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The hunt for Calgary's $500K art heist: Suspect caught, art still missing –



The suspect in a $500,000 art heist pleaded guilty on Tuesday — but the stolen pieces have not been recovered. 

Around 60 pieces were stolen from the Gerry Thomas Art Gallery during the May 2018 heist that involved various suspects.

Police say the crew cut their way into the gallery with a reciprocating saw and spent the next seven hours lifting art from the location. 

“It was like some kind of Ocean’s 11 heist,” said Michell Kruger, then-manager of the gallery.

“I was one of the first people there, after the police, and you could see the scrape marks where they had been wrapping the paintings and moving them.”

Shawn Graham Briscoe, 39, was charged on Dec. 23, 2019 with one count of break and enter with intent. 

Briscoe is back in court on July 20 to set a sentencing date. 

Police said additional suspects have not been identified.  

‘Altered the course of my life’

Artist Ted Knudtson had his sculpture taken in the heist.

He was at the beginning of his art career, and his plan was to sell the sculpture for $5,000 and set up a studio that would allow him to continue working in the industry.

“[The heist] altered the course of my life because afterwards, I got away from the art world and had to go back to work in graphic design,” Knudtson said.

The sculpture had opened doors for Knudtson. It took more than 400 hours to make, but it was featured in two international art magazines.

“That piece was created after a period of significant loss in my life,” Knudtson said. “And it became a symbol of my rebirth at the time. I thought my rebirth would involve an art career.”

Ted Knudtson’s sculpture The Courage to Fail was one of the pieces stolen in the 2018 heist. (Submitted by Calgary Police Service)

Knudtson’s piece was insured by the gallery, but he has not received a payout from the gallery or the insurance company.

He hopes to be reunited with his piece soon.

As for Briscoe’s sentencing, Knudtson said he believes a lighter sentence should be given only if the accused makes an “honest and sincere attempt to make things right for the people affected.”

‘It’s just like somebody stole your child’

Kruger lost 11 pieces in the art heist. She also lost some of her father’s art that was also on display. 

Her father is a renowned artist who can’t paint anymore, as he’s gone blind. 

“Besides the huge loss of losing a whole show, just the thought of him losing what can’t be replaced,” she said. 

“It’s hard to explain. It’s like somebody stole your child.”

Kruger hopes her art hasn’t been destroyed. 

“I hope someone is out there enjoying it, as weird as it sounds,” she said. “Because the thought of that being destroyed is heartbreaking.” 

Some of the artwork stolen from the Gerry Thomas Art Gallery in Calgary. (Submitted by Calgary Police Service)

Kruger’s pieces were also insured through the gallery. 

“The whole getting paid for it from insurance is very difficult,” she said. “It’s a very long process … and you pretty much know you’re not going to get what you would get if you were having a show.” 

The heist hasn’t deterred Kruger from making art or putting it on display. 

“Your audience, the people who are going to purchase it or interact with the pieces themselves, it’s just an experience that makes it all worthwhile,” she said.  

Calgary police ask anyone with information about the whereabouts of the stolen art to contact police by calling 403-266-1234, or by contacting Crime Stoppers.

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Spreading roots: City of Charlottetown calling for art proposals for tree appreciation program – Saltwire



CHARLOTTETOWN, P.E.I. — The City of Charlottetown is accepting proposals for Rooted in Art, an opportunity for P.E.I. artists to create temporary art installations inspired by Charlottetown trees.

Rooted in Art matches local artists with trees on public land in Charlottetown create an art installation on or around a tree.

The project was first held in fall 2020 and is meant to engage the community with nature in a new way and reflect the importance of the urban forest.

Nancy Coles contribution to Rooted in Art hangs on a littleleaf linden tree in Victoria Park. - Michael Robar
Nancy Coles contribution to Rooted in Art in 2020 hangs on a littleleaf linden tree in Victoria Park. – Michael Robar

This year, four artists will be selected to install temporary art installations in different locations in the city. The structures will be on display over two weeks in October.

All Island artists are eligible to submit proposals for Rooted in Art, with a limit of one proposal per artist.

Applications will be accepted until Aug. 30 at 4 p.m. and can be sent by email to [email protected] or delivered to City Hall at 199 Queen St.

More information on the project and application requirements is available online.

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Canada's largest women's festival, Kingston Women's Art Festival, returns – Kingstonist



On Sunday, the Kingston Women’s Art Festival will return to City Park to celebrate women artists. Bring the family, browse, and enjoy original art designed and created by women. Sasha Jiminez French, local multi-disciplinary artist, is volunteering her time to help ensure the festival returns to full strength after the

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Windsor Public Library wants to show you local art while you ride your bike –



Windsor Public Library wants to showcase the city’s downtown art. It plans to have two cycling tours to show it off.

Becky Mayer, a librarian at the Windsor Public Library organized the tours. She said the main reason she wanted to do this is because people think there’s nothing to do or see in Windsor.

“I often ride my bike around and I see a lot of cool and weird stuff,” said Mayer. “So, I just thought that maybe a few people would want to join me on a weird stuff tour.”

Mayer said she’ll be bringing Betty the Bookmobile along for the journey. She said the ride will be pretty casual and if someone has a story to tell she’s happy to give them space to share.

“I’m fine with talking as well. If you want to have a silent tour, that’s also cool. Like, it’s very, very casual. Go with the flow. We’ll see what happens,” Mayer said.

The first tour starts at 6 p.m. August 16, the second tour is on August 20 starting at 10 a.m. The tours last about an hour and starts at the library’s Central Branch at the corner of Ouellette Avenue and Pitt Street.

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