It’s an honour to chair the jury for this national award for the first time, and I look forward to discovering artists from coast—to coast—to coast through this experience.
All nominations will be reviewed by the curatorial jury panel, chaired by the National Gallery of Canada’s Director and CEO, Sasha Suda. The panel is composed of one distinguished representative from each of Canada’s five regions: the Atlantic Provinces, Quebec, Ontario, the Prairies and the North, and the West Coast and Yukon, and also includes one international juror. They review all nominations and establish the long and short lists as well as the winner of the award.
Senior Curator of Contemporary Art
National Gallery of Canada
Josée Drouin-Brisebois is the Senior Curator of Contemporary Art at the National Gallery of Canada, responsible for its collections of Canadian and international contemporary art. She has curated numerous exhibitions, including monographs of senior Canadian artists Chris Cran (2016), Arnaud Maggs (2012) and Christopher Pratt (2005), as well as several thematic group exhibitions. She has also co-curated several exhibitions presented at, amongst others, the Art Gallery of Alberta and the Museum of Contemporary Canadian Art.
She was the lead curator for Isuma’s project for the 2019 Venice Biennale, and was the Project Director for Geoffrey Farmer’s Canadian participation at the 2017 Venice Biennale, A Way Out of the Mirror. In addition, she organized Canadian participation at both the 2013 (Shary Boyle: Music for Silence) and 2011 (Steven Shearer: Exhume to Consume) Venice Biennale art exhibitions.
Director and Curator
Grenfell Art Gallery | Memorial University of Newfoundland
Matthew Hills is Director and Curator of the Grenfell Art Gallery in Newfoundland and Labrador. He was co-curator of the 2019 Bonavista Biennale, and has curated exhibitions at The Rooms (St. John’s), Agnes Etherington Art Centre (Kingston), and Belkin Satellite (Vancouver). He has worked in a curatorial capacity at the University of Alberta (Edmonton), Vancouver Art Gallery, and Agnes Etherington Art Centre.
He is a past Program Chair of Nuit Blanche Edmonton, and a founding board member of the Tett Centre for Creativity and Learning (Kingston). His writing on contemporary art has been published in catalogues and periodicals, including Border Crossings, Muse, BlackFlash, and Syphon. He is a graduate of the University of British Columbia, where he received his M.A. in Critical and Curatorial Studies.
Mary-Dailey Desmarais, Ph.D.
Curator of International Modern and Contemporary Art
Montreal Museum of Fine Arts
Mary-Dailey Desmarais is Curator of Modern and Contemporary International Art at the Montreal Museum of Fine Arts. Her writing has been published in numerous scholarly journals, anthologies, exhibition catalogues, and art magazines, and she has been a guest speaker at public institutions across North America. Previously, she served as a member of the Canadian Curatorial Committee of the Art Gallery of Ontario, and as a member of the Board of Directors and Chair of the programming committee for the Musée d’art contemporain de Montréal.
She is currently a member of the Director’s Council of the Clark Art Institute (Williamstown), a member of the Editorial Board for the Inuit Art Quarterly, and co-founder of BIA, a women’s initiative for Centraide Montreal. She has a Ph.D. in Art History from Yale University, an M.A. in Art History from Williams College, and a B.A. from Stanford University.
Frances Loeffler is Curator at Oakville Galleries near Toronto. Prior to this, she held positions at White Cube (London, U.K.), and the Liverpool Biennial. In 2009, she was Visiting Curator at the research and commissioning agency Situations in Bristol, and in 2011 she was Guest Researcher at the Jan van Eyck Academie in Maastricht (Netherlands). She writes frequently for a number of international art journals.
PRAIRIES AND NORTH
Curator, Indigenous and Contemporary Art
Winnipeg Art Gallery
Jaimie Isaac is a member of the Sagkeeng First Nation in Treaty 1 Territory, and Curator of Indigenous and Contemporary Art at the Winnipeg Art Gallery, as well as an interdisciplinary artist. Isaac has a degree in Art History from University of Winnipeg, and an M.A. from the University of British Columbia, with a focus on Decolonizing Curatorial Practice.
Exhibitions curated at the Winnipeg Art Gallery are subsist, ᐃ (co-curated), Behind Closed Doors, organic, Insurgence Resurgence (co-curated), Vernon Ah Kee: cantchant, Boarder X, We Are On Treaty Land, and Quiyuktchigaewin; Making Good. She is on the Advisory Committees for the Winnipeg Art Gallery and the Manitoba Museum, and is on the Board of Directors for Border Crossings magazine. Recently, Isaac was honoured as a Leader of Tomorrow at the Manitoba Museum 50th Tribute Awards 2020.
WEST COAST AND YUKON
Henry Heng Lu
Centre A: Vancouver International Centre for Contemporary Asian Art
Henry Heng Lu is a curator and artist based in Vancouver. Currently, he is Curator at Centre A: Vancouver International Centre for Contemporary Asian Art. He is a co-founder of Call Again, a mobile initiative/collective committed to creating space for contemporary diasporic artistic practices, within Canada and beyond.
He has presented projects through numerous channels, including Creative Time Summit, Art Museum at the University of Toronto, The New Gallery, Vtape, Modern Fuel, and Trinity Square Video. His writings have been published by Canadian Art, ArtAsiaPacific, Yishu: Journal of Contemporary Chinese Art, C Magazine, Richmond Art Gallery, PLATFORM Gallery, ArchDaily, OCAT Shenzhen, and Gardiner Museum.
Assistant Curator, International Art (Film)
Carly Whitefield is Assistant Curator, International Art (Film) at Tate Modern. She is co-curator of the current exhibition Dóra Maurer and Anicka Yi's 2020 Commission for Turbine Hall, as well as the Tate Film program. She has curated installations, performances and displays by Nástio Mosquito (2020), Tamara Henderson (2019), Pan Daijing (2019), Nkisi (2019), Tony Cokes (2019), Michael Snow (2019), Lawrence Abu Hamdan (2018), Cauleen Smith (2018), Aldo Tambellini (2018), William Kentridge (2018), CAMP (2017) and Tony Conrad (2017), among others. She currently works with Tate's North American Acquisitions Committee.
Whitefield has written for a number of catalogues, including Turner Prize 2018 and Dóra Maurer (2019). She has a Master’s of Research in Art: Moving Image, from Central Saint Martins, and has lectured at The Sir John Cass School of Art, Architecture and Design; the Royal College of Art; Central Saint Martins; and the University of Reading, all in the U.K.