Starting January 18, 2018

A few months ago, on Halloween 2017 to be specific, the Women’s Art Museum of Canada was granted charitable status by the Canadian government. This was the first step in addressing the building of our museum collection. Our plan now is to begin the dialogue about collecting over the next few exhibits. We start by featuring what we do have.

In 2009, WAM hosted at the McMullen Gallery a show entitled Collecting; Collected; Collections where we asked artist, collectors and curators to share some of their prized collections and write about why they collected. Each woman had a poster with their photo and three of their artworks on a poster that explained their particular collection.

Why collect? incorporates a few of these posters and the artworks that are currently part of our museum collection. We feature two works from Margaret Chapelle’s estate, a print by Margo Lagassé and a small watercolour by Florence Mortimer to name a few. This exhibit starts January 18, 2018 and runs until March 2, 2018.

The many changes since WAM's last newsletter.

"The story of women's struggle for equality belongs to no single feminist nor to any one organization but to the collective efforts of all who care about human rights." Gloria Steinem

I would like to take this opportunity to wish all of you the very best in 2018 and thank you for being part of the Women's Art Museum of Canada community. Your participating as a member, supporter or friend makes it possible for the museum to grow and continue the work of developing a space dedicated to preserving women's visual heritage. WAM operates through the generous donations of time and financial resources by our volunteers and members. We are grateful for their dedication and contribution in making the visual arts more equitable for women.

Much has happened since our last newsletter. In October 2017, we hosted our second lip-sync contest, The Kitchen Sync, raising over $1400. The reigning Queen, Cheryl Schneider and her team surprised us by making a grand entrance in a white limo, fully decked out in their Twisted Sisters costumes. With their outrageously funny and entertaining song, We’re not going to take it” the team leader, Cheryl secured the title of Edmonton Lip Sync Queen again. Good work Cheryl. We love your enthusiasm and commitment to making this a spectacular event, and we look forward to more surprises in The Kitchen Sync 2018.

Also in October, our bylaws were changed in October to qualify as a Canadian charity and to perhaps even qualify for Alberta Gaming and Liquor Commission funding. Our objectives were reworded as well to be more specific for the same purpose. The latter can be viewed on our website. Both changes allowed WAM to qualify as a charity with Canada Revenue Agency. We received our charitable status on October 31, 2017. All donations made after this date will receive a charitable tax receipt. We are now listed on the Canada Helps website.

In light of the extraordinary events that have mobilised women across the Globe these past few months and particularly in the last two weeks, we are compelled to acknowledge the need to hear women’s stories and make them part of our social fabric. Women’s voices in all sectors must be heard even stronger now to push for change to the power structures that have made it difficult for these voices to emerge. WAM will focus 2018 as a year for discussion on our museum collection. Our first exhibit Why collect? begins January 18th, with a display of what’s in our collection right now, followed by a RE: The Current Narrative of Collecting Women’s Art: told by the membership to open on March 8th, International Women’s Day 2018.

We urge our membership, supporters and friends to participate by sharing their stories and thoughts on current art values and practices that exclude women and to talk about what they see as valuable in women’s art. Through this we can understand the struggles and challenges we still face, and we can start build networks that bridge those barriers.

Warm regards,
Danielle LaBrie, BFA, MA-IS(Cultural Studies)
Women’s Art Museum of Canada