September 20, 2017

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First Nation’s artists call Canada 150 celebrations into question with new exhibition at THEMUSEUM

First Nation’s artists call Canada 150 celebrations into question with new exhibition at THEMUSEUM

Kitchener, ON – This March 2017, while Canada 150 celebrations continue across the nation, many of the 1.4 million people who make up Canada’s First Nation’s and Indigenous populations will not. To celebrate the voices of these communities, THEMUSEUM has turned over their fourth level gallery space to three contemporary Indigenous artists and one new Canadian artist. This exhibition, titled A Cause for Celebration? First Things First, will present the artists’ works who deal with issues of past and present, healing and justice, hope and vision. Diverse in their practices, these artists create work that speaks to present day issues, problems and solutions that emphasize the universality of human experiences. In learning from the past we will adapt for the future. We will thrive. And that is a cause for celebration.

This important exhibition will explore what our 23 Prime Ministers have done in regards to Canada’s First Nations and Indigenous communities during their respective terms in office. Along with these accounts, the work of Mohan, Nyle Johnston, Anong Beam and Ann Beam, will be featured. Through their art work, the artists were asked to reflect on the last 150 years and to consider new ways forward.

THEMUSEUM has also commissioned a special flagship piece from contemporary artist Nyle Johnston, which will invite interaction from visitors.

THEMUSEUM will also host a number of other exhibitions during the year that will explore what it means to be Canadian through lens of versatile identities and stories that make up the nation’s lengthy history. These exhibitions include Step Right Up!: The Travelling Carnival in Canada, The Illuminative Forest of Storytelling Trees, Side By Side Art Show, Illuminate Arts KW by the Coalition of Muslim Women, Refugee Art Show, and LEED-Scape.

These celebrations of Canadian identities and stories will kick-off on February 28, 2017, when THEMUSEUM, in partnership with cities of Cambridge, Kitchener and Waterloo, will unveil the Kitchener-Waterloo region’s largest Canadian flag and host a rally for the Canada Summer Games evaluation committee.

The rally, which will take place in front of THEMUSEUM at 10 King Street in Downtown Kitchener at 11:00 am, will feature Mandy Bujold and Mike Farwell, as well as a performance of the Canadian national anthem by over 200 school children from the region.

The rally will be followed by the official opening of Cause for Celebration? First Things First on Saturday, March 4, 2017 at THEMUSEUM in downtown Kitchener. This opening will feature remarks by the exhibition’s curators, Virginia Eichhorn and Andrea Jackman. The night will also feature a performance by Halifax Poet Laureate, Rebecca Thomas, and a musical performance by Elsa Jayne, a First Nation’s singer-songwriter from the Kitchener Waterloo Region, as well as access to the exhibit. Media personnel wishing to attend are asked to RSVP to Jenna.VanKlaveren@THEMUSEUM.ca.

THEMUSEUM, which is situated on the Haldimand Tract, acknowledges that it is located on the traditional territory of the Neutral, Anishnawbe and Haudenosaunee peoples. The Haldimand Tract is the land promised to the Six Nations and includes six miles on each side of the Grand River.

More information can be found at THEMUSEUM.ca.

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MUSKRAT Magazine

MUSKRAT is an on-line Indigenous arts, culture magazine that honours the connection between humans and our traditional ecological knowledge by exhibiting original works and critical commentary. MUSKRAT embraces both rural and urban settings and uses media arts, the Internet, and wireless technology to investigate and disseminate traditional knowledges in ways that inspire their reclamation.

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