CDCC Call for Board Members — apply by Nov 8th!

Critical Distance Centre for Curators, a not-for-profit initiative and space devoted to the support and advancement of curatorial practice and inquiry in Toronto, is seeking enthusiastic, self-motivated and collaborative individuals to join the organization’s active Board of Directors. Serving as a Board member provides an exciting opportunity to help shape the future of the organization and contribute to important decision-making processes regarding programming, operations, fundraising, communications and governance. Working closely with CDCC’s Director, Board members will consider short and long-term strategic planning for the organization. Serving as a CDCC Board member provides an opportunity to help grow this emerging organization and contribute to creating equitable practices that will sustainably expand the gallery’s multi-faceted programming.  

Ideal candidates will be able to help develop and implement strategies that will generate revenue and build the gallery’s audience by developing collaborations and attracting new visitors. While we welcome candidates from a wide range of backgrounds and with different levels of experience, we are looking for individuals with any or all of the following:

— Knowledge of non-profit Board management and strategic planning
— Experience with fundraising strategy, grant writing, and donor relations
— Interest/engagement with curatorial inquiry/theory and/or practice
— Ability to commit to a hands-on, collaborative and detail-oriented volunteer position

Interested candidates should send a one-page letter of interest and CV to info (at) criticaldistance (dot) ca by November 8, 2017. Any inquiries may also be addressed to this email.

CDCC is committed to fostering an equitable and inclusive environment and encourages candidates who reflect the diversity of our communities to apply. As always, we thank all participants for their time, energy, interest, and support.

Critical Distance provides a venue and context for curators and artists in all stages of their professional development. As an independent curator-led initiative, our mission springs from the interests, motivations and methodologies of contemporary curatorial practice, foregrounding critical inquiry, collaboration, and experimentation in making new connections between artists, art forms, ideas, images, objects, environments, and audiences.With a focus on critically engaged, collaborative, and cross-disciplinary practices, underrepresented artists and art forms, and community outreach and education in art and exhibition-making, Critical Distance is an open platform for diverse curatorial perspectives, and a forum for the exchange of ideas on curating and exhibition-making as ways to engage and inform audiences from all walks of life.

Since 2013 we have produced and co-produced 22+ exhibitions featuring nearly 100 artists working in all media, and have welcomed over 9600 visitors to our gallery and events such as talks, screenings, workshops, and more. Upcoming programming partnerships with SAVAC, Independent Curators International (NY), and the Aboriginal Curatorial Collective are in currently in development, and future initiatives include expansion within and around Artscape Youngplace through billboard, moving image, and library/reading room activations and events. Networking and educational programs for curators, artists, and local and international audiences are also a programming priority. CDCC is located in Suite 302 at Artscape Youngplace near Trinity Bellwoods Park; building and gallery space are fully accessible.

Critical Kombucha and Dirty Soap: Fermenting Feminism Reading Group

Can a Kombucha Workshop be Intersectional? Can a Feminist Live off the Grid? And Other
Fermenting Feminism Questions

Please join us for a tour, curatorial talk, and reading group facilitated by Fermenting Feminism curator Lauren Fournier

Saturday, November 4th from 3-5 pm
Refreshments will be served

Fermenting Feminism is a group exhibition at Critical Distance featuring work by Sharlene Bamboat, Hazel Meyer, Leila Nadir and Cary Peppermint, Sarah Nasby, Kayla Polan, Walter Scott, and Agustine Zegers. Together with exhibition curator Lauren Fournier, workshop participants will discuss of some of the themes related to the Fermenting Feminism project, including what it means to “ferment feminism” today and the politics, aesthetics, and ethics of incorporating fermentation practices into feminist life. Following a brief curatorial tour and talk, the group will come together to discuss some of the key problems raised by Fermenting Feminism that the three readings — one academic article and two shorter texts — flesh out from Black, POC, and trans feminist frameworks, including issues of exit and escape, community, and vibrant life.

The workshop is free but limited to 15 participants — please RSVP to info (at) criticaldistance (dot) ca to reserve your spot. Workshop location will be in a third floor studio at Artscape Youngplace adjacent to Critical Distance, all spaces are accessible. PDFs of the readings will be pre-circulated beforehand to those who are attending.


Kyla Wazana Tompkins, “‘Hearty and happy and with a lively, yeasty soul’: feeling right in Louisa May Alcott’s The Candy Country.” Women and Performance: a journal of feminist theory. 2014.

Nash, S.E. and Stephanie Maroney. “Bubbling Bodies and Queer Microbes: Dispatches from the Foundation for Fermentation Fervor.” Fermenting Feminism. Ed. Lauren Fournier. Berlin: Laboratory for Aesthetics and Ecology, 2017. 83-87.

Sharma, Sarah. “Exit and the Extensions of Man.” Transmediale Online Journal. April 2017. Web. 19 September 2017.

ACC+CDCC Call for Proposals: Indigenous Curatorial Projects at Critical Distance

Critical Distance Centre for Curators (CDCC) and Aboriginal Curatorial Collective–Collectif des commissaires autochtones (ACC-CCA) are pleased to announce this joint call for proposals for an exhibition or curatorial project to be mounted at CDCC in Spring 2018.

This opportunity is for Indigenous curators, artists, architects, collectives, writers, researchers, and others interested in engaging and expanding curatorial approaches to public programming and exhibition-making within a critical context. Projects that are conceptually experimental or innovative, introduce new artists to Toronto audiences, and deliver theoretical tools to think about contemporary Indigenous art in Canada are highly encouraged.

The selected applicant will receive a curatorial fee of $3000 for curation and writing in support of the project. Artist fees will be paid at 2018 CARCC rates. Further support in the form of a budget for exhibition materials and production (to be developed in collaboration with ACC-CCA/CDCC), installation assistance, design, promotion, and full documentation in an exhibition catalogue to be produced by CDCC will also be provided.

Submission Deadline
Friday, October 27, 2017 at 5 pm EST

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CDCC FALL EXHIBITION: Fermenting Feminism | Sharlene Bamboat, Hazel Meyer, Leila Nadir and Cary Peppermint, Sarah Nasby, Kayla Polan, Walter Scott, Agustine Zegers, curated by Lauren Fournier

Critical Distance is thrilled to launch our landmark 5th year of programming with FERMENTING FEMINISM, curated by Lauren Fournier and featuring Sharlene Bamboat, Hazel Meyer, Leila Nadir and Cary Peppermint, Sarah Nasby, Kayla Polan, Walter Scott, and Agustine Zegers.

Kombucha, guts, bacteria, vessels, vitalism, effervescence, degradation, and decay. Fermenting Feminism brings together artists whose work fleshes out the intersections between fermentation and intersectional feminisms. As the process of microbial transformation, fermentation becomes both a metaphor and material practice through which to approach feminist practices in the contemporary. Continue reading

The Site Magazine presents Future Legacies: Design for Canada’s Next 150 Years

Future Legacies: Design for Canada’s Next 150 Years is an exhibition of The Site Magazine’s inaugural design competition, featuring the five winners: Ali Navidbakhsh, Evan Wakelin, Karan Manchanda, Sarah Gunawan, and Shelley Long; plus five runners-up: Anna Longrigg + Jason McMillan, Fionn Byrne, Kyung-Kuhn Lee + Mamata Guragain + Nubras SamayeenMitchell Gray, and Rob McIntosh; and five honourable mentions: Dominique Cheng, Émélie Desrochers-Turgeon, Emma Mendel, Stephanie Mauer, and Studio Ha-ha.

Critical Distance is pleased to facilitate this exhibition in the 3rd Floor Hallway Gallery just outside our door at Artscape Youngplace, on view September 8–23, 2017 during building hours, 8–8 pm daily.

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Join us for the opening of Moving Home | The Art and Embodiment of Transience Emerging from Canada’s Child Welfare System, Thursday, August 17 at 6pm

FEATURING: Zula, Xavier Binette, Wolfie, Starchild Dreaming Loud, Sophia Nahz, Singing Thunder, Rachel Macintosh, Oddane Taylor, Nicholas Ridiculous, M.T. Ness, Michelle Charlie, Jessie Stone, Gen Gagnon, Elijah M, Bethany Papadopolous, Anonymous, Amelia Merhar

Critical Distance is pleased to announce our 2017 Summer Sessions exhibition, Moving Home: The Art and Embodiment of Transience Emerging from Canada’s Child Welfare System. Presented by York University Human Geography master’s candidate Amelia Merhar, this project is the second to be hosted as part of our Summer Sessions initiative, a program through which we support emerging curators and artists by providing free space, mentorship, and installation support for their thesis exhibitions.

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Opening Thursday: SIGNALS & SENTIMENTS, A Featured Exhibition of the 2017 CONTACT Photography Festival

Critical Distance is pleased to present Signals & Sentiments, a two-part exhibition that examines how gesture functions as a mechanism for the production of identity. In CDCC’s third floor gallery, Signals & Sentiments takes the form of an intimate group show for which five Toronto-based artists, Sebastián BenítezPetar BoskovicShelby FenlonMaxwell Hyett, and Mickey Mackenna, consider the inner workings of the gestural urge. Placing a varied selection of sculpture and photo-based objects in context with each other, exhibition curator Katelyn Gallucci investigates how seemingly divergent artistic gestures might fundamentally derive from inadequacies of language, disposition, desire, and whim.

In Artscape Youngplace’s expansive stairwell spaces, three site-specific installations address the more exterior and transitory dynamics of gesture. Extending themes of self-discovery, the relationship between perception and memory, and the search for emotional connection through time, these encompassing spatial interventions by Maggie Groat and Jimmy Limit (working in collaboration), Karen Henderson, and Josée Pedneault condition the viewer’s bodily response as much as they embody gestural acts and intentions themselves.

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Spring 2017 Billboard on Shaw: Mountainburger by Aislinn Thomas

Critical Distance is pleased to announce the selected artwork for the Spring 2017 Billboard on Shaw, a partnership with Artscape Youngplace through which we are providing opportunities for curators and artists to present large format printed artworks for the freestanding mural/billboard outside our building on Shaw Street.

Mountainburger is an 8-foot image by Kitchener-based artist Aislinn Thomas to be unveiled this week in conjunction with our opening for Signals & Sentiments. (Note above image is placeholder. We will update this post with the actual image and a description after April 27th).

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You’re invited: Workshop with Ella Dawn McGeough, and Precious Commodity closing reception

Tools for Touching | Ella Dawn McGeough and Daniella Sanader
Sunday, March 26, 2017 | 2–4 pm

Join us for this free experiential workshop considering touch and the tools that extend it: the brush we paint, the hammer we wield, the spoon we stir. The things we handle, particularly when used in repetition, are things we forget. Artist Ella Dawn McGeough and writer Daniella Sanader will facilitate a conversation, a reading, a series of experimental gestures between subjects and objects, methods of (potential) care.

Comfortable clothing recommended; no advanced reading necessary. As space is limited, please email info (at) criticaldistance (dot) ca with RSVP in the subject line and include your name and number attending in the message to reserve your spot(s). Thank you!

Event Location

Studio 305 — Artscape Youngplace
180 Shaw Street, Toronto, ON M6J 2W5
See Google map of location

Tools for Touching will take place in just a few doors down from Critical Distance on the third floor of Artscape Youngplace. Precious Commodity, the exhibition featuring work by Ella Dawn McGeough as well as Biliana Velkova, Juan Ortiz-Apuy, and Eunice Luk, will be on view in Suite 302  from 12–5 pm for those who would like to see it before or after the workshop.

About the Artists

Working across disciplines, Ella Dawn McGeough‘s practice attempts to make things leak from research that often centres on a process of historicisation, myth-making and speculative feminism. This research responds to the relay between apprehension and representation. This is an aesthetic process. A metamorphic process. A process in which art and its exhibition play the important function of suspending events within a sphere of speculation – possibly a beautiful one where objects and images are stilled and their meaning gains weight or transforms completely through time. Caught mid-pose/static/frozen-in-time, their physicality acts as a manifestation of their poiesis. With artists Colin Miner and Liza Eurich, McGeough founded in 2012, which produces online contemporary arts publications among other project-based activities. She is also the co-founder of Garden Avenue, a summer-time exhibition space; Ray~Ray, a project that produces limited edition jewelry and jewelry-like work by contemporary artists; and Friends of Ogden Park.

Daniella Sanader is a writer and arts worker who lives in Toronto. In her work, she regularly explores associative and speculative modes for thinking and writing about contemporary art, ones that emphasize queer/feminist frameworks, messy feelings, and embodied experience. She holds an MA from McGill University, and has written essays and reviews for arts publications and galleries across Canada. She has curated projects for Vtape and Oakville Galleries, and currently works at Gallery TPW in Toronto.

image: Ella Dawn McGeough, Ogden’s Tools, 2015. Found objects and wax. Dimensions variable.

Biliana Velkova, Untitled Spruce Tree, fluorescent light tubes, 2014.

Precious Commodity Closing Reception
Sunday, April 9, 2017 | 3–5 pm

Can’t make the workshop? Join us for the closing reception of Precious Commodity, curated by Alison Cooley. The curator will be in attendance and refreshments will be served. All are welcome.

Event Location

Critical Distance Centre for Curators
Suite 302 at Artscape Youngplace
180 Shaw Street, Toronto, ON M6J 2W5
See Google map of location

We hope you can join us for this Canadian Art Must-See show!