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WAG Opens Gallery’s Largest-Ever Exhibit of Contemporary Indigenous Art

WAG Opens Gallery’s Largest-Ever Exhibit of Contemporary Indigenous Art

INSURGENCE/RESURGENCE turns Gallery inside out, covers over 17,000 square feet 

The Winnipeg Art Gallery (WAG) is honoured to open INSURGENCE/RESURGENCE, a groundbreaking exhibition focused on leading and emerging Indigenous artists from across Canada who are pushing boundaries with their work. The WAG’s largest-ever display of contemporary Indigenous art opens tonight with a free celebration starting at 7pm that will see live demonstrations by Earthline Tattoo Collective and music by DJ Kookum. The exhibition runs until April 2018.

Curated by Dr. Julie Nagam, Chair in the History of Indigenous Art in North America, WAG/University of Winnipeg, and Jaimie Isaac, WAG Curator of Indigenous and Contemporary Art,INSURGENCE/RESURGENCE considers political insurgency and cultural resurgence to radically shift our understanding of Canada, now and in the future. From tattooing and fashion to painting, sculpture, new media, and performance, an exciting range of work is presented using Indigenous curatorial practices and ideas of collaboration that rethink traditional Western modes of presenting art.

INSURGENCE/RESURGENCE will activate the Gallery like never before with thematic monthly programs highlighting the artists to engage Canadians in topics that reflect the pulse of today: gender identity (October); technology (November/December); reclaiming space (January); language revitalization and storytelling (February); self-determination, land politics, and the environment (March), and repatriation (April).

Participating artists include:
Barry Ace, KC Adams, Joi T. Arcand, Dee Barsy, Scott Benesiinaabandan, Jordan Bennett, Heather Campbell, Bruno Canadien, Hannah Claus, Dana Claxton, Dayna Danger, Earthline Tattoo Collective, Bracken Hanuse Corlett, Tsema Igharas, Ursula Johnson, Casey Koyczan, Kenneth Lavallee, Duane Linklater, Tanya Lukin Linklater, Amy Malbeuf, Kent Monkman, Caroline Monnet, Tiffany Shaw-Collinge, Frank Shebageget, Amanda Strong, Joseph Tisiga, Couzyn van Heuvelen, Isabella Weetaluktuk, and Linus Woods.

Quick facts:

  • 29 participating artists representing the vast Indigenous territories and nations across Canada, such as Anishinaabe, Dene, Cree, Mi’kmaw, Métis, Inuit, Innu, Tahltan, Hunkpapa Lakota, Haudenosaunee, Wuikinuxv, and Klahoose. 
  • 12 commissioned pieces include site-specific interventions that respond to the design of the WAG building.
  • Is the largest contemporary Indigenous show in Canadian history curated solely by Indigenous curators.
  • The exhibition covers over 17,000 square feet with art throughout the galleries, indoors and out.
  • The WAG is Canada’s oldest civic art gallery and holds the largest public collection of contemporary Inuit art in the world.


INSURGENCE/RESURGENCE reflects an exciting momentum that continues to build at the Winnipeg Art Gallery. The WAG is proud to be a leader, working in partnership with Indigenous communities, in recognizing the power of art and its role in understanding. This exhibition provides a platform for ideas and conversations that are so important right now.

—Dr. Stephen Borys, Director & CEO, WAG

We are thrilled for the opportunity and commitment from the Winnipeg Art Gallery and the larger arts community. It’s an exciting moment for us, the artists and the WAG. We hope our work at the Gallery and within the community is amplified and heard now and in the future.

—Jaimie Isaac, WAG Curator of Indigenous and Contemporary Art, and Dr. Julie Nagam, Chair in the History of Indigenous Art in North America, WAG/University of Winnipeg

BMO celebrates diversity in all that we do, and we are proud to contribute to such a unique and important perspective of art that will spotlight our national indigenous talent. We’re excited for the community to experience this exhibit, and the stories that WAG is helping to tell in Manitoba.

—John MacAulay, Senior Vice President, Prairies Central Canada Division, BMO Bank of Montreal.

Upcoming events: 

October 18, 12:15pm  Panel Discussion: The Power of the Arts to Build Resilient Communities: Hosted by co-curators Jaimie Isaac and Julie Nagam, a panel featuring community mobilizer Michael Champagne, artists Kenneth Lavallee and Jessica Canard, and Music Director of the National Arts Centre Orchestra, Alexander Shelley. Presented in collaboration with the University of Winnipeg’s Weweni Speaker Series. Free entry.

October 197:00-8:00pm
  Artist Talk & Demo: Whip-Making with Dayna Danger: Join Dayna Danger as she challenges perceptions of power, representation, and sexuality. Talk is free (18+, mature content). Augment the evening by registering for a mini-whip-making workshop with Danger, 8:00-9:00pm ($20/person, limited space).

October 21, 7:30pm  Red Rising Magazine Issue #7 Launch and Panel Discussion: Celebrate the launch of Red Rising Magazine’s new two-spirited issue, featuring a panel discussion with co-curators Jaimie Isaac and Julie Nagam and artist Dayna Danger. Free entry. Presented in partnership with the University of Winnipeg’s Two-Spirit and QPOC: A Call to Conversation with LGBT and Allies Conference (October 20-22). 

Find more exhibition-related events and details at
The WAG is grateful to Title Sponsor BMO Financial Group, whose support commemorates the company’s 200th anniversary in 2017, as well as Programming Supporter Barry Appleton and the Appleton Charitable Foundation; Exhibition Sponsors Friesens,  Michael Maltzan Architecture, and Initiative for Indigenous Futures; Media Sponsor CBC Indigenous and CBC Manitoba; and Partner Wall-to-Wall Mural Festival and Synonym Arts Consultation.

Associated Links
Winnipeg Art Gallery

Stay Connected
Follow us on Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram. #surgence


>Tammy Sawatzky
Public Relations Coordinator
Winnipeg Art Gallery

About the Winnipeg Art Gallery 
The Winnipeg Art Gallery is a cultural advocate – a lens and forum – helping people see and experience more through art. Playing a vital role in the community, engaging and enriching people of all ages and backgrounds through art and culture, the Winnipeg Art Gallery thrives as a creative, innovative, and accessible place for learning, discovery, and inspiration.

About BMO Financial Group
Established in 1817, and currently marking its 200th year of operations, BMO Financial Group is a highly diversified financial services provider based in North America. With total assets of $709 billion as of July 31, 2017, and more than 45,000 employees, BMO provides a broad range of personal and commercial banking, wealth management and investment banking products and services to more than 12 million customers and conducts business through three operating groups: Personal and Commercial Banking, Wealth Management and BMO Capital Markets.

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