Partners in Art Receives $2.0 Million from Government of Canada

October 28, 2016News Releases

LandMarks2017/Repères2017 to be a pan-Canadian Signature Project through Canada 150 Fund

A series of new collaborative multidisciplinary art projects inspired by nature to be installed in numerous Parks Canada locations from June 10-25, 2017

TORONTO, Oct 13, 2016 – Partners in Art (PIA) is proud to announce its collaborative art project, LandMarks2017/Repères2017, has received $2 million in funding from the Government of Canada and has been selected as one of the Canada 150 Fund pan-Canadian Signature projects.

LandMarks2017/Repères2017, presented by TD, is a year-long, nationwide initiative that brings together a team of nationally acclaimed curators, established Canadian contemporary artists, 15 Canadian universities, a university curriculum involving numerous post-secondary art students, and local communities to collaboratively create works of art that will be situated in numerous Parks Canada locations from June 10-25, 2017.

Using contemporary art as a tool for critical dialogue,LandMarks2017/Repères2017 will provide people from coast to coast to coast with an opportunity to imagine, speculate, and invent their futures responding to the natural setting and beauty of iconic Parks Canada locations across the country.

LandMarks2017/Repères2017 is an ambitious project that aims to foster a dialogue that reflects upon Canada’s past and builds shared visions of the future shaped by a multiplicity of voices.

LandMarks2017/Repères2017 shares a similar thematic future to that of the Government of Canada’s vision for the 150th anniversary of Confederation, including diversity and inclusion, reconciliation with Indigenous peoples, stewardship of the environment and youth.

“The 150th anniversary of Confederation will be a unique opportunity for Canadians to celebrate their identity, while highlighting Canada’s cultural diversity and the richness of its history and heritage. LandMarks2017/Repères2017 offers us an incredible opportunity to promote dialogue both within our communities and between communities, everywhere in the country. This project will no doubt help strengthen the ties that unite us and leave a lasting legacy for future generations.”

—The Honourable Mélanie Joly, Minister of Canadian Heritage

 A Forum to Collaborate and Dialogue

LandMarks2017/Repères2017 aims to create a forum for collaboration, knowledge sharing, differing perspectives, Indigenous epistemologies, and the creation of new frameworks of understanding through a coordinated art curriculum in universities across the country.

“It is a ‘landmark’ moment for contemporary art in Canada. Receiving this funding and being announced as one of the Canada 150 Fund’s pan-Canadian Signature projects will make possible one of the most ambitious national arts projects undertaken to date,” says Jane Brisebois, Chairman and founding member of PIA. “This monumental initiative would not have been possible without the tireless work of our dedicated volunteer leaders and the support of our partners.”

Presenting Sponsor TD offers, “TD is thrilled to celebrate the work of these incredibly talented artists who will be animating Canada’s parks through LandMarks2017/Repères2017,” said Pamela Meredith, Senior Curator, TD Bank Group.”TD is a longstanding supporter of both the arts and the environment and we understand green spaces are where the community comes together to find common ground. We’re delighted to collaborate with Partners in Art to connect Canadians to nature across the country.”

Elske Kofman, Project Chair of LandMarks2017/Repères2017 national leadership team and founding member of PIA, adds: “Bringing together a national group of PIA volunteers, academics, curators, artists, students, and partners to create LandMarks2017/Repères2017 is a first in Canadian art.”

Establishing good partnerships and working relationships with like-minded organizations has long been the core essence of PIA’s success and LandMarks2017/Repères2017 is no exception.

“Our founding partners, OCAD University and the Canadian Association of Fine Art Deans (CAFAD), have been instrumental in making the initiative a reality while our site partner, Parks Canada, has helped us to realize our vision. With TD as our presenting sponsor, LandMarks2017/Repères2017 is positioned to make a significant contribution to Canada 150 as an opportunity for Canadians to build a shared vision for the next 150 years.” adds Kofman.

A Multiplicity of Voices with LandMarks2017/Repères2017 Curators and Artists

The curatorial team for the project was selected in a nationwide competition last year. Each curator has delivered large, complex, multi-partner art projects and exhibitions in galleries and outdoor sites. The LandMarks2017/Repères2017 curators include: David Diviney, Natalia Lebedinskaia, Veronique Leblanc, Ariella Pahlke, Kathleen Ritter, Melinda Spooner and Tania Willard.

LandMarks2017/Repères 2017 artists were selected earlier this year and together create a strong Indigenous foundation while also representing a multiplicity of cultures, including francophone and new Canadians. LandMarks2017/Repères2017 artists include: Michael Belmore, Rebecca Belmore, Raphaelle de Groot, Ursula Johnson, Cheryl L’Hirondelle, Jeneen Frei Njootli, Douglas Scholes, Camille Turner, and Jin-me Yoon.

A Digital Legacy

A broad public will be encouraged to follow and interact with all the activities planned around LandMarks2017/Repères2017 through its engaging interactive digital platform. A dynamic tool for everything to do with the initiative, will encourage Canadians through social media to take virtual and actual site visits of the art projects, and to participate in a national dialogue. Tools will include bios and backgrounders on the artists, project itineraries and links to all art events, maps and hiking / walking trails for visitors at the locations, an educational hub for continued collaboration between art universities, an online gallery of work produced by participating art students, and much more.

“Our aim is to leave a lasting legacy for generations of Canadians to engage with one another and make contemporary art accessible both in Parks Canada’s natural surroundings and on the LandMarks2017/Repères2017 interactive digital platform,” Kofman concluded.

A Diverse Selection of Site Locations

Numerous locations nationwide that are within or adjacent to Parks Canada places are being considered as potential sites. These locations range from populous urban areas to rural, coastal and remote areas, taking advantage of both national parks and national historic sites and present in all regions of Canada. Specific locations and their artists will be announced in the coming months.

Coast to Coast Post Secondary Academic Participation Sponsored by TD

Fifteen universities from across Canada are participating in LandMarks2017/Repères2017, including: Emily Carr University of Art and Design (BC); Simon Fraser University (BC); MacEwan University (AB); University of Lethbridge (AB); University of Regina (SK); University of Guelph (ON); OCAD University (ON); Queen’s University (ON); Sheridan College (ON); University of Waterloo (ON); Concordia University (QC); McGill University, Schulich School of Music (QC); UQAM (QC); Mount Allison University (NB); NSCAD University (NS)

About the Canada 150 Fund

Created to celebrate Canada’s 150th anniversary of Confederation in 2017, the Canada 150 Fund seeks to create opportunities for Canadians to participate in local, regional, and national celebrations that contribute to building a sense of pride and attachment to Canada.

About Partners in Art (PIA)

Partners in Art (PIA) is a volunteer-led, charitable organization of 135 art supporters with a passion for promoting contemporary Canadian art. Since 2002, PIA has invested more than $1.5 million in 50+ projects working in cooperation with 21 partners. For more information, visit or follow us on Twitter and Facebook.

For more information and updates on the project visit / Repères or follow us at:

Facebook: /LandMarks2017Reperes2017
Twitter: @LandMarks2017
Instagram: #landmarks2017

Media contact:
Elske Kofman
Project Chair, LandMarks2017
t: 416-710-8306