Highlights of the special exhibits happening at our national museums and gallery.
Distinguished as one of Canada’s first artists to achieve international recognition, Jack Bush’s life (1909–1977) is a fascinating story of a mid-century commercial artist turned abstract painter. His paintings trace a journey toward creative independence, and provide many new and delightful vantage points onto the history of abstract art. The Jack Bush retrospective spans five decades and paints a full picture of the artist’s achievements, including his paintings, drawings and commercial illustrations. On from November 13, 2014 – February 22, 2015 at the National Gallery of Canada.
Jack Bush, Pinched Orange, December 1964, oil on canvas. Collection of Audrey and David Mirvish, Toronto. © Estate of Jack Bush / SODRAC (2014)
On from October 17, 2014 – March 8, 2015 at the National Gallery of Canada, Shine a Light will showcase some of the best and most innovative works being made today in a variety – and often combination of – media, from video and film to drawing and painting, photography to sculpture and installation. It reveals the unique ways contemporary Canadian artists are responding to the larger social and political state of the world through their art and how they are choosing interdisciplinary modes of self-expression that transcend traditional categories, materials and genres.
Leaves of Grass (detail), 2012
cut-out images from Life magazines (1935–85), archival glue, miscanthus grass, floral foam and wooden table, installation dimensions variable
installation view, dOCUMENTA 13, Kassel, 2012
National Gallery of Canada, Ottawa
Courtesy of the artist, Catriona Jeffries Gallery, Vancouver and Casey Kaplan, New York
Photo: Rosa Maria Rühling
Join Bob the Builder™ and his can-do crew to help get the job done! The exhibition invites students to be a part of the team, working together to repair sinks in Bob the Builder’s mobile home, design a blueprint, work with tools in Bob’s workshop, or explore the building machines at the Machine Shelter. On from October 2, 2014 – March 22, 2015 at the Canadian Children’s Museum.
Produced by HIT Entertainment and The Children’s Museum of Indianapolis.
©2014 HIT Entertainment Limited and Keith Chapman.
A significant part of Canada’s contribution to the First World War took place on Belgian soil. Fighting in Flanders – Gas. Mud. Memory. explores how the Canadians who fought in Belgium had to adapt to significant battlefield challenges ― from the first lethal use of poison gas in the Second Battle of Ypres to the hellish mud of Passchendaele. The exhibition highlights the story of John McCrae and his famous poem In Flanders Fields, and explores the evolution of Canadian and Belgian collective memories of this conflict over the past 100 years. On from November 6, 2014 – March 29, 2015 at the Canadian War Museum.
On from May 30, 2014 – April 6, 2015 at the Canadian Museum of History (formerly the Canadian Museum of Civilization), step aboard this once-splendid ocean liner and travel back in time to a pivotal period in Canadian history, when economic activity was booming, and when the Empress of Ireland and her sister ship, the Empress of Britain, brought hundreds of thousands of immigrants to our shores. Experience the atmosphere of celebration following the ship’s from the docks of the City of Québec, the confused encounter in the fog, the fateful collision with the collier and the desperate rush to escape the sinking vessel. Artifacts like the ship’s bell and compass, and eyewitness accounts like the memoir of an eight-year-old survivor, help bring to life stories of loss and rescue, despair and bravery, that were all part of the greatest maritime disaster in Canadian history.
On from December 5, 2014 - April 30, 2015, journey to the Arctic and challenge your perceptions at the Canadian Museum of Nature. Interactive experiences, photos, videos and real specimens convey that the Arctic is more than just snow—it is land, water, and ice. This exhibition is a forerunner for a new permanent Arctic gallery at the museum to open in 2017 in celebration of Canada’s 150th anniversary.
Image Credit: Susanne Miller / USFWS
Maurits Cornelis Escher (1898–1972) was a skilled draughtsman, book illustrator, tapestry design and muralist, but he is best-known for his prints that reflect his fascination with order, symmetry and spatial logic. Featuring 54 works drawn from the Gallery’s extensive collection of M.C. Escher prints, this exhibition presents the various themes that fascinated this unique artist. On from December 20, 2014 – May 3, 2015 at the National Gallery of Canada.
M.C. Escher, Sky and Water I, June 1938 (detail), National Gallery of Canada, Ottawa. M.C. Escher’s “Sky and Water I” ©2014 The M.C. Escher Company-The Netherlands. All rights reserved. www.mcecsher.com, Photo © NGC
On July 1, 1867, Confederation was proclaimed. It marked the birth of today’s Canada and the culmination of a process that took nearly thirty years. This exhibition invites visitors to explore the journey of a society in transition and of people who fought, negotiated, and made compromises to better coexist. By presenting the pivotal moments that led to the drafting of the British North America Act, the exhibition helps visitors recognize a legacy that is still echoed in our identity, our values and our institutions. On from November 28, 2014 – September 13, 2015 at the Canadian Museum of History (formerly Canadian Museum of Civilization).
A Canadian premiere! On at the Canadian Museum of Nature from May 1 to September 20, 2015, this unforgettable exhibition will lead you on a unique exploration of what lies beneath the surface of many amazing animals, large and small. The intricate biology of more than 100 specimens—from goats to giraffes, bulls to birds, and octopi to ostriches—is revealed, thanks to a process called plastination. It was invented by BODY WORLDS' creator, anatomist Dr. Gunther von Hagens.
From June 5 – October 12, 2015, at the Canadian Museum of History (formerly the Canadian Museum of Civilization), take an extraordinary journey through more than 5,000 years of Greek culture, from the Neolithic era to the age of Alexander the Great. Featuring over 500 exquisite artifacts — many that have never been exhibited outside Greece — from 21 Greek museums, this is the most comprehensive exhibition on Ancient Greece to tour North America in a generation.
Through 2015 at Canada Aviation and Space Museum. Created by the Canadian Space Agency this exhibit features great hands-on interactive activities for the kids including a computerized game that lets you assemble a space meal. Place your hand on an astronaut’s hand print surrounding a giant rotating globe to learn more about them and other fun facts from space. Find out how able you would be at working in a weightless environment. Check out the various objects, replicas and components used daily by astronauts during a mission. Fun for the family and kids of all ages.
Thirty-five years later, relive Terry Fox’s heroic Marathon of Hope in the largest exhibition of its kind. Through a wide array of artifacts, share Terry Fox’s daily experience during his 147 days and 5,000 km long journey from St. John’s to Thunder Bay. On from April 3, 2015 - January 24, 2016 at the Canadian Museum of History (formerly Canadian Museum of Civilization).
© Gail Harvey, La Fondation Terry Fox / Terry Fox Foundation
We Call Them Vikings
Begins December 2015
We Call Them Vikings is a highly interactive exhibition which draws on recent archaeological discoveries to explain who the Vikings really were, where they came from, and how they lived during what has become a mythical period in Scandinavia.
It features almost 500 original artifacts — including jewellry, weapons and religious objects — from The Swedish History Museum that have until now rarely been shown outside of Scandinavia.
An exhibition produced by The Swedish History Museum Statens historiska museum), Sweden and MuseumsPartner, Austria. On from December 3, 2015 - April 17, 2016 at the Canadian Museum of History (formerly Canadian Museum of Civilization).