Toronto Biennial of Art is at Art Toronto for the second year in a row! Art Toronto is Canada’s preeminent international contemporary and modern art fair, located at the Metro Toronto Convention Centre. Now in its 19th year, Art Toronto presents artwork from Canadian and international galleries as well as series of lectures and panel discussions. Visit booth B15 to connect with the Biennial team and check out a newly commissioned work by artist Luis Jacob. See subsequent What’s On sections for information on additional events.
Jon Johnson from First Story Toronto will lead an interactive storytelling walk of Indigenous presence along the downtown lakeshore, starting and ending at the Toronto Metro Convention Centre. In partnership with Art Toronto, the Toronto Biennial of Art and StreetARToronto (StART) have come together to present this walking tour, which features an interpretation of N’gekaajig kidowog (‘My Elders said’), a mural by lead artist Tannis Nielsen who will also participate in the walk. The N’gekaajig kidowog team also includes Tia Cavanaugh and Brad Ladouceur (co-coordinators) and Nyle Johnston, Richael Laking, Karalyn Reuben, Cee Cee Sandy, and Brianna Stone (artist crew).
In a city with a range of museums, galleries and events, how can new communities be engaged, or re-engaged, with the visual arts? This is a central question to which fairs and festivals, museums, galleries and our city representatives devote time, thought, and effort, as they seek to better understand their audiences. AXA presents a discussion with Emelie Chhangur (Art Gallery of York University), Jenn Goodwin (Nuit Blanche Toronto), November Paynter (Museum of Contemporary Art Toronto) and Ilana Shamoon (Toronto Biennial of Art) to explore the related challenges as well as the creative solutions they are developing to draw new visitors.
Join us for an introduction to the developing lines of inquiry for the inaugural 2019 Toronto Biennial of Art, during which the first group of artists who are developing new commissions for the Biennial will be unveiled! Some of them will join our curators, Candice Hopkins and Tairone Bastien, in a performative panel that narrates a journey along the city’s waterfront, and through the ideas, artists and spaces of the Biennial.
The Toronto Biennial of Art is a 90-day contemporary art exhibition that will take place every two years. Launching September 21, 2019, our inaugural year will feature exhibitions, commissions, performances and educational events in various locations along the city’s waterfront. Our curated program will be artist-centered, driven by research and responsive to the questions and challenges of our times.
This Biennial will also be deeply collaborative, developed in partnership with other organizations. Our shared aim is to galvanize this city and connect its communities around art and culture. In an effort to make contemporary art accessible to everyone, admission to curated venues and outdoor installations will be free and open to the public.
We start with a question that decenters the individual and instead considers a world in which all points are balanced within a vast constellation of living things. By honouring our interconnectedness, we open up new ways of understanding ancient ideas, alternative histories, sacred belief systems, and ways of knowing. By recalibrating how we view our past, we can direct our gaze to alternative futures: Indigenous futurisms, Black futurisms, migrant futurisms, animal futurisms, and others. Might this be a future, or even the future’s future?
A community and city-builder at heart, Patrizia Libralato is an original founder of the Toronto Biennial of Art and serving as its Executive Director since February 2017. Her 25-year career spans the national and international commercial and public art world, including Wynick/Tuck Gallery and an Associate Directorship at the Sable-Castelli Gallery until 2000. For the next 5 years, Libralato lived in Italy and created and managed public and private gallery exhibitions, a national radio broadcast and large-scale cultural and musical events in Venice, Verona and Vicenza, which included artist commissions, educational programs, artist residencies and workshops. Libralato returned to Toronto in 2005 to found Birch Libralato, a leading gallery in the Canadian contemporary art world.
Ilana Shamoon leads all aspects of the Biennial’s programming and creative partnerships. She was curator at the Fondation Cartier pour l’Art Contemporain in Paris (2006-15) where she curated numerous exhibitions including Native Land, Stop Eject, and regularly commissioned artworks, events, and performances, the most recent being the acclaimed pop-up radio show, Pan African Space Station (2015). Shamoon ran the public art program at Waterfront Toronto from 2016-17 and has worked as an independent curator for institutions including Ryerson Image Centre, Toronto. She joined the Biennial Curatorial Advisory Group in 2016 and subsequently led the Curatorial Framework research for the inaugural curatorial team.
Candice Hopkins will lead the curatorial direction of the Biennial including new art commissions, exhibitions, and publications. Most recently co-curator for SITE Santa Fe’s 2018 Sitelines Biennial and the Canadian Pavilion for the 2019 Venice Biennial, Hopkins has developed major international exhibitions, including Sakahàn: International Indigenous Art (2013), National Gallery of Canada, Close Encounters: The Next 500 Years (2011), Plug In ICA , and, dOCUMENTA 14 in Kassel and Athens (2017). She has been published widely and lectured internationally and is the recipient of the 2015 Hnatyshyn Foundation Award for Curatorial Excellence in Contemporary Art. Originally from Whitehorse, Yukon, Hopkins is a citizen of Carcross/Tagish First Nation.
Alongside Hopkins, Tairone Bastien will shape the Biennial’s curatorial vision. An independent curator and arts programmer based in Toronto, Bastien was a curator for Nuit Blanche Toronto 2018 and was a 2018 Journalism Fellow at the Munk School of Global Affairs at the University of Toronto. Previously, he directed programming for Alserkal Avenue, an arts district and organization in Dubai and presented commissioned projects that travelled to the Venice Biennial (2015), Dhaka Art Summit (2016), and Art Dubai (2016); oversaw public engagement for TCA Abu Dhabi, a government agency that developed new arts programming across the Emirates, including for the Louvre Abu Dhabi; and, was a curator for the first three iterations of Performa (2005-2009), New York’s biennial of performance art.
Sabrina Maher will oversee the Biennial’s network of partners, sponsors and donors, working with the Executive Director and the Board of Directors to strategically support the Biennial’s activities and bring extraordinary experiences in art to its supporters. Sabrina is a fundraiser, arts programmer, project manager, researcher and writer. Previously she held the role of Grants & Sponsorship Officer for The Power Plant Contemporary Art Gallery (2016-18) where she managed an extensive portfolio of major public and private funders and contributed to programmatic and strategic development. Prior she has held curatorial and programming positions with DesignTO Festival, Art Metropole, the Art Museum at University of Toronto, and the Art Gallery of Ontario.
Myung-Sun Kim is an interdisciplinary artist and cultural programmer. She has led curatorial programming at galleries and festivals including Toronto Reel Asian International Film Festival, Inside Out Film Festival (shorts), and The Theatre Centre, and programs multidisciplinary practices across various media. Her approach to public engagement focuses on intersectionality, empathetic methodologies, social processes, and engaging in civic conversations through meaningful partnerships and collaborations. She recently completed a Fellowship with the Toronto Arts Council’s Leader’s Lab. Her work as an artist has been presented across North America and in Finland, including Art Gallery of Ontario, MOCA Toronto, FADO Performance Art Centre, and Plug In ICA.
Ange Loft authored the Toronto Indigenous Context Brief, beginning a continuous process of contextualizing the city’s waterfront for the Biennial staff, curators, and artists. As a member of the Advisory Council of Knowledge Keepers, Decision Makers, Connectors, Overseers, Guides, she will continue to inform all aspects of the Biennial’s activities. Ange Loft is the Associate Artistic Director of Jumblies Theatre. She is a multi-disciplinary artist and performer from Kahnawake Mohawk Territory. Ange is an ardent collaborator, arts advocate and amateur historian. She specializes in and facilitates interdisciplinary creation, arts-based research, oral history, outdoor performance, community art design, wearable sculpture and project planning. Ange is also a Juno and Polaris nominated vocalist with YAMANTAKA//SONIC TITAN.
Natasha Henry is also a member of the Advisory Council of Knowledge Keepers, Decision Makers, Connectors, Overseers, Guides, and will contribute expertise to all aspects of the Biennial’s activities. Natasha Henry the president of the Ontario Black History Society. She is a historian, published author, educator, and an award-winning curriculum developer, focusing on Black Canadian experiences. Natasha is currently completing a PhD in History at York University, researching Black enslavement in early Ontario and is a 2018 Vanier Scholar. Through her various professional and community roles, Natasha’s work is grounded in her commitment to research, collect, preserve, and disseminate the histories Black Canadians.
Paul Bain is a lawyer, practicing in entertainment, media and intellectual property and an advocate/advisor for the arts and artists. He is a partner of Dickinson Wright LLP, with offices in Washington, Nashville, Las Vegas, Austin and Detroit (among others).
Paul has served on numerous arts boards as a Director, including the The Power Plant, Contact Photography Festival, Art Metropole and C Magazine Foundation. He is an avid collector of contemporary art and photography, and has supported numerous important museum exhibitions in Canada and abroad.
Lisa Melchior, founder of VERTU Capital, is an experienced private equity professional with a track record of over 20 years building businesses and successful investment outcomes.
Lisa has board experience with a wide variety of private and public companies. She currently sits on the board of Real Matters (TSX: REAL) and is a member of its audit committee. In addition to the Toronto Biennial of Art, her not for profit activity includes: Cabinet Member for St. Michael’s Hospital’s Angels Den, Executive Member of the Canadian Women in Private Equity where she Chairs its Mentorship Committee, and Ontario Judge for E&Y’s Entrepreneur of the Year Program.
Susannah Rosenstock is the Director of Art Toronto, Canada’s largest and most important art fair for modern and contemporary art. The fair is one of the country’s most significant annual art events and attracts an audience of 20,000 local, national and international guests over 5 days.
She is an expert in international cultural marketing and brand building, major event planning, educational programming, as well as building and maintaining relationships with major sponsors and cultural partners in Toronto including the Art Gallery of Ontario, The Power Plant, MOCA, Canadian Art magazine, AXA Art Insurance and RBC Wealth Management. Susannah is one of the founders of the Toronto Biennial of Art.
Cathy Bisset-Parkes is a visual arts enthusiast, collector and energetic ambassador for the visual arts community at large. She has served on numerous committees at the AGO over the past 18 years. Currently, she is Honorary Member of the 2018 Art Toronto committee which she has chaired and co-chaired for many years. She also sits on the Curator’s Circle Committee where she continues to make strong philanthropic contributions to the museum.
In addition to her roles at the AGO, she is a long-term member of Toronto Friends of the Visual Arts, an independent non-profit group giving financial support to the visual arts community in the GTA. Cathy has been Past President, Board Chair, and current Patron of a USA based art alliance. Her responsibilities with this non-profit organization included building the membership donor base, starting a statewide association with other art groups and she initiated a collaboration with the Ringling School of Art and Design and the Gulf Coast Community Foundation.
Roma Dubczak is a marketing and brand strategy consultant with experience in both packaged goods as well as in the non-for-profit sector. She is currently the Chair of the Canadian Red Cross’ (CRC) Marketing Advisory Committee and member of the CRC’s Tiffany Circle Steering Committee. She is also the Chair of the Strategic Planning Committee at Royal St. George’s College.
For the past 10 years, Roma was the Chair of Communications committee and member of the Strategic Planning Committee for the Kingsway College School. Previously, she served as Chair of the Board of Governors of the Ukrainian Cooperative Nursery School.
Zahra is a designer and urbanist, using participatory practices to engage citizens in the design of services, policies and infrastructure. She is an Executive Advisor to Deloitte on Civic Innovation, and a senior advisor to political and public interest initiatives across the country. For the past three years, she led Doblin Canada, engaging diverse sets of stakeholders to co-create solutions to complex organizational and industry challenges. Prior to Doblin, Zahra founded and led archiTEXT, working with communities to co-design towards better social outcomes and leading some of Canada’s most ambitious participatory infrastructure and policy programs. Zahra has taught at OCADU, MoMA, and currently teaches at UofT. She sits on the board of Jane’s Walk and St. Stephen’s Community House, and is an advisor for Toronto Public Library, Centre for Connected Communities, Progress Toronto, Sidewalk Labs and ResilientTO.
Jane Marrone is a Toronto-based home maker and philanthropist. Her philanthropic efforts include fundraising for education, health care and the arts. She is a member of the Education Committee and European Curatorial Committee at the Art Gallery of Ontario. She is also a Tiffany Circle member of the Red Cross, and most recently Chair of the Disaster Management campaign for both Ontario and Canada.
Jane is past chair of the Imagine No Bullying campaign and an honorary member of the fundraising effort for York University. Jane holds degrees in Business Management and Strategic Planning. She established the Yamana Passion to Perform art competition.
Kristyn Wong-Tam is a Canadian politician and Councillor of the Ward 13, Toronto Centre. From 2010-2018, she served as Councillor for the Toronto Centre-Rosedale electoral district, Ward 27. A real estate agent and business owner, she is the former owner of a Timothy’s franchise in Toronto, and is the owner of the KWT (formerly the XEXE) contemporary art gallery at Bathurst and Richmond Street West.
Wong-Tam, who is a Canadian of Chinese origin, has been an activist for both LGBTQ and Asian Canadian community issues, serving on the Chinese Canadian National Council and helped to found Asian Canadians For Equal Marriage and the Church and Wellesley Village’s business improvement area. In 2011, she cooperated with Toronto’s Lesbian Gay Bi Trans Youth Line to create an award, named in memory of Toronto artist Will Munro, to honour LGBT youth involved in community arts projects in Ontario.
Susan Wortzman is a partner in the Toronto offices of McCarthy Tétrault and leads the firm’s e-Discovery and Information Governance practice. Susan founded MT>3, formerly Wortzmans, in 2007 which was Canada’s leading law firm specializing in e-Discovery. One of Canada’s most respected e-Discovery lawyers, Susan’s creativity, entrepreneurship, legal and business acumen, and her commitment to innovation and technology ensure that her clients receive effective, cutting e-Discovery and information management services.
Susan is a committee member of the McCarthy Tétrault Art Collection a well as the AGO’s Curator’s Circle Committee and Art Toronto’s Opening Night Committee. Susan was formerly on the Board of Canadian Stage and the Tarragon Theatre.
Collaboration is an essential part of the Toronto Biennial and we are working closely with a range of organizations to develop programming and identify venues—from repurposed buildings to iconic landmarks, outdoor spaces and parks.
For creative partnership inquiries:
Ilana Shamoon, Director of Programming
We acknowledge the generous founding support of
We also recognize the significant private donations of our Founding Visionaries, Contemporaries, and Patrons.
The Toronto Biennial of Art unites people from around the world through extraordinary experiences in contemporary art. Through thought-provoking and inspiring contemporary art, the Toronto Biennial of Art strengthens civic bonds, invests in the city and its artists, residents and communities, promotes accessibility, inclusivity and education, and allows creativity and innovation to flourish.
There are many ways to give to the Toronto Biennial of Art – as an individual donor, a family foundation, a corporate sponsor or as a volunteer – and every dollar goes to ground-breaking exhibitions and enriching programs.
Toronto Biennial of Art is a Registered Canadian Charity and donors receive charitable tax receipts which are 100% tax deductible and all supporters receive many custom benefits and privileges as appreciation for your enthusiasm and generosity.
Your individual gift to the Toronto Biennial of Art will have an immediate and far-reaching impact, allowing the Biennial to present exhibitions, commission new art, realize youth and community programs, artist residencies, teaching toolkits and so much more.
You will be given special access to the Biennial’s events, encountering the unexpected and the astonishing with special previews, artist-curator talks, interactive events and activities, behind-the-scene tours, opening reception parties and much more.
Toronto Biennial of Art is Canada’s leading visual arts event focused exclusively on contemporary art from across the world. Multi-month in length, the city-wide festival offers businesses exceptional visibility and brand recognition to hundreds of thousands of visitors in combination with premium entertaining and client stewardship opportunities.
With a fully integrated marketing strategy, the Biennial will build a customized package to reflect your philanthropic goals and priority markets. An experiential platform to engage with your clients and staff, Biennial corporate sponsors are extended unrivalled opportunities to build networks and make your company shine. We will work closely with your business to develop personalized benefits that suit your unique needs and recognize your leadership and community investment.
For more information about sponsorships please contact Sabrina Maher firstname.lastname@example.org
Toronto Biennial of Art is commissioning a group of internationally-known artists to create a series of limited Artist Editions. Works will range from sculpture, prints, artist books, and objects to digital- and design-based works, all available for purchase. Editions will invite supporters to support the Biennial while growing their own collections.
Toronto-based artist and curator Luis Jacob (b. 1971, Peru) has been commissioned to create the first Toronto Biennial Artist Edition, entitled The Riddle (2018): an epoxy-resin and marble dust sculpture of the artists’ hands is formed to create a viewing pane, framing observations while questioning conventions of looking and understanding.
Meet new and fascinating people, learn about contemporary art, attend education and art events, engage with international artists and curators, and build you skillset as a Toronto Biennial volunteer! Volunteers will be a vital part of the Biennial by working with the public at art exhibitions, public programs, special events and VIP parties.
If you are enthusiastic about contemporary art, passionate about people and looking for behind-the-scene experiences – and special perks like access to exclusive programs and events – please join the Toronto Biennial community as a volunteer.
We are looking for art lovers with a range of skills, who understand that reliability, communication and flexibility are important values, and who are searching for rewarding ways to give back by helping a non-for-profit organization.
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