February 19, 2014, KLEINBURG ON – The McMichael Canadian Art Collection has been awarded $225,000 in federal funding over the next five years as part of two project grants under the Canada-Ontario Agreement on French-Language Services  2013-2014 to 2017-2018—an amount that will be matched by the gallery.

“The McMichael is thrilled to receive federal funding that will go toward emphasizing the historical and cultural contributions of Canada’s Francophone and Métis communities,” said McMichael Executive Director and CEO, Victoria Dickenson. “The gallery will showcase the work of French-Canadian artists and develop programming to appeal to the French-speaking public as well as a wider Canadian audience.”

The first of these programs was held on Sunday, January 26, the closing day of Karine Giboulo’s Small Strange World(s)—an exhibition that showcased the work of one of Quebec’s most dynamic young artists. The French language event included gallery tours, drop-in art workshops, and a presentation by Giboulo. Attendees were invited to offer feedback on how the gallery can meet the needs and interests of its French-speaking visitors.

The Birch Bark Canoe Project, to which the federal government will contribute $101,000 over three years, emphasizes the rich cultural heritage of Canada’s Métis population. Artist-in-Residence and master canoe builder, Marcel Labelle, will work with the gallery on a range of programming leading up to the 2015 Pan Am/Parapan Am Games in Toronto.

The project kicks off with an event at the gallery on Sunday, March 9, 2014 that will include a screening of Labelle’s new documentary The Art of Being Métis: Through the Teaching of the Canoe and a 1:30 pm performance by the award-winning Métis Fiddler Quartet. Labelle will also lead a replica birch bark canoe building workshop for families. All programming at the event will be offered in both French and English, and with elements of the Métis language, Mitchif.

The McMichael will also receive $126,900 from the federal government over the next five years to support the new French-Language Lifetime Learning Program. While the McMichael currently offers French tours and studios for school groups, the grant will allow the gallery to design new programs which highlight the intersection between art and nature specifically for the French-speaking community.

“Thanks to the Canada-Ontario agreement, Francophones and Francophiles from across the country will learn about the important contribution of Francophone, Métis and Aboriginal artists to our cultural heritage,” said Madeleine Meilleur, Minister Responsible for Francophone Affairs. “I am very pleased that the federal and provincial governments can work together to support these important initiatives.”

Roadmap for Canada’s Official Languages 2013-2018: Education, Immigration and Communities

This project is funded in part through the Roadmap for Canada’s Official Languages 2013-2018: Education, Immigration and Communities. This commitment from the Government of Canada aims to ensure the vitality of French and English across Canada, to enhance the vitality of official language minority communities, and to promote the importance and benefits of our two official languages to our national identity.

For more information on the Roadmap for Canada’s Official Languages 2013-2018: Education, Immigration, Communities please visit:

About the McMichael Canadian Art Collection

The McMichael Canadian Art Collection is an agency of the Government of Ontario and acknowledges the support of the Ministry of Tourism, Culture and Sport. It is the foremost venue in the country showcasing the Group of Seven and their contemporaries. In addition to touring exhibitions, its permanent collection consists of almost 6,000 artworks by Canadian artists, including paintings by the Group of Seven and their contemporaries, as well as First Nations, Métis and Inuit artists. The gallery is located on 100 acres of northern landscape and hiking trails at 10365 Islington Avenue, Kleinburg, north of Major Mackenzie Drive in the City of Vaughan.

For more information:

This project is funded in part by the Canada-Ontario Agreement on French-Language Services at Canadian Heritage Ce projet est financé en partie dans le cadre du Programme Entente Canada-Ontario sur les services en français de Patrimoine canadien

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