Canadian art show extends stay in Etobicoke

Published On May 30, 2018 | By celestedecaire | Arts

Art featured at the Montgomery Inn. Over 400 people viewed the exhibit the weekend prior. (Photo/Celeste).

Celeste Decaire

A multi-artist and multi-city travelling exhibition is extending its month-long stop in Etobicoke.

The art exhibit, “1917 Canada Comes of Age”, will remain at the Montgomery Inn on Dundas Street at Islington Avenue until the end of June despite its initial plan to end this week.

More than 400 people attended last weekend’s guided tour curated by two artistic brothers, Dave and Ross Rheaume. The Canadian history inspired show will stay based on public demand.

The brothers submitted a few pieces of their work to the show, but also brought in the works of 12 other Canadian artists depicting scenes and life of a century ago.

“I find that a lot of people don’t know what happened 100 years ago, and I just think it’s important to keep it alive,” Dave said.

The show was created last year around the Canada 150th anniversary celebrations. But Dave said while Canada 150 was garnering enough attention, he and his brother wanted to focus on 1917 and to reflect on what happened 100 years ago in the country.

He said 1917 was a very formative year in Canadian history.

“We thought it was getting a little bit lost in the shuffle so we decided to make an art show around it,” Dave said. “We gathered up professional artists that we personally knew and have worked with in the past and asked if they wanted to contribute some pieces to it.”

There were more than 20 paintings that captured moments of history including the Halifax Explosion, the Group of Seven, the suffragette movement, the iconic actress Mary Pickford and the birth of the NHL.

Dave Rheaume has been an artist for more than a decade and his been selling his work at shows, including the 1917 exhibition at the inn. He enjoys history and finds inspiration for his paintings from archives and literature.

“I find it very fascinating to look through archives. Especially when you see the people in the pictures and see all these lives that have happened in the past,” Dave said. “In a lot of ways, those stories are gone and forgotten. I really like the idea of bringing them back to life.”

The show also stopped in Ottawa, Cornwall, Aurora, and Old Chelsea, Que. The future of the exhibit is unplanned but Rheaume hopes it lives on after this.

Lauren McCallum, the museum program officer who organized the 1917 art exhibit, said the Montgomery Inn was happy to extend its showing.

“It’s been really interesting. We don’t usually have mixed artists here. So to have all these different artists with different styles, it’s been interesting to see who gets attached to what painting,” McCallum said.

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