Media Release

ARCHIVE: 2013 | 2012 | 2011 | 2010 | 2009 | 2008 | 2007 | 2006 | 2005 | 2004 | All Media Resources


Visual Arts at Harbourfront Centre opens new fall exhibitions

Saturday, Oct. 1, 2011

TORONTO, ON (*Sept. 22, 2011) – Harbourfront Centre is pleased to announce a large variety of exciting new visual arts exhibitions at York Quay Centre this fall. Exhibits run from Saturday, Oct. 1 through Saturday, Dec. 31, 2011.

The artists featured this fall at Harbourfront Centre include Lyn Carter, Susan Warner Keene, Don Maynard, Lois Schklar, Suzanne Nacha, Nick Chase, Deborah Freeman, Joy Charbonneau, Derek McLeod, Cristina Covello, Jennifer Graham, Siwen Huang, Katherine Morley, Elaine Ng Yan Ling, Jonathan Sabine, Naomi Yasui, Clare Samuel, Jennifer Murphy, Brett Gundlock, Bruce Horak, Catherine Lane, Petra Malá Miller, Serena McCarroll, Louie Palu, Winnie Truong, Ben Walmsley and Astrid Ho.

In the architecture gallery, Too Tall? takes on the urban landscape while Twenty Change 03 continues the biennial showcase of emerging Canadian architects and designers. Pecha-Kucha Night, held alongside the fall exhibition opening reception, brings together a selection of Twenty Change 03 participants with other speakers for fast-paced presentations of their projects.

Join us for the public Visual Arts exhibitions opening reception on Friday, Sept. 30from 6-10 p.m. at Harbourfront Centre, 235 Queens Quay West. Admission to the reception and exhibitions is FREE. For more information, the public can call 416-973-4000 or visit

Main Gallery Exhibition Hours: Tuesday to Sunday, noon-6pm; Wednesdays, noon-8pm, closed Mondays except holidays, noon-6 p.m.
Craft Studio Regular Hours: Monday to Saturday, 10 a.m.-8 p.m.; Sunday 10 a.m.-6 p.m.

Fall 2011: Visual Arts

o ALL THE WORLD: Examining maps and our perceptions thereof.
o IN DEEP: An exploration of the language of painting.
o LIKENESS: The power and possibilities of portraits.
o MATERIAL EXPLORATIONS: New materials and contexts explored.
o MOON CIRCLE VOID: Artists delve into the mysteries of the universe.
o NATURAL ELEMENTS: Where glass and ceramics meet.
o PINK MOON: Musings on the moon.
o VERSIONS: Families and folklore.

Fall 2011: Architecture

o TOO TALL?: Looking, up, at cities.
o TWENTY CHANGE 03: Emerging Canadian designers.
o PECHA-KUCHA NIGHT: Bite-sized talks on upcoming projects

More about Fall 2011 Architecture at York Quay Centre:

As cities focus on increasing density in urban cores as an alternative to suburban sprawl, the persistent question is “How tall is too tall?” Environmental concerns push architects to build higher, while respect for the surrounding neighbourhood keeps them close to the ground. Many questions arise: How do architects manage these often contradictory imperatives? Do we build for the present or the future? How should appropriate building height be determined within the city? Does height matter if the streetscape is successful? How can Toronto neighbourhoods be redefined vertically?

architectsAlliance, Kuwabara Payne McKenna Blumberg Architects and RAW explore these questions and more through three new installations. Visual artist Douglas Walker also contributes to this exhibition.

not at all

Toronto will absorb at least 1 million new residents by 2020. Within our lifetime, that figure could easily double or triple.

The question, “How tall is too tall?” implies a choice that is not open to us. A complex network of influences beyond our direct control has brought us to the tipping point where expanding population and a changing economy come up hard against limited space and finite resources.

The city is an organism. As it grows more populous it becomes, of necessity, more dense and more tall. not at all is a dramatic enactment of the dialectic at work as we negotiate this turning point, and search for equilibrium.

Kuwabara Payne McKenna Blumberg Architects
Tall Enough?

The supposition that a building is too tall needs to be considered within an expanded discussion of urban context, relative scale, environmental impacts, programmatic innovation, design excellence, and concepts for vertical cities.
How should tall buildings be organized and formed?
How can new ways of living, working and playing inform ways in which tall buildings deliver livable, sustainable urban habitats and respond to the basic human desire for human contact?

How can the tops of tall buildings enrich urban skylines, while their bases formally and programmatically support vitality, and ground floor animation? Tall Enough? is a hybrid of theory, practice and art to illustrate a range of propositions for resolving the issue of height relative to its contribution to the public realm, urban design and the way it catalyses daily interaction between citizens and their cities. A large-scale information wall combines a series of questions and propositions for building tall with a chronology of projects with tower elements designed by KPMB. The film, Lightbox City, installed on three screens, follows the emergence of the TIFF Bell Lightbox and Festival Tower from the ground up – a project that was initially considered too tall for its context.

Tall is More (Tall or Sprawl)

We need more built space. Populations around the world are projected to increase – from currently just under seven billion globally to more than nine billion by 2050. These people are being born into cities – and, migration to cities is also on the rise. In Africa and Asia, it is estimated that one million people move to cities every single week. This huge increase and influx of people poses many problems for our infrastructure – food, energy, water and space will all be increasingly in demand.

In thinking of big cities we usually think of the mega cities: Tokyo, Bombay, Jakarta, New York, London, Sao Paulo, Mexico City. But more than half of the urban world lives in cities with less than 500,000 people, in the kind of cities that fill North America. The population is growing here as well. Every year, Canada increases by a quarter million people and the United States increases by 2.25 million people.

Where are all these people going? It’s either up or out – tall or sprawl. We know we need more – and the corresponding demand on resources means we need more sustainability. Tall provides less impact, more opportunity for energy harvesting and management and more economic advantage. The answer is “Tall not Sprawl” – it affects us all.

Douglas Walker
Two paintings from the series of blue and white paintings that illustrate a vision of a place that was obviously not here and yet seemed somehow familiar.

Too Tall? runs Saturday, Oct. 1 – Saturday Dec. 31, 2011.

Twenty Change 03 is the third instalment of a biennial exhibition and publication series featuring the work of emerging Canadian designers working in architecture, landscape architecture, and urban design. The launch of the Twenty Change 03 exhibition features practices that push the limits of each discipline, by meaningfully engaging the public; investigating new ideas of typology, program and site; making innovations in sustainability, prefabrication and material affect; and promoting new models of practice. In their works, these designers are investigating new ways of engaging and transforming the environment.
Twenty Change 03 runs Saturday, Oct. 01 - Sunday, Oct. 16, 2011.

The Japanese term for the sound of chit-chat is also the name for this exciting, fast-paced event. Eight presenters from the worlds of architecture and design will each have just seven minutes to discuss their projects. Presenters include participants in the Twenty Change 03 exhibition (see below). Pecha-Kucha Night will be held on Friday, Sept. 30, 2011from 8-9:30 p.m. as part of the fall exhibitions opening reception.

5468796 Architecture Inc, Winnipeg – Sasa Radulovic & Johanna Hurme
Atelier Kastelic Buffey Inc., Toronto – Robert Kastelic & Kelly Buffey
Alec Brown Architect, Halifax – Alec Brown
Idea Tank Design Collective, Toronto – Andrew Choptiany
McMinn Janzen Studio, Toronto – Melana Janzen
Omas, Toronto - Brian O'Brian
Rural Urban Fantasy Project, Vancouver – Sean Pearson
WE-DESIGNS.ORG, Vancouver – Wendy Fok

More about Fall 2011 Visual Arts at York Quay Centre:

All exhibitions run from Saturday, Oct. 1 through Saturday, Dec. 31, 2011

Clare Samuel
Derived from the French term for “everyone” – “tout le monde” or, literally, “all the world” – the exhibition questions the idea that the ‘whole’ world could ever be represented. Cartography allows us to navigate the world and yet distances us from direct experience of it, so it is always an abstraction. The shape of the continents may be familiar, but few of us will ever see these shapes in real life. Meanwhile, representing the spherical earth in two dimensions is a conundrum yet to be resolved, and the history of maps is tied up with questions of ownership and attitudes. For this photographic series, participants drew maps from memory or imagination, and were then photographed with the finished drawings, pointing out the extent to which our internal and external worlds correspond.

Suzanne Nacha
Held together by a common water level, In deep is an installation of large-scale painted objects that uses underground imagery as a metaphor for the human condition. Utilizing a narrow range of visual logic that hovers between illusion and abbreviated sign, a subtle, dark humour guides the viewer through landscape that is both physical and psychological.

Brett Gundlock, Bruce Horak, Catherine Lane, Petra Malá Miller, Serena McCarroll, Louie Palu, Winnie Truong, Ben Walmsley
Curated by Patrick Macaulay
Portraits are meant to capture the true likeness of the subject. This exhibition explores eight very different perspectives of what a portrait can be.

Lyn Carter, Susan Warner Keene, Don Maynard, Lois Schklar
Curated by Kai Chan
The pieces in this exhibition reference, in the broadest sense, our ongoing efforts to understand the workings of the universe and transformations in its component parts. The changing phases of the moon, in particular, provide one of the most visible and constant reminders of our positions within this vast realm. Throughout history, the moon has been a wellspring of inspiration, whether in mathematical or artistic pursuits. The four artists featured in this exhibition have been invited to create works that address their interests in, and inquires about, natural phenomenon, the mysteries of the universe and the poetic moments in everyday life. Each artist has created works that explore these themes while simultaneously enabling new ways of seeing and understanding.

Nick Chase & Deborah Freeman
A collaborative venture bringing together shared and discrete intersections between glass and ceramics. Both artists draw inspiration from the Canadian landscapes in which they travel: the urban forests that populate our cities; the vast rock formations underlying the land; and the waters that flow through it all. This collection reflects their individual and overlapping perspectives on these landscapes, often distilling them to their fundamental elements.

MATERIAL EXPLORATIONS: The Investigation of New Materials in Craft & Design
Joy Charbonneau & Derek McLeod, Cristina Covello, Jennifer Graham, Siwen Huang, Katherine Morley, Elaine Ng Yan Ling, Jonathan Sabine, Naomi Yasui
Curated by Jessica Lertvilai
For one year, the artists invited for this exhibition by Vest, a creative design practise run by Jessica Lertvilai, experimented with materials that are either new to the market or have been previously identified with a specific region or culture. Vest aims to inspire makers to look beyond convention and to embrace a different approach through playful interactions with new tools and materials. The resulting work reflects how each participant was challenged to think critically and creatively about the impact of a new material on their working practice.

Jennifer Murphy
The work is a large pink moon against a black sky made up of cut and sewn images of fish, shells, worms, wolves, crows, and roses. It is part of a new series of works that come from research on various histories and folklores of the full moon, and relates loosely to a group of prints by Japanese Edo period printmaker Yoshitoshi.

Astrid Ho
An exhibition of print-based installations that address the significance of familial connections conveyed through story telling of Chinese folklore and traditions. By exploring images of various objects that reference such traditions, the individual story emerges.
Fleck Dance Theatre (entrance with theatre ticket)

For additional information and complete event listings, the public may visit or call the Information Hotline at 416-973-4000. Harbourfront Centre is located at 235 Queens Quay West, at the heart of downtown Toronto’s waterfront.

*MEDIA NOTE* High-resolution images available on request.

Visual Arts at Harbourfront Centre is a unique model for the presentation of emergent creative practice in Canada. It is a new paradigm for engagement between the public and art, inviting a broad audience to participate in a discourse of visual ideas. As part of Canada’s largest multidisciplinary arts complex, its position allows for the creation of new frameworks and anticipation of new directions.

Ten non-profit and non-collecting exhibition spaces varying from the conventional to the unique are programmed year-round. These venues are located within and outside York Quay Centre and range in size from a 2,000 square foot exhibition gallery to individual vitrines. This main programming building is surrounded by the works of contemporary artists creating new projects in fine art, craft, new media, design, architecture and photography. Four exhibition slots are scheduled each year through submission proposals and internal directives. For more information, please contact 416-973-5379 or visit

Harbourfront Centre is an innovative, non-profit cultural organization which provides internationally renowned programming in the arts, culture, education and recreation, all within a collection of distinctive venues on a 10-acre site in the heart of Toronto's downtown waterfront.

Jon Campbell

Where you are:   Home / Who We Are / Media Resources