September 5, 2012 Kleinburg, ON –This fall, the McMichael Canadian Art Collection explores Canadian history through the wonderful diversity of individuals who have left—and are leaving—their mark on our country and our culture. Double Take: Portraits of Intriguing Canadians is on display at the gallery from September 22, 2012 to January 6, 2013, and invites visitors to take a look (or two) at portraits of over fifty Canadians that tell compelling stories of assumed identity, assassination, exploitation, discovery, invention, injustice, activism, and achievement.

The bilingual exhibition (Volte-face: Portraits de Canadiens fascinants) is organized and circulated by Library and Archives Canada. Curated by Carolyn Cook, it showcases the richness and variety of the national portrait collection and provides the opportunity for Library and Archives Canada to exhibit some works for the first time.

The 100 works in Double Take span four centuries, from early explorers such as Jacques Cartier and Samuel de Champlain, to contemporary icons such as David Suzuki and Joni Mitchell, in a variety of media including paintings, photographs, cartoons, drawings, video, and sculpture. Additional audio—voices of contemporary sitters and commentators in recorded interviews—further strengthens the encounter with dialogue and stimulates visitors to think, assess, and compare the characters presented.

The fifty-seven sitters who make up this remarkable portraiture of Canada are:

Margaret Atwood

Dr. Frederick Banting

Archibald Belaney/Grey Owl

Norman Bethune

Conrad Black

J.R. Booth

Frances Brooke

Rosemary Brown

June Callwood

Cassie Campbell

Kim Campbell

Jacques Cartier

Thérèse Casgrain


Samuel de Champlain

Jean Chrétien

Adrienne Clarkson

Leonard Cohen

Douglas Coupland

Roméo Dallaire

Dionne Quintuplets

Maurice Duplessis

Arthur Erickson

Gratien Gélinas

Glenn Gould

Elijah Harper

Ben Johnson

Pauline Johnson

Tom Longboat

Sir John A. Macdonald

Irshad Manji

Nellie McClung

Thomas D’Arcy McGee

Norman McLaren

Marshall McLuhan

Joni Mitchell

Marquis de Montcalm

Norval Morrisseau

Alanis Obomsawin


Mary Pickford

Jacques Plante

Mary Pratt

Mordecai Richler

Louis Riel

Buffy Sainte-Marie

Laura Secord

Robert Service

Joey Smallwood

Donald Sutherland

David Suzuki

Catherine Tegahkouita

Tom Thomson

Pierre E. Trudeau

Marie-Madeleine de Verchères

Gilles Villeneuve

James Wolfe

Programs that complement Double Take: Portraits of Intriguing Canadians are listed below and will be on during the exhibition to provide visitors an even more intriguing experience! Please visit for registration and more information.


Saturday, September 22, from 2:30 p.m. to 3:30 p.m.

Double Take: Portraits of Intriguing Canadians

Join curator Carolyn Cook on a tour revealing the most compelling and diverse stories of Canadian personalities, such as sprinter Ben Johnson and Prime Minister Pierre Trudeau. A special treat for those who love the more personal take on Canadian history. Included with gallery admission. Registration required.

Sunday, September 23, 1:30 p.m.

The Signallers, An Art Encounter with Artist Elaine Goble

Reflect upon Canadian history with Elaine Goble, artist of Senator Romeo Dallaire’s portrait on view in the Double Take exhibition. Elaine Goble’s passion for Canadian military history takes her to the 2nd Pioneer Battalion, from where this story literally dropped on her doorstep in an old trunk full of memorabilia belonging to a certain Colonel Lorne Ardiel. Reconstructing the historical narrative from old letters and photographs, Goble has created an artwork entitled The Signallers that will be unveiled during this presentation. Included with gallery admission. Registration required.

Sunday, October 28, 11:30 a.m. 

Double Take: Beyond the Public Image Art Chat

Does a camera capture reality? What does a portrait say about the sitter? Come and explore these questions as our docent takes you through two special exhibitions that reveal interesting facets of famous personalities, including Queen Elizabeth II. Included with gallery admission. No registration required.

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, including paintings by the Group of Seven and their contemporaries, First Nations and Inuit artists. The gallery is located at 10365 Islington Avenue, north of Major Mackenzie Drive in Kleinburg. For more information about the gallery, visit

Media contact:

Michelle Kortinen, Communications Coordinator

McMichael Canadian Art Collection

905.893.1121 ext. 2210