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Naming ceremony for Winnipeg Art Gallery's Inuit centre shines light on culture, history, reconciliation –



An Indigenous naming ceremony for a Winnipeg building designed to shed light on the history, languages and art of the Inuit people began, fittingly, with the lighting of a traditional Inuit soapstone seal-oil lamp, called a qulliq.

The ceremony, held virtually Wednesday morning by the Winnipeg Art Gallery, revealed two Indigenous names the gallery will now carry going forward.

The Inuit Art Centre, which has been under construction for several years, will now be called Qaumajuq (pronounced HOW-ma-yourq), which means “it is bright, it is lit” in Inuktitut. 

“It’s very honourable to have an institutional building that is named in Inuktitut, and it gives some kind of ownership,” said Theresie Tungilik, a language keeper with the WAG’s Indigenous Advisory Council, which chose the name.

“It’s quite honouring. I think it’s been a long time coming,” she said from her office in Rankin Inlet Wednesday.

Elder Martha Peet lit a traditional Inuit seal-oil lamp made of soapstone, called a qulliq, to begin the ceremony. (Winnipeg Art Gallery)

The name celebrates the light that flows into the new building at Memorial Boulevard and St. Mary Avenue, but also the light that comes with exposing something that has been hidden away for many years.

“I choose the name because it means ‘it is bright, it is lit’ and that’s exactly how the building looks,” she said.

“And it will give other people light to what our culture is like, what our past was like, all the ways we survived. Our hardships and resilience will be spoken through those artworks.”

The new 40,000-square-foot space will connect to the WAG on all four levels. In addition to highlighting the gallery’s Inuit art collection, it will provide Inuit-led programming and offer exhibition, learning and event spaces.

The “visible vault,” a 500-shelf glass display that will hold approximately 5,000 Inuit carvings, will welcome guests as they enter the centre.

“At the WAG, through exhibitions, through programs and events, we strive to shed light on this history and bring Inuit voices to the forefront through art and storytelling,” said Stephen Borys, the gallery’s director and CEO.

The ‘Visible Vault’, a 500-shelf glass display that will hold approximately 5000 Inuit carvings, will welcome guests as they enter the centre. (Holly Caruk/CBC)

When the new space opens in February 2021, admission to Qaumajuq will be free for all Indigenous visitors, Borys said.

“This is a site for reconciliation, learning, sharing and understanding what guides us here, bringing together communities through the universal language of art.”

Biindigin Biwaasaeyaah 

The Winnipeg Art Gallery itself now also bears an Indigenous name, which was also bestowed in Wednesday’s ceremony. Biindigin Biwaasaeyaah (pronounced BEEN- deh-gen bi-WAH-say-yah) means “come on in, the dawn of light is here,” in Anishinaabemowin (Ojibway).

“Indigenous language will have a real, a powerful and permanent presence throughout the WAG campus now and in the future,” said Borys.

It’s the art gallery’s way of responding to the Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Canada’s Calls to Action as well as the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples.

The new 40,000-square-foot space will connect to the WAG on all four levels and provide Inuit-led programming and offer exhibition, learning and event spaces. (Holly Caruk/CBC)

The recommendations in the 2015 TRC report stated that Indigenous languages are a fundamental and valued element of Canadian culture and society, and there is an urgency to preserve them. 

It also suggested that preservation of those languages would be best managed by Indigenous people.

The gallery will continue to be known as the Winnipeg Art Gallery, he said, but the move is meant to signify a change in how the gallery operates.

“We see these names as steps along our path to integrating and honouring Indigenous knowledge. The names also reflect the fundamental and critical journey the gallery has been on,” Borys said.

Theresie Tungilik, a language keeper with the WAG’s Indigenous Advisory Council, says it was an honour to be part of choosing the new name for the centre. (Winnipeg Art Gallery livestream)

The names were chosen by a circle of language keepers in the WAG’s Indigenous advisory council, represent all four regions of Inuit Nunangat — or the Inuit regions of Canada — including the Inuvialuit Settlement Region, Nunavut, Nunavik, and Nunatsiavut.

Because the gallery sits on Treaty 1 territory, the WAG felt it was also important to bring Anishinaabemowin and Nêhiyawêwin speakers, as well as Dakota and Michif (Métis) speakers to the table. 

It’s the first time a major art institution in Canada will carry an Indigenous name, Borys said.

“As many Indigenous people know, naming and names is a very important aspect of our culture,” said Julia Lafreniere, the WAG’s manager of Indigenous initiatives.

“A name is something you will carry with you your whole life and often precedes you and explains who you are to the world. It carries honour and teachings.”

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Hariri Pontarini To Design Art Gallery of York University – Urban Toronto



Hariri Pontarini Architects (HPA) have been selected to design a new, stand-alone art gallery at York University. The new building will become a centrepiece at the Keele Campus, building upon the rich history of the Art Gallery of York University (AGYU), and magnifying its reach into the local community and the world beyond.

Rendering of the winning design. Image courtesy of Hariri Pontarini Architects.

Boasting a contemporary, contextual design with the firm’s signature curves, HPA’s proposal stood out in the online design competition which saw a wide show of interest from strong contenders in the architectural community. Moriyama and Teshima Architects and gh3 were also on the shortlist. All three firms have received Governor General’s Medals in Architecture.

The new building will be located at the heart of the School of Arts, Media, Performance & Design, adjacent to the Harry W. Arthurs Common, steps from the subway station. The three-storey building will highlight contemporary and historic art and include a ground level event space with four separate gallery spaces set within a xeriscape garden.

AGYU’s collection currently contains 1,700 works including…

  • prominent donations of works by Norval Morrisseau and Andy Warhol
  • 200 prints and sculptures by renowned and influential Inuit artists including Kenojuak Ashevek and Kananginak Pootoogook
  • paradigmatic work by Canadian “Automatistes” Jean-Paul Riopelle and Paul-Emile Borduas
  • American Modernists such as Helen Frankenthaler and Kenneth Noland
  • RISE, an internationally acclaimed film by Bárbara Wagner and Benjamin de Burca, featuring performances from some of Toronto’s most influential spoken word and rap artists.

Aerial: The new building will sit at the heart of York Keele Campus’ School of Arts, Media, Performance & Design, adjacent to the Harry W. Arthurs Common, between the Accolade East Building and the Centre for Film & Theatre. Image courtesy of Googlemaps.

Founding Partner Siamak Hariri cites his excitement to help reimagine the AGYU’s future, “To signify this transformation, we were inspired by metaphor and nature. Like a butterfly, each of the five wings of the new gallery extend their reach out to the campus and of course beyond. Responding to the AGYU’s aspiration to expand the social and civic role of the gallery, the building will have a powerful presence, a new presence, embracing the full University Common, and welcoming and attracting visitors to all the wonder it has to offer.”

The AGYU opened in 1988 and moved into its current 3,000 ft² in 2006. The new building, combined with the AGYU’s existing space, will form a unified art institution and an important hub for artistic engagement. “The new design reflects our vision of an accessible and collaborative art gallery that serves as a space for creation, exhibition and appreciation of diverse art and culture,” says President & Vice- Chancellor Rhonda Lenton.

Philanthropists and art collectors Joan and Martin Goldfarb donated $5 million towards the gallery, kicking off this expansion and flagging the importance of the arts on campus. The eponymous Joan and Martin Goldfarb Gallery will honour the Goldfarb’s long history of supporting the arts at York University.

Rendering of the winning design, aerial view from across the Harry W. Arthurs Common. Image courtesy of Hariri Pontarini Architects.

With this win, HPA adds to its notable cultural and institutional portfolio, which includes the recently opened Tom Patterson Theatre in Stratford, and the internationally award-winning Bahá’í Temple of South America.

You can learn more from our Database file for the project, linked below. If you’d like to, you can join in on the conversation in the associated Project Forum thread, or leave a comment in the space provided on this page.

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UrbanToronto has a new way you can track projects through the planning process on a daily basis. Sign up for a free trial of our New Development Insider here.

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Province puts up $100K to get more art into public places on P.E.I. –



The province has set aside $100,000 over the next two years to develop a public art policy for the province.

Michelle MacCallum, director of cultural development with Innovation PEI, says it will enable the province to commission and acquire public art for government sites such as hospitals, schools and parks.

“I love seeing artwork all over our province,” she said.  

“I think about how much it delights and engages and sometimes challenges people when they come upon public art.”

Different than art bank

MacCallum said it will also be another opportunity for Island artists to display their work and earn money from it.

She said it will be different from the provincial art bank.

“This is more specific to sites. So if we were building a new school or some kind of provincial government office building, if you think about it, the building in and of itself is a public entity. But there’s nothing, there’s no art around it. It doesn’t say anything about it, about the people that use it, about what it’s for,” MacCallum said.

“So public art is there to augment the site specifically rather than just acquiring a catalog of the best of art, which is what the art bank does.”

Selected by jury

MacCallum said they will consult with architects and developers of potential sites, then put out request for proposals. The art will be selected by a jury.

She said there are a few sites being considered, but it’s too soon to disclose the locations.

More from CBC P.E.I.

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Art world star gives back by buying work of the undiscovered – Yahoo Canada Finance



Business Wire

Spero Health Opens New Hopkinsville, KY Clinic Offering Addiction Treatment With Telehealth Services

Spero Health has announced plans to open their newest addiction treatment clinic in Hopkinsville, KY as part of the organization’s quick response to the growing need for expanded services as communities continue to see an increase in drug overdose deaths. CARF -accredited and community based, Spero Health is a national leader in providing care for individuals struggling with substance use disorders and will bring affordable, high quality addiction treatment services through a combination of telehealth and in-person visit options at this new clinic. Located at 111Susan Avenue, it is set to open its doors on December 1st. The new Hopkinsville Clinic joins a network of more than 45 Spero Health locations throughout Kentucky, Ohio, Tennessee, Virginia and Indiana, providing care for more than 8,400 patients each month. To ensure access to care is not a barrier to treatment, Spero Health accepts Kentucky Medicaid and most commercial insurance plans. Individuals who need addiction treatment services are encouraged to call: 270-962-2255 for more information or to schedule an appointment.

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