genesis Centre, that will be installed over the next two years.
“This is going to enable art by local artists to be enjoyed throughout the quadrant, including a new future sculpture at the Genesis site,” Geller said.
She said the city has learned lessons from this experience but said each piece of public art is different and there isn’t a “cookie cutter approach.”
“Now we are really focused on looking at all aspects of a piece, looking at the site in combination with the material that’s used and that certainly always has been and will continue to be a focus of the program,” Geller said.
The relocation of The Wishing Well comes at no additional cost to Calgary taxpayers, according to Geller.
The sculpture is 3.88 metres tall, 5.36 metres wide and four metres deep. It weighs 2,200 kilograms.
Kent Monkman's subversive art creates a counter-narrative of Indigenous experience – CBC.ca
This episode originally aired on April 19, 2016.
The work of Kent Monkman is always arresting — whether it’s a lush landscape, an immersive mixed-media installation, or a vivid performance. At centre stage is his flamboyant, two-spirit artistic persona, Miss Chief, or “mischief” — a kind of trickster figure in drag, through which Monkman challenges the representation of Indigenous people in Western art.
Monkman was born in 1965 to a mother of English and Irish descent and a Cree father. He grew up in Winnipeg, where he strongly identified with his Indigenous roots. His work is exhibited in New York’s Metropolitan Museum of Art, the Montreal Museum of Fine Arts, the Art Gallery of Ontario, the Smithsonian’s National Museum of the American Indian and the Vancouver Art Gallery. Through the summer of 2022, he has exhibitions at the National Gallery of Canada and at the Royal Ontario Museum in the fall.
Monkman spoke to Eleanor Wachtel in Toronto in 2016.
Inspiring and troubling
“I grew up in River Heights in Winnipeg in the 1970s, which was predominantly non-Native. So all of my classmates were Anglo-Saxon kids. I’d go to the Manitoba Museum, which had a display of life-size dioramas. They still have them. They’re fascinating to look at because they are representative of Indigenous cultures in this sort of pre-contact time capsule.
It was inspiring to see this idyllic representation of First Nations cultures. But you would step outside the museum and there on Main Street was Skid Row.
“There’s a bison hunt that’s as realistic as you can get in terms of a museum diorama. It was inspiring to see this idyllic representation of First Nations cultures. But you would step outside the museum and there on Main Street was Skid Row. You have the fallout of colonization and people that have been damaged through colonization.
“I remember my classmates would ask me, ‘What happened to your people?’ Because I was First Nations and I just could not answer that question. I didn’t have the language.
“I didn’t know how to reconcile what was in the museum and what had happened and what was on the streets of Winnipeg at that time.”
“I’m not a trained sculptor, so I basically work with the figure sculpture or the figure mannequin. I’m not trying to make classical or beautiful figure sculptures. I’m using those cheesy, tacky, human mannequins that are used to represent people in dioramas and then trying to create an environment that simulates a natural environment.
I’m using the components that are present in dioramas to make an art piece that feels like a diorama — a life-sized figure’s furniture or animals — and using those to challenge some of the representations of First Nations people.
“Or it could also actually be an interior setting, but the idea is that I’m using the components that are present in dioramas to make an art piece that feels like a diorama — a life-sized figure’s furniture or animals — and using those to challenge some of the representations of First Nations people.”
An empowered alter ego
“Creating Miss Chief was a strategy to, again, challenge the subjectivity of the artists in the 19th century, like George Catlin, John Mix Stanley, various others who were painting themselves in their own work. And it was a way of challenging the subjectivity of the work by saying, okay, ‘This is an artist with his own creative license who’s painting himself in his work.’
“It was also about the ego of the artist, to promote themselves, to have such a strong position.
I wanted my alter ego to be front-and-centre in a very aggressive way to reverse the gaze as a First Nations artist that could appear to live in that time period and be the observer of European settler cultures.
“I wanted my alter ego to be front-and-centre in a very aggressive way to reverse the gaze as a First Nations artist that could appear to live in that time period and be the observer of European settler cultures. So she has proven to be an effective way of disrupting this historical narrative — the dominant narrative that we’ve received through art history and through the telling of history.
“And because she’s a diva alter ego, she kind of demands to be at centre stage.”
“I wanted to disrupt people’s perception about this received history. We go to museums, we see these paintings. We accept that this is the authoritative version of how North America was settled — made by European settler artists. So my intent was to get people to ask questions that may be uneasy questions about what was actually happening when those paintings were being made.
“People were being forcibly removed from the land. Those landscapes were all empty — most of them were empty. But there were many, many nations of people that lived in North America that were being removed.
I wanted to think about the Indigenous people and their relationship to the land.
“So the paintings for me were lies, and at least they were subjective. It was a story of North America that was told from one side. I wanted to think about the Indigenous people and their relationship to the land. It is a fact that they were living in these landscapes but were never visible — or very rarely were they ever painted in these landscapes.”
Focusing on resilience
“In a lot of my work, I really prefer to focus on the resilience of Indigenous people, the resilience of our cultures. We’re still here — despite all of these theories of the ‘vanishing Indian,’ the end of the trail; we are still present.
“We are still innovative cultures. We are still moving forward.”
In a lot of my work, I really prefer to focus on the resilience of Indigenous people, the resilience of our cultures.
Kent Monkman’s comments have been edited for length and clarity.
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