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Rebecca Belmore: Facing the Monumental opening reception at the Art Gallery of Ontario, Toronto

Artist Rebecca Belmore is a member of Lac Seul First Nation (Anishinaabe) who for more than three decades has created multidisciplinary works that tackle difficult subjects in beautiful ways. Rebecca Belmore: Facing the Monumental is the artist’s largest solo exhibition, launched July 11 at the Art Gallery of Ontario in Toronto. Independent curator Peggy Gale spoke on behalf of the Gershon Iskowitz Foundation (Belmore was the recipient of its namesake award in 2016), and the artist, AGO director and CEO Stephan Jost and Wanda Nanibush, the AGO’s curator of Indigenous art, also took turns at the microphone. Artist Robert Houle, whose work Seven Grandfathers is on display in the gallery’s Walker Court, was on hand as well. He assisted with a moving presentation to Belmore of a star blanket, a traditional gift of many Indigenous peoples given in honour of a major accomplishment or significant life event. Juno Award-nominated Cree cellist Cris Derksen then performed, before guests got their first look at the wonderful new show, which runs through Oct. 21.

Rebecca Belmore presented with a traditional star blanket by curator Wanda Nanibush and artist Robert Houle.

Courtesy of Art Gallery of Ontar

The Canada Club London spring dinner honouring Margaret Atwood, London

Founded by 26 fur traders in the fall of 1810, the Canada Club has existed with few interruptions as a London social club where members gather for splashy dinners and lively talks that focus on Canada and its role in the world. Recently, the club held its annual black-tie spring dinner, this year in honour of Ottawa-born author Margaret Atwood, for 200 or so guests at the London Zoo in Regent’s Park. The setting was a fitting one: Joining in were members of BirdLife International, an organization working to conserve birds and their habitats. Atwood and her partner, Graeme Gibson, who was also in attendance, are former co-presidents of its Rare Bird Club. After dinner, New Brunswick-born Lyse Doucet, the BBC’s chief international correspondent, led a conversation with Atwood on stage about her body of work, the recent page-to-small-screen successes The Handmaid’s Tale and Alias Grace, and matters of the environment.

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