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A Design Lover’s Guide to Summer in Toronto

Eight art exhibitions, festivals and parties on our editors’ agendas

By Eric Mutrie

EXHIBITIONS

Photo by Larissa Issler.

Max Dean: As Yet Untitled
Now-Aug 13

While that shot of Fido at the park is – hopefully – safe and sound in the cloud, most family photos taken before the arrival of the smartphone still exist solely in physical form. When it comes time to clear out the closet, what endures and what gets tossed? Artist Max Dean riffs on this moral dilemma with a mechanized robot designed to sort through a stack of old pictures. An arm presents prints to viewers, who can choose whether each snap lives on, or gets shredded.

Free. Ryerson Image Centre, 33 Gould St
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Canada 150: Discovery Way
Now-Dec 31

Learn about the Eureka moments that led to the invention of hockey masks, Blackberry pagers and aircraft black boxes – all three of which were dreamt up by a crafty Canadian. This timeline of Canada’s past 150 years presents 22 game-changing artifacts invented along the way, and profiles the creative minds behind them.

$22. Ontario Science Centre, 770 Don Mills Rd
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Multi-National Conglomerates Hostile Take Over of the New World Order by Lawrence Paul Yuxwelupton.

Every. Now. Then: Reframing Nationhood
Now-Feb 18

To curator Andrew Hunter, Canada is very much a work in progress. In line with that view, he enlists working artists like Camille Turner, Camal Pirbhai and Barry Ace to address some of the ways that commonly taught history has minimized African-Canadian and Aboriginal voices over the years. In total, the show will present 33 projects contributed by artists with fresh perspectives from across the country.

$20. AGO, 317 Dundas ST W
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Woman’s formal jacket (haori), early 20th century.

Diligence and Elegance: The Nature of Japanese Textiles
Jul 12-Jan 21

Utilitarian indigo-dyed cotton, luxurious silk kimonos and other stylish artifacts tell the story of life in Japan during the 19th and 20th centuries. Many of the more than 50 textiles on display are constructed using ancient weaving, tinting and embroidery techniques. These pieces are joined by contemporary textiles by Japanese-Canadians Hiroko Karuno and Keiko Shintani, who continue to employ these same artisanal practices in their own work.

$15. Textile Museum of Canada, 55 Centre Ave
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HERE: Locating Contemporary Canadian Artists
Jul 22-Jan 1

A marble slab in the Aga Khan’s collection is now the sum of two past identities. While originally part of a Roman structure, it was later repurposed as a gravestone and inscribed with Kufic script. Contemporary Canadian artists contribute similarly layered works that reflect the complex histories of our nation. Artist Babak Golkar, for example, places an artwork inside of a taxidermied fox – with the caveat that it must remain sealed until 2116.

$20. Aga Khan Museum, 77 Wynford Dr
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PARTIES

AZ Awards Gala
Jun 23

Join the creative talents behind the year’s best design and architecture – as selected by a jury of industry all-stars that includes lighting designer Theo Richardson and NADAAA principal Nader Tehrani – as they fête their wins. A feature installation adds to the excitement; last year, a lighting display by Castor was rigged to respond to a live piano performance.

$85, Evergreen Brick Works, 550 Bayview Ave
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FESTIVALS

Rendering by Dustin Macmillan

Luminato
Jun 14-25

Building on last year’s high-profile bash at the ravishingly ruinous Hearn Generating Station, this all-things-culture fest returns with fresh programming. Artistic director Josephine Ridge draws from her experience helming Australia’s Melbourne Festival to present a lineup that combines theatre, visual arts and music. One highlight: Until the Lions, a contemporary dance performance choreographed by Akram Khan, will explore gender roles in the Sanskrit epic poem the Mahabharata. It plays out inside of a custom-built temporary theatre in the Canadian Opera Company complex on Front Street East.

Prices Vary. Citywide
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Toronto Outdoor Art Exhibition
Jul 14-16

Henry Moore’s bronze sculpture gets some company as more than 300 visual artists fill Nathan Phillips Square with their own creative masterpieces. Start your collection with a painting of Toronto watering holes by Amy Walsh-Harris, pottery by Patrick Yeung or geometric jewellery by Alice Yujing Yan. Or, opt for something from the expanded student zone, dedicated to budding talents from OCAD U and Sheridan College. If you need a little liquid courage before committing to a canvas, hit up the Henderson Brewing beer garden.

Free. Nathan Phillips Square, 100 Queen St W
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