Canadian art

Canadian art refers to the visual (including painting, photography, and printmaking) as well as plastic arts (such as sculpture) originating from the geographical area of contemporary Canada. Art in Canada is marked by thousands of years of habitation by First Nations Peoples followed by waves of immigration which included artists of European origins and subsequently by artists with heritage from countries all around the world. The nature of Canadian art reflects these diverse origins, as artists have taken their traditions and adapted these influences to reflect the reality of their lives in Canada.

The Government of Canada has, at times, played a central role in the development of Canadian culture, enabling visual exposure through publications and periodicals, as well as establishing and funding numerous art schools and colleges across the country. The Group of Seven is often considered the first uniquely Canadian artistic group and style of painting;[1] however, this claim is challenged by some scholars and artists.[2] Historically the Catholic Church was the primary patron of art in early Canada, especially Quebec, and in later times artists have combined British, French and American artistic traditions, at times embracing European styles and at other times working to promote nationalism by developing distinctly Canadian styles. Canadian art remains the combination of these various influences.


Aboriginal art

Totem haida
Haida totem pole, Thunderbird Park, British Columbia

Aboriginal peoples were producing art in the territory that is now called Canada for thousands of years prior to the arrival of European settler colonists and the eventual establishment of Canada as a nation state. Like the peoples that produced them, Indigenous art traditions spanned territories that extended across the current national boundaries between Canada and the United States. Indigenous art traditions are often organized by art historians according to cultural, linguistic or regional groups, the most common regional distinctions being: Northwest Coast, Northwest Plateau, Plains, Eastern Woodlands, Subarctic, and Arctic. As might be expected, art traditions vary enormously amongst and within these diverse groups. One thing that distinguishes Indigenous art from European traditions is a focus on art that tends to be portable and made for the body rather than for architecture, although even this is only a general tendency and not an absolute rule. Indigenous visual art is also often made to be used in conjunction with other arts, for example masks and rattles play an important role in ceremonialism that also involves dance, storytelling and music.

Many of the artworks preserved in museum collections date from the period after European contact and show evidence of the creative adoption and adaptation of European trade goods such as metal and glass beads. The distinct Métis cultures that have arisen from inter-cultural relationships with Europeans have also contributed new culturally hybrid art forms. During the 19th and the first half of the 20th century, the Canadian government pursued an active policy of assimilation toward Indigenous peoples. One of the instruments of this policy was the Indian Act, which banned manifestations of traditional religion and governance, such as the Sun Dance and the Potlatch, including the works of art associated with them. It was not until the 1950s and 60s that Indigenous artists such as Mungo Martin, Bill Reid and Norval Morrisseau began to publicly renew and, in some cases, re-invent indigenous art traditions. Currently there are many Indigenous artists practising in all media in Canada and two Indigenous artists, such as Edward Poitras and Rebecca Belmore, who have represented Canada at the prestigious Venice Biennale in 1995 and 2005, respectively.

French colonial period (1665–1759)

Samuel de Champlain Carte geographique de la Nouvelle France
Map of New France made by Samuel de Champlain in 1612.

Early explorers such as Samuel de Champlain made sketches of North American territory as they explored, but it was the Roman Catholic Church in and around Quebec City who was the first to provide artistic patronage.[3] Abbé Hughes Pommier is believed to be the first painter in New France. Pommier left France in 1664 and worked in various communities as a priest before taking up painting extensively. Painters in New France, such as Pommier and Claude Francois (known primarily as Frère Luc), believed in the ideals of High Renaissance art, which featured religious depictions often formally composed with seemingly classical clothing and settings.[4] Few artists during this early period signed their works, making attributions today difficult.

Near the end of the 17th century, the population of New France was growing steadily but the territory was increasingly isolated from France. Fewer artists arrived from Europe, but artists in New France continued with commissions from the Church. Two schools were established in New France to teach the arts and there were a number of artists working throughout New France up until the British Conquest.[5] Pierre Le Ber, from a wealthy Montreal family, is one of the most recognized artists from this period. Believed to be self-taught since he never left New France, Le Ber's work is widely admired. In particular, his depiction of the saint Marguerite Bourgeoys was hailed as "the single most moving image to survive from the French period" by Canadian art historian Dennis Reid.[6]

While early religious painting told little about everyday life, numerous ex-votos completed by amateur artists offered vivid impressions of life in New France. Ex-votos, or votive painting, were made as a way to thank God or the saints for answering a prayer. One of the best known examples of this type of work is Ex-voto des trois naufragés de Lévis (1754). Five youths were crossing the Saint Lawrence River at night when their boat overturned in rough water. Two girls drowned, weighed down by their heavy dresses, while two young men and one woman were able to hold on to the overturned boat until help arrived. Saint Anne is depicted in the sky, saving them. This work was donated to the church at Sainte-Anne-de-Beaupré as an offering of thanks for the three lives saved.[7]

Early art in British North America

The early ports of Nova Scotia and Newfoundland did not experience the same degree of artistic growth, largely due to their Protestant beliefs in simple church decoration which did not encourage artists or sculptors. However itinerant artists, painters who travelled to various communities to sell works, frequented the area. Dutch-born artist Gerard Edema is believed to have painted the first Newfoundland landscape in the early 18th century.[8]

English Colonial period (1759–1820)

A View of Montreal in Canada - Thomas Davies
A View of Montreal in Canada, Taken from Isle St. Helena in 1762
by Thomas Davies

British Army topographers

The battle for Quebec left numerous British soldiers garrisoned in strategic locations in the territory. While off-duty, many of these soldiers sketched and painted the Canadian land and people, which were often sold in European markets hungry for exotic, picturesque views of the colonies. Furthermore, drawing was also required by soldiers to record the land, as photography had not been invented.[9] Thomas Davies is championed as one of the most talented. Davies recorded the capture of Louisburg and Montreal among other scenes.[10] Scottish-born George Heriot was one of the first artist-soldiers to settle in Canada and later produced Travels Through the Canadas in 1807 filled with his aquatint prints.[11] Forshaw Day worked as a draftsman at Her Majesty's Naval Yard from 1862–79 in Halifax, Nova Scotia then moved to Kingston, Ontario to teach drawing at the Royal Military College of Canada from 1879–97.

Lower Canada's Golden Age

In the late 18th century, art in Lower Canada began to prosper due to a larger number of commissions from the public and Church construction. Portrait painting in particular is recognized from this period, as it allowed a higher degree of innovation and change. François Baillairgé was one of the first of this generation of artists. He returned to Montreal in 1781 after studying sculpture in London and Paris. The Rococo style influenced several Lower Canadian artists who aimed for the style's light and carefree painting. However, Baillairgé did not embrace Rococo, instead focusing on sculpture and teaching influenced from Neoclassicism.[12]

Lower Canada's artists evolved independently from France as the connection was severed during the French Revolution and the Napoleonic Wars. While not living in Lower Canada, William Berczy participated in the period's artistic growth. He immigrated to Canada from Saxony and completed several important portraits of leading figures. For example, he painted three portraits of Joseph Brant and his best known work is The Woolsley Family, painted in Quebec City in 1808–09. As the title suggests, the work features full-length portraits of all the members of the Woolsley family. It is celebrated in part because of its complex arrangement of figures, decorative floor panels, and the detailed view of the landscape through the open window.[13] Art historian J. Russell Harper believes this era of Canadian art was the first to develop a truly Canadian character.[14]

A second generation of artists continued this flourishing of artistic growth beginning around the 1820s. Joseph Légaré was trained as a decorative and copy painter. However, this did not inhibit his artistic creativity as he was one of the first Canadian artists to depict the local landscape. Légaré is best known for his depictions of disasters such as cholera plagues, rocks slides, and fires.[15] Antoine Plamondon, A student of Légaré, went on to study in France, the first French Canadian artist to do so in 48 years. Plamondon went on to become the most successful artist in this period, largely through religious and portrait commissions.[16]

Krieghoff and Kane

Indian Wigwam in Lower Canada (1848 ) Cornelius Krieghoff
Cornelius Krieghoff, Indian Wigwam in Lower Canada, National Gallery of Canada.

The works of most early Canadian painters were heavily influenced by European trends. During the mid-19th century, Cornelius Krieghoff, a Dutch born artist in Quebec, painted scenes of the life of the habitants (French-Canadian farmers). At about the same time, the Canadian artist Paul Kane painted pictures of Indigenous life around the Great Lakes, Western Canada and the Oregon Territories.

Art under the Dominion of Canada

Formed in 1870 by a group of artists including John Bell-Smith, father of Frederic Marlett Bell-Smith and Adolphe Vogt, the Canadian Society of Artists was the first organization that reflected the new political boundaries and arguably a national identity. The group consisted of artists with diverse background, with many new Canadians and others of French heritage spread out over Ontario and Quebec. Without group philosophical or artistic objectives, most artists tended simply to please the public in order to produce income. Romanticism remained the predominant stylistic influence, with a growing appreciation for Realism originating from the Barbizon school practised by Canadians Homer Watson and Horatio Walker.[17]

Early 20th century

Nationalism and the Group of Seven

Red Maple (A. Y. Jackson)
Red Maple by A.Y. Jackson from 1914

A group of landscape painters called the Group of Seven aimed to develop the first distinctly Canadian style of painting. Some worked as commercial illustrators, notably at a Toronto company called Grip and were influenced by Europe's current popular Art Nouveau style. They painted various size studio paintings along with many small pieces while on location in the back country of Canada's then wilderness.

The group had its genesis at Toronto's Arts & Letters Club before the first world war, though the war delayed their official formation. The eventual members were Franklin Carmichael, Lawren Harris, A. Y. Jackson, Frank Johnston, Arthur Lismer, J. E. H. MacDonald, and Frederick Varley. Harris helped to fund many of the group's wilderness excursions by having custom box cars outfitted with sleeping quarters and heat, then left at prearranged train track locations to be shunted back when the group wanted to return. This was possible due to Harris' family fortune and influence as part of the Massey Harris Combine company which shipped most of their production by train. He later helped along with others to fund the construction of building for some of the group's use as studio space in Toronto.

Emily Carr and various other artists were loosely associated with the Group of Seven but never became members. Tom Thomson often referred to, but never officially a member, died in 1917 due to an accident on Canoe Lake in Northern Ontario. In the 1930s, members of the Group of Seven decided to enlarge the club and formed the Canadian Group of Painters, made up of 28 artists from across the country.

Beginning of non-objective art

In the 1920s, Kathleen Munn and Bertram Brooker independently experimented with abstract or non-objective art in Canada. Both artists viewed abstract art as a way to explore symbolism and mysticism as an integrated part of their personal spirituality. As the Group of Seven was enlarged into the Canadian group of Painters in the 1930s, Lawren Harris left the group's focus on depicting the Canadian landscape and experimented with abstract forms and aimed to represent broad conceptual themes. These individual artists indirectly influenced the following generation of artists who would come to form groups of abstract art following World War II, by changing the definition of art in Canadian society and by encouraging young artists to explore abstract themes.[18]

Contemporaries of the Group of Seven

Founded in 1938 in Montréal, Québec, the Eastern Group of Painters included Montréal artists whose common interest was painting and an art for art's sake aesthetic, not the espousal of a nationalist theory as was the case with the Group of Seven or the Canadian Group of Painters. The group's members included Alexander Bercovitch, Goodridge Roberts, Eric Goldberg, Jack Weldon Humphrey, John Goodwin Lyman, and Jori Smith.

By the late 1930s, many Canadian artists began resenting the quasi-national institution the Group of Seven had become. As a result of a growing rejection of the view that the efforts of a group of artists based largely in Ontario constituted a national vision or oeuvre, many artists—notably those in Québec—began feeling ignored and undermined. The Eastern Group of Painters formed to counter this notion and restore variation of purpose, method, and geography to Canadian art.

1930s regionalism

Since the 1930s, Canadian painters have developed a wide range of highly individual styles. Emily Carr became famous for her paintings of totem poles, native villages, and the forests of British Columbia. Other noted painters have included the landscape artist David Milne and the prairie painter William Kurelek. In Quebec, John Goodwin Lyman founded The Contemporary Arts Society in 1939, promoting post-impressionist and fauvist art.[19] Paul-Émile Borduas and Jean-Paul Riopelle spearheaded the modernist collective known as Les Automatistes, which began having exhibitions as early as 1941. However, their artistic influence was not quickly felt in English Canada, or indeed much beyond Montreal.[20]

After World War II

Government support has played a vital role in arts development, as has the establishment of numerous art schools and colleges across the country.

The abstract painters Jean-Paul Riopelle and Harold Town and multi-media artist Michael Snow. The abstract art group Painters Eleven, particularly the artists Alexandra Luke, who is credited for the groups formation, and Jack Bush, also had an important impact on modern art in Canada. The Painters Eleven (1953 - 1960) was founded in Toronto to promote their members' abstract works.

Regina Five is the name given to five abstract painters, Kenneth Lochhead, Arthur McKay, Douglas Morton, Ted Godwin, and Ronald Bloore, who displayed their works in the 1961 National Gallery of Canada's exhibition "Five Painters from Regina". Though not an organized group per se, the name stuck with the 'members' and the artists would continue to show together.[19]

Canadian sculpture has been enriched by the walrus ivory and soapstone carvings by the Inuit artists. These carvings show objects and activities from their daily lives, both modern and traditional, as well as scenes from their mythology.

Contemporary art

Interior of the Toronto Eaton Centre showing one of Michael Snow's best known sculptures, titled Flightstop, which depicts Canada geese in flight.

The 1960s saw the emergence of several important local developments in dialogue with international trends. In Vancouver, Ian Wallace (artist) was particularly influential in nurturing this dialogue through his teaching and exchange programs at Emily Carr University of Art and Design (formerly the Vancouver School of Art), and visits from influential figures such as Lucy Lippard and Robert Smithson exposed younger artists to conceptual art.

In Toronto, Spadina Avenue became a hotspot for a loose affiliation of artists, notably Gordon Rayner, Graham Coughtry, and Robert Markle, who came to define the "Toronto look."[21]

Other notable moments when Canadian contemporary artists—as individuals or groups—have distinguished themselves through commonality, international recognition, collaboration, or zeitgeist:

See also


  1. ^ Lynda Jessup (2001). Antimodernism and artistic experience: policing the boundaries of modernity. University of Toronto Press. p. 146. ISBN 978-0-8020-8354-8.
  2. ^ The essay collection Sightlines: Reading Contemporary Canadian Art (edited by Jessica Bradley and Lesley Johnstone, Montreal: Artexte Information Centre, 1994) contains a number of critical texts addressing the issues around the difficulty of establishing or even defining a Canadian identity.
  3. ^ Harper, 3.
  4. ^ Harper, 4-5.
  5. ^ Harper, 19–20.
  6. ^ Reid, 11.
  7. ^ Harper, 14-15.
  8. ^ Harper, 27–28.
  9. ^ Reid, 18-19.
  10. ^ Reid, 19.
  11. ^ Reid, 21.
  12. ^ Harper, 56-62.
  13. ^ Reid, 31.
  14. ^ Harper, 67.
  15. ^ Reid, 44.
  16. ^ Reid, 47.
  17. ^ Harper, 179–81.
  18. ^ Nasgaard, 14.
  19. ^ a b Terry Fenton, "ECAS And What It Stands For", ECAS 15th Annual Exhibition catalogue essay
  20. ^ Norwell, Iris. (2011), Painters Eleven:The Wild Ones of Canadian Art, Publishers Group West, ISBN 978-1-55365-590-9
  21. ^ Peter Goddard, "Remembering Toronto’s 1960s Spadina Art Scene", Canadian Art, July 11, 2014

Further reading

External links

Architecture of Canada

The architecture of Canada is, with the exception of that of Canadian First Nations, closely linked to the techniques and styles developed in Canada, Europe and the United States. However, design has long needed to be adapted to Canada's climate and geography, and at times has also reflected the uniqueness of Canadian culture.

Art Gallery of Ontario

The Art Gallery of Ontario (AGO) (French: Musée des beaux-arts de l'Ontario) is an art museum in Toronto, Ontario, Canada. Its collection includes close to 95,000 works spanning the first century to the present day. The gallery has 45,000 square metres (480,000 sq ft) of physical space, making it one of the largest galleries in North America. Significant collections include the largest collection of Canadian art, an expansive body of works from the Renaissance and the Baroque eras, European art, African and Oceanic art, and a modern and contemporary collection. The photography collection is a large part of the collection, as well as an extensive drawing and prints collection. The museum contains many significant sculptures, such as in the Henry Moore sculpture centre, and represents other forms of art like historic objects, miniatures, frames, books and medieval illuminations, film and video art, graphic art, installations, architecture, and ship models. During the AGO's history, it has hosted and organized some of the world's most renowned and significant exhibitions, and continues to do so, to this day.

The Art Gallery was founded in 1900 as the Art Museum of Toronto. The Gallery was renamed to the Art Gallery of Toronto in 1919, and finally the Art Gallery of Ontario in 1966. Since 1974, the gallery has seen four major expansions and renovations, typically considered a high number and unseen by most galleries of the world, and continues to add spaces. The renovated and renamed J. S. McLean Centre for Indigenous & Canadian Art opened in July 2018. Prior recent renovations by Hariri Pontarini Architects include the Weston Family Learning Centre, which opened in October 2011 and the South Entrance and lounge outside the library, which opened in July 2017. The David Milne Research Centre, which opened in April 2012, was designed by KPMB Architects. Earlier major renovations were designed by noted architects John C. Parkin (1974 & 1977), Barton Myers and KPMB Architects (1993), and most recently, Frank Gehry (2008).In addition to display galleries, the structure houses an extensive library, student spaces, gallery workshop space, artist-in-residence, a restaurant, café, espresso bar, research centre, theatre and lecture hall, Gehry-designed gift shop, and an event space called Baillie Court, which occupies the entirety of the third floor of the contemporary tower. It also contains the Dr. Mariano Elia Hands-On Centre, a play and art-making area for children which is open on the same days as the gallery, and hosts additional child-friendly activities on Sundays. The gallery is located in the Downtown Grange Park district, on Dundas Street West between McCaul and Beverley Streets, between Chinatown and Little Japan.

The Art Gallery of Ontario is the second most visited museum in Toronto after the Royal Ontario Museum in 2014.

CBC Arts

CBC Arts is the division of the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation responsible for creating and curating the best arts-related stories, videos and audio clips from across the CBC network and beyond. The division also produces multiple non-fiction series: Canada's a Drag, Canada In The Frame, The Collective, Crash Gallery, Exhibitionists, The Filmmakers, Interrupt This Program, and The Move.

Canadian Art (magazine)

Canadian Art is a quarterly art magazine published in Toronto and focusing on Canadian contemporary art. The magazine publishes profiles of artists, art news, interviews, editorials, and reviews of modern art exhibitions. Established in 1943 it was known as artscanada between 1968 and 1983.

Canadian Impressionism

Canadian Impressionism is a subclass of Impressionist art influenced from French Impressionism. Guy Wildenstein of the Wildenstein Institute in Paris states in the foreword of A.K. Prakash's Impressionism in Canada: A Journey of Rediscovery that Canadian impressionism is "the Canadian artists who gleaned much from the French but, in their improvisations, managed to transmute what they learned into an art reflecting the aesthetic concerns of their compatriots and the times in which they lived and worked". The early Canadian Impressionist painters belong into the "Group of who?" as coined by James Adams of The Globe and Mail.

David Mirvish

David Mirvish, (born August 29, 1944) is a Canadian art collector, art dealer, theatre producer, real estate developer and son of the late Toronto discount department store owner "Honest" Ed Mirvish and artist Anne Lazar Macklin.

Dennis Gassner

Dennis Gassner (born October 22, 1948) is a Canadian production designer. He is notable for his work on Bugsy, Road to Perdition, Big Fish, and Blade Runner 2049, as well the 22nd, 23rd, and 24th movies in the James Bond franchise, Quantum of Solace, Skyfall, and Spectre. He has been nominated six times for the Academy Award for Best Production Design, and has won once. Gassner was nominated for the Art Directors Guild Award for Excellence in Production Design for a Contemporary Film for his work on Quantum of Solace, and won for his work on Skyfall.

Emma Lake Artist's Workshops

The Emma Lake Artists' Workshops are affiliated with the University of Saskatchewan in Saskatoon. Summer art classes were originally taught by Augustus Kenderdine at Murray Point on Emma Lake in 1936. Kenneth Lochhead and Arthur McKay, professors at the University of Saskatchewan, Regina Campus (now called the University of Regina since 1974) initiated the more famous Emma Lake Artists' Workshops in 1955.

Governor General's Awards

The Governor General's Awards are a collection of annual awards presented by the Governor General of Canada, recognizing distinction in numerous academic, artistic, and social fields. The first was conceived and inaugurated in 1937 by the Lord Tweedsmuir, a prolific writer of fiction and non-fiction; he created the Governor General's Literary Award with two award categories. Successive governors general have followed suit, establishing an award for whichever endeavour they personally found important. Only Adrienne Clarkson created three Governor General's Awards: the Governor General's Award in Visual and Media Arts, the Governor General's Northern Medal, and the Governor General's Medal in Architecture (though this was effectively a continuation of the Massey Medal, first established in 1950).

Group of Seven (artists)

The Group of Seven, also sometimes known as the Algonquin School, was a group of Canadian landscape painters from 1920 to 1933, originally consisting of Franklin Carmichael (1890–1945), Lawren Harris (1885–1970), A. Y. Jackson (1882–1974), Frank Johnston (1888–1949), Arthur Lismer (1885–1969), J. E. H. MacDonald (1873–1932), and Frederick Varley (1881–1969). Later, A. J. Casson (1898–1992) was invited to join in 1926, Edwin Holgate (1892–1977) became a member in 1930, and LeMoine FitzGerald (1890–1956) joined in 1932.

Two artists commonly associated with the group are Tom Thomson (1877–1917) and Emily Carr (1871–1945). Although he died before its official formation, Thomson had a significant influence on the group. In his essay "The Story of the Group of Seven", Harris wrote that Thomson was "a part of the movement before we pinned a label on it"; Thomson's paintings The West Wind and The Jack Pine are two of the group's most iconic pieces. Emily Carr was also closely associated with the Group of Seven, though never an official member.

Believing that a distinct Canadian art could be developed through direct contact with nature, the Group of Seven is best known for its paintings inspired by the Canadian landscape, and initiated the first major Canadian national art movement. The Group was succeeded by the Canadian Group of Painters in 1933, which included members from the Beaver Hall Group who had a history of showing with the Group of Seven internationally.


Kleinburg is an unincorporated village in the city of Vaughan, Ontario, Canada. It is home to the McMichael Canadian Art Collection, an art gallery with a focus on the Group of Seven, and the Kortright Centre for Conservation. In 2001, the village and its surrounding communities had a population of 4,595; the village itself has 282 dwellings, with a population of 952. Kleinburg comprises a narrow section of hilly landscape situated between two branches of the Humber River. The historic village is bounded by Highway 27 on the west and Stegman’s Mill Road to the east. Kleinburg has subsumed the nearby hamlet of Nashville.

Lawren Harris

Lawren Stewart Harris (October 23, 1885 – January 29, 1970) was a Canadian painter. He was born in Brantford, Ontario, and is best known as a member of the Group of Seven who pioneered a distinctly Canadian painting style in the early twentieth century. A. Y. Jackson has been quoted as saying that Harris provided the stimulus for the Group of Seven. During the 1920s, Harris' works became more abstract and simplified, especially his stark landscapes of the Canadian north and Arctic. He also stopped signing and dating his works so that people would judge his works on their own merit and not by the artist or when they were painted. In 1969, he was made a Companion of the Order of Canada.

Les Automatistes

Les Automatistes were a group of Québécois artistic dissidents from Montreal, Quebec, Canada. The movement was founded in the early 1940s by painter Paul-Émile Borduas. Les Automatistes were so called because they were influenced by Surrealism and its theory of automatism. Members included Marcel Barbeau, Roger Fauteux, Claude Gauvreau, Jean-Paul Riopelle, Pierre Gauvreau, Fernand Leduc, Jean-Paul Mousseau, and Marcelle Ferron and Françoise Sullivan.

The movement may have begun with an exhibition Borduas gave in Montreal in 1942. However, les Automatistes were soon being exhibited in Paris and New York also. Though it began as a visual arts group, it also spread to other forms of expression, such as drama, poetry and dance. The title les Automatistes came from journalist Tancrède Marcil Jr., in a review of their second exhibit in Montreal (February 15 to March 1, 1947), which appeared in Le Quartier Latin (the Université de Montréal's student journal).

In 1948 Borduas published a collective manifesto called the Refus global, an important document in the cultural history of Quebec and a declaration of artistic independence and the need for expressive freedoms. Its denunciation of the Catholic Church's authority was particularly scandalous and resulted in the group's public humiliation. This ultimately lead to a kind of martyrdom but was initially devastating. Although the group dispersed soon after the manifesto was published, the movement continues to have influence, and may be considered a forerunner of the Quiet Revolution.

Alongside Lyrical Abstract painters in France, the Automatistes favoured a fluid, painterly technique over the comparatively reserved, hard-edge abstraction so popular in the U.S. and Eastern Europe at the time. Much like a nonfigurative Group of Seven, they were looking to create a distinctively Canadian artistic identity. Heavily influenced by Surrealist manifestos and poetry, their work was largely stream-of-consciousness inspired, believing this to be a truer means of communicating subconscious emotions and sensory experiences; they wanted to be liberated from intention, reason, and any kind of structure, in order to communicate a universal human experience without bias. This resulted in increasingly crude or intuitive methods such as applying paint with palette knives and fingers and painting blindfolded, their efforts contradicting their claims of working without intention.

McMichael Canadian Art Collection

The McMichael Canadian Art Collection is an art gallery in Kleinburg, Ontario, Canada, northwest of Toronto. It houses an extensive collection of paintings by Tom Thomson, the Group of Seven and their contemporaries, and First Nations and Inuit artists.The core of this art collection and the very gallery itself are the result of the dreams and vision of two people. Signe and Robert McMichael were, on first sight, completely captivated by the paintings of the Group of Seven which seemed to embody the same love and respect they had for the Canadian landscape.

Museum of Contemporary Art Toronto Canada

The Museum of Contemporary Art Toronto Canada (MOCA), formerly known as the Museum of Contemporary Canadian Art (MOCCA), is a museum and art gallery in Toronto, Ontario. It is an independent, registered charitable organization. It has the mission to "exhibit, research, collect and nurture innovative contemporary art and cultural practices that engage with and address issues and themes relevant to our times". The museum is affiliated with the Canadian Museums Association, the Ontario Museum Association and the Ontario Association of Art Galleries.

Floor 1 of the museum houses partners, Forno Cultura and Art Metropole. Forno Cultura, opening in Fall 2018, offers light fare such as artisanal sandwiches, biscotti, coffee and a range of beverages. Art Metropole carries a wide range of artist-initiated publications, multiples and MOCA Toronto merchandise. MOCA has also partnered with Akin Collective to provide affordable rental space to 32 visual artists and cultural practitioners (Floor 4).

Patricia Bovey

Patricia E. Bovey (born May 15, 1948) is a Canadian art historian from Manitoba. Bovey was the director of the Art Gallery of Greater Victoria (1980–1999) and the Winnipeg Art Gallery (1999–2004); art consultant (2004–2016); founder and director/curator, Buhler Gallery, St Boniface Hospital (2007–2016); past chair of the board of governors of the University of Manitoba and a former member of the board of trustees for the National Gallery of Canada. She also sat on the board of the Canada Council for the Arts. She was appointed director emerita, Winnipeg Art Gallery (2014). On October 27, 2016, Bovey was named to the Senate of Canada by Prime Minister Justin Trudeau to sit as an independent. Bovey assumed her seat on November 10, 2016.

Patricia Bovey was appointed to the Senate of Canada in November 2016 as an Independent Senator from Manitoba. Currently serving on the Foreign Affairs & International Trade Committee, and Deputy-Chair of the Special Senate Committee on the Arctic, she is a member of the Senate Advisory Sub-Committee on Art and the Sub-Committee on the Long Term Vision Plan of the Senate. She is a former member of the Official Languages and Deputy-Chair of Transport and Communications Committees.

As the first art historian and museologist to be appointed to the Senate, Bovey has worked on all issues, from legislation to committee work, primarily through the lens of arts and culture, and from her regional perspective. She has spoken in the Chamber about the impact of the arts, especially on health and crime prevention. Her goal is to ensure the voice of arts and culture is heard, in the Senate as well as in every sector of society.

Winnipeg-based gallery director, art historian, professor and arts and culture management consultant, she was Director of the Winnipeg Art Gallery (1999-2004) and the Art Gallery of Greater Victoria (1980-1999), and appointed the Winnipeg Art Gallery’s Director Emerita in 2014. A Founder of St Boniface Hospital’s Buhler Gallery, the University of Winnipeg’s Arts and Culture Management Program, and MA in Curatorial Practice, she was the Buhler Gallery Director/Curator from its 2007 inception to 2016, and University of Winnipeg Adjunct Professor of Art History, 2011-2017.

Author and lecturer on Western Canadian art, her recent publications include Don Proch: Masking and Mapping, 2019; Visual Celebrations: II, (with Leona Herzog), 2017 and Visual Celebrations, 2012; Mud, Hands, Fire, The Legacy Of Canadian Studio Pottery, “Intersecting Perceptions: Continuity Through Innovation”, 2015; the award-winning Pat Martin Bates: Balancing on a Thread, 2014; Experiences & Insights: My Life As Art, Mary Valentine, “Mary Valentine: Rhythms from the Land”, 2014; Carole Sabiston: Everything Below All of the Above, 2014; “The Prints of David Thauberger”, 2014. She is currently writing Impacts and Turning Points: The Western Voice in Canadian Art.

University of Manitoba Chair (2013-2016), and board member (2007-2016), she served on the Boards of the National Gallery of Canada (2005 – 2009); Canada Council for the Arts (1990-1993); the 1986 Withrow/Richard Federal Task Force on National and Regional Museums; the National Board for the University of Waterloo’s Canadian Center for Cultural Management (2002-2010). She was a member of the Canadian Art Museum Directors Organization (1981 - 2004) and President (1988 - 1991). She was a board member of Emily Carr University’s (1982-1990) and Chair (1987-1989). She was a member of the Public Art Committee of the City of Winnipeg (2003-2007), and the Mayor’s Task Force on Public Art (2002-2003). In higher education, she served as a member of the Pierre Elliott Trudeau Foundation, the Manitoba Rhodes Scholarship Committee, and Loran Scholarship Selection committee.

Involved in international touring exhibitions, lectures, artist exchanges, and special initiatives in Finland, Iceland, and Norway, she was an official guest of the Japan Foundation, the British Council and the Government of France.

Recipient of the 2015 Winnipeg Arts Council Investors Making a Difference Award, she is Fellow of the UK’s Royal Society for the Arts and Fellow of the Canadian Museums Association; and received the Canada 125 Medal; the Queen’s Golden Jubilee Medal; Winnipeg’s 2002 Woman of Distinction for the Arts; the Canadian Museums Association Distinguished Service Award; the Royal Canadian Academy of Arts Medal; and the 2013 Association of Manitoba Museum’s inaugural Award of Merit.

Richard Day (art director)

Richard Day (9 May 1896 – 23 May 1972) was a Canadian art director. He won seven Academy Awards and was nominated for a further 13 in the category of Best Art Direction He worked on 265 films between 1923 and 1970. He was born in Victoria, British Columbia, Canada and died in Hollywood, California.

Robert Fulford (journalist)

Robert Marshall Blount Fulford, OC (born February 13, 1932) is a Canadian journalist, magazine editor, and essayist. He lives in Toronto.

Tom Thomson

Thomas John Thomson (August 5, 1877 – July 8, 1917) was a Canadian artist active in the early 20th century. During his short career he produced roughly 400 oil sketches on small wood panels along with around 50 larger works on canvas. His works consist almost entirely of landscapes depicting trees, skies, lakes, and rivers. His paintings use broad brush strokes and a liberal application of paint to capture the beauty and colour of the Ontario landscape. Thomson's accidental death at 39 by drowning came shortly before the founding of the Group of Seven and is seen as a tragedy for Canadian art.

Raised in rural Ontario, Thomson was born into a large family of farmers and displayed no immediate artistic talent. He worked several jobs before attending a business college, eventually developing skills in penmanship and copperplate writing. At the turn of the 20th century, he was employed in Seattle and Toronto as a pen artist at several different photoengraving firms, including Grip Ltd. There he met those who eventually formed the Group of Seven, including J. E. H. MacDonald, Lawren Harris, Frederick Varley, Franklin Carmichael and Arthur Lismer. In May 1912, he visited Algonquin Park—a major public park and forest reservation in Central Ontario—for the first time. It was there that he acquired his first sketching equipment and, following MacDonald's advice, began to capture nature scenes. He became enraptured with the area and repeatedly returned, typically spending his winters in Toronto and the rest of the year in the Park. His earliest paintings were not outstanding technically, but showed a good grasp of composition and colour handling. His later paintings vary in composition and contain vivid colours and thickly applied paint. His later work has had a great influence on Canadian art—paintings such as The Jack Pine and The West Wind have taken a prominent place in the culture of Canada and are some of the country's most iconic works.

Thomson developed a reputation during his lifetime as a veritable outdoorsman, talented in both fishing and canoeing, although his skills in the latter have been contested. The circumstances of his drowning on Canoe Lake in Algonquin Park, linked with his image as a master canoeist, led to unsubstantiated but persistent rumours that he had been murdered or committed suicide.

Although he died before the formal establishment of the Group of Seven, Thomson is often considered an unofficial member. His art is typically exhibited with the rest of the Group's, nearly all of which remains in Canada—mainly at the Art Gallery of Ontario in Toronto, the National Gallery of Canada in Ottawa, the McMichael Canadian Art Collection in Kleinburg and the Tom Thomson Art Gallery in Owen Sound.

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