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Call for expression of interest – 2023 Venice Biennale of Architecture

The Canada Council for the Arts invites exhibition proposals for Canada’s official representation at the 18th International Architecture Exhibition – La Biennale di Venezia, a prestigious exhibition and international platform that engages critical conversations about contemporary architecture that attracts 300,000 visitors annually.

The selected team will be responsible for all aspects of the exhibition, from conception and design to production.

The exhibition will take place at the Canada Pavilion in the Giardini from May to November 2023. The Canada Council for the Arts is looking for proposals with bold ideas that inspire, challenge, and respond to current realities through the lens of contemporary Canadian architecture.

Continuing its commitment to enhance the presence and profile of Canadian artists and arts professionals abroad, the Canada Council for the Arts, as Commissioner, oversees Canada’s official participation, advises the selected team, and contribute $500,000 towards the exhibition production. 

The selection committee is comprised of the following members:

  • Brigitte Shim, FRAIC, CM, RCA, Hon. FAIA, OAA, Architect, Principal, Shim-Sutcliffe Architects (Toronto) ǀ Professor, John H. Daniels Faculty of Architecture, Landscape, and Design, University of Toronto (Toronto)
  • Neeraj Bhatia, RA, OAA, SM.Arch, B.Arch, B.E.S, Architect and Urban Designer, Principal, THE OPEN WORKSHOP (Toronto and San Francisco) ǀ Associate Professor, California College of the Arts (San Francisco)
  • Annie Lebel, MOAQ, LEED Green Associate, Architect, Principal, in situ atelier d’architecture (Montreal) ǀ Lead of Practical Training, Faculty of Environmental Design, Université de Montréal (Montreal)
  • Alison Brooks, RIBA, FRSA, RDI, Doc Eng (hon causa), Architect, Principal and Creative Director, Alison Brooks Architects (London, UK) ǀ Visiting Professor, Escuela Técnica Superior de Arquitectura de Madrid (Spain) and Loughborough University School of Architecture, Building and Civil Engineering (UK)

Shortlisted candidates from the call for expression of interest will be invited to fully develop their proposal and participate in an interview with the selection committee. The selected team and proposal will be announced in March 2022.

For more information

If you have questions or need advice, write to us at venicebiennale@canadacouncil.ca.

The Canada Council for the Arts is proud to present Impostor Cities at the 17th International Architecture Exhibition of La Biennale di Venezia from May 22 to November 21, 2021

Canada’s architecture is film-famous. That’s because Canadian cities often double as other places onscreen. Toronto stands in for Tokyo, for example, while Vancouver and Montreal masquerade as Moscow, Paris, and New York. Impostor Cities celebrates the Canadian cities that pose as these amazing cinematic impostors, bringing attention to how our architecture appears to the world through the silver screen.

Impostor Cities proposes new directions and agendas for thinking about Canada’s architectural identity as it poses the question: why are Canada’s buildings so good at doubling as elsewhere in films? The exhibition aims to shift our perspectives, supplanting traditional frameworks of climate, geography, history and politics as the keys to understanding Canada’s rich and diverse architecture. It will feature several of the country’s cinematic icons such as Erickson-Massey’s quadrangle at Simon Fraser University and Pomphrey’s R.C. Harris Water Treatment Plant, historic architecture such as Kingston’s Market Square and Winnipeg’s Exchange District, and generic cityscapes from Halifax to Vancouver.

In light of the COVID-19 global pandemic, Impostor Cities exists onsite, and online. The exhibition plays with the enchantment of cinema. Onsite visitors will encounter a Canada Pavilion wrapped in green screen material, transformed into a bold icon which accentuates the Pavilion’s distinct form, creating a new, Impostor building that is visible across the Giardini.

The online experience places visitors in movie mode, features video streams that show the Lobby in Venice and clips from the Screening Room, as well as an interactive library that allows visitors to browse information about buildings—and their architects—featured in the supercuts, as well as stories about how filmmakers transform Canadian cities into cinematic impostors.  

Visit Impostor Cities at www.impostorcities.com

To view the official inauguration video, click here.

Read the May 17, 2021 press release.

2018  UNCEDED, Douglas Cardinal Architect

2016  Extraction, Opsys

2014  Arctic Adaptations: Nunavut at 15, Lateral Office

2012  Migrating Landscape, 5468796 Architecture 

2010  Hylozoic Ground, Philip Beesley Architect Inc.

2008  41° to 66°: Architecture in Canada – Region, Culture, Tectonics, Cambridge Galleries

2006  SweaterLodge, Emily Carr Institute of Art and Design

2004  Found Objects, Saucier & Perrotte Architectes

2002  Next Memory City - Toronto: Venice - Michael Awad, Eve Egoyan and David Rokeby, Inter Access: Electronic Media Arts Centre and Alphabet City,

2000  Melvin Charney’s UN DICTIONNAIRE..., Canadian Centre for Architecture