imagineNATIVE Exhibitions

Every year imagineNATIVE collaborates with established and local artist-run galleries in the downtown Toronto area to present national and international exhibitions featuring Indigenous artists who continue to push the boundaries and expectations of what Indigenous storytelling is. The Art Crawl began unofficially in the early 2000s and has been a staple since 2012.

Anchored in celebrating all art forms, the annual Art Crawl event is a guided tour held within our in-person Festival where we bring Indigenous artistic voices to the forefront. To create a space where Indigenous Identity is acknowledged and commemorated through multiple themes of discourse. Our Mission is to amplify Indigenous artists and present their valuable and unique perspectives through their creative works.

We are happy to partner with A Space Gallery, Art Gallery of Ontario (AGO), Bachir/Yerex Presentation Space, Onsite Gallery, Trinity Square Video, Art Museum at the University of Toronto, and YYZ Artists’ Outlet for the 2023 Art Crawl. We would like to acknowledge Vtape, our co-founders.

We value all the work VTape has put into imagineNATIVE and their continuous support. Thank you!

Art Crawl Schedule

Onsite Gallery – 4:00 PM – 4:30 PM 
199 Richmond St W, Ground Floor, Toronto, ON M5V 0H4

A Space Gallery – 4:45 PM – 5:05 PM
401 Richmond St W, Suite 110, Toronto, ON M5V 3A8

Trinity Square Video – 5:10 PM – 5:30 PM
401 Richmond St W, Suite 121, Toronto, ON M5V 3A8

YYZ Artists’ Outlet – 5:35 PM – 5:55 PM
401 Richmond St W, Suite 140, Toronto, ON M5V 3A8

Bachir/Yerex Presentation Space – 6:05 PM – 6:25 PM
401 Richmond St W, Suite 452, Toronto, ON M5V 3A8

Shuttle Buses – 6:35 PM – 6:55 PM
401 Richmond Street W

Art Museum at the University of Toronto – 7:00 PM – 7:40 PM
7 Hart House Cir, Toronto, ON M5S 3H3

Shuttle Buses – 7:45 PM – 8:00 PM
7 Hart House Cir, Toronto, ON M5S 3H3

Art Gallery of Ontario – 8:00 PM – 10:00 PM
317 Dundas St W, Toronto, ON M5T 1G4



Curator: Ryan Rice
Artists: Tarralik Duffy, Caroline Monnet

Onsite Gallery 
June 14 – December 9, 2023
199 Richmond St W

Onsite Gallery, OCAD University’s public art gallery supporting professional creative practices through a diverse curatorial platform for art, design, and new media, spotlights artists Tarralik Duffy and Caroline Monnet for the 2023 annual Art Crawl. 

This exhibition is guest-curated by Analays Álvarez Hernández and Colette Laliberté. 

Tarralik Duffy animates the gallery’s façade at street level, bringing her unique and critical vision to downtown Toronto, revealing the North to the South. Her commissioned digital mural is part of the series Up Front: Inuit Public Art at Onsite Gallery, which is presented in partnership with the Inuit Art Foundation.

Caroline Monnet is one of eight artists featured in the current gallery exhibition On Americanity and Other Experiences of Belonging. Monnet’s work explores the broad concept of “Americanity” alongside aspects of Indigeneity to interrogate the possibility of shifting existing continental identities and experiences of belonging.

Both artists contribute to building an Indigenous and contemporary art discourse that stimulates conversations on relevant issues of our time.

Ryan Rice, Kanien′kehá:ka of Kahnawake, is the Executive Director and Curator of Indigenous Art at OCAD University’s Onsite Gallery. His curatorial career spans 30 years in the community, museums, public spaces, and galleries. 

Tarralik Duffy is a multidisciplinary artist and writer who lives and works between Salliq (Coral Harbour), Nunavut, and Saskatoon, Saskatchewan. From jewelry and apparel to graphic works and soft sculpture, Duffy’s work shares distinctly Inuit experiences, often infused with humour and pop culture. 

Caroline Monnet is a multidisciplinary artist with roots in Anishinaabe and French communities. Monnet has become known for minimalist yet emotionally charged works that use industrial materials and combine the vocabulary of popular and traditional visual cultures with the tropes of modernist abstraction to create unique hybrid forms. 


Curator: Jesse King
Artists: Dayna Danger, Duane Isaac, Roberto Fatal

A Space Gallery 
October 17 – December 9, 2023
401 Richmond St W

The exhibition Celestial Bodies explores the experience of indigenous identities, Two-Spirit and indigiqueer, and gives a space for the rarely recognized voices to be heard by like-minded individuals. The exhibition permits viewers to experience and question the colonial presence of societal normalities regarding identity, gender, and sexuality. The exhibition aims to deconstruct and abolish gender roles through the themes of desire, euphoria, despair, and dysphoria.

Jesse King, born Ojibwe from Wasauksing First Nation, is based in Toronto. They have completed an undergraduate photography degree at OCAD University. King’s work and curatorial interests frequently explore the many facets of identity, including discussions of queerness, gender, and the importance of cultural representation.

Dayna Danger is a 2Spirit/Queer, Metis/Saulteaux/Polish visual artist raised in Winnipeg, Manitoba. Danger holds an MFA in photography from Concordia University. Using photography, sculpture, performance, and video, Dayna Danger’s practice questions the line between empowerment and objectification. Danger’s current use of BDSM and beading leather fetish masks explores the complicated dynamics of sexuality, gender, and power in a consensual and feminist manner. 

Duane Isaac, a talented artist of Mi’gmaq descent, hails from Listuguj, Quebec. His unique artistic vision combines photography with contemporary fantastical masks inspired by Indigenous knowledge and the queer gaze. Isaac’s work is ephemeral, and uses found objects, recycled materials, and basic supplies as the pieces created are temporary, eventually lost in time. 

Roberto Fatal (they/them/ellos) is a filmmaker and storyteller. They come from Rarámuri, Tewa Pueblo, Ute, Spanish ancestors and Mexican-American culture. Their Queer, gender fluid, Mestize/Mixed identity informs the video art and sci-fi films they make. Their work centres on humans who sit at the intersections of time, space, and culture. Fatal is a Sundance Film Festival Indigenous Film Lab and imagineNATIVE Director’s Lab alumni.

Celestial Bodies was made possible through the curatorial residency at daphne (with funding from the Conseil des arts de Montreal’s Indigenous Residency program) and articule, with funding from the Conseil des arts de Montréal, the Conseil des arts et des lettres du Québec and the Canada Council for the Arts.

Artists: Elyssia Wilson Heti, Falencie Filipo, James Waititi,
Jermaine Dean, Moe Laga-Toleafoa, Nahora Ioane,
Pati Tyrell, Tanu Gago, Tapuaki Helu, Tim Swann

Trinity Square Video 
October 14 – November 25, 2023
401 Richmond St W

Meeting at the intersections of cultural archival practices, digital technology, and queer Indigenous storytelling, Alteration presents a series of intertextual lenses on the pluralities of Queer Indigenous identity. This body of work redefines its own grand cultural ambitions and aspirations to be more than just the recipients of colonial violence and historical trauma.

Alteration culminates ten years of archival practice and two years of co-design, co-curation, research, and production. It is a mixed media, archival exhibition of significant works created between 2013 and 2023 that seeks out a vision of queer Indigenous Futurism that dares to be abundant and visionary.

This compilation renders the experiences of our communities in full resolution, piecing together pixels of queer life as Moana Peoples, in constant motion and growth, rebelling against a now predictable and fixed colonial oppression.

FAFSWAG is a Queer Indigenous arts collective committed to social change through arts and innovation, producing bespoke cultural activations that are cutting-edge, culturally responsive, and socially relevant. Operating across various interdisciplinary art forms and genres, FAFSWAG artists work collaboratively to activate public and digital spaces, speaking to our contexts as Queer Indigenous arts practitioners.

Curator: Winston Xin
Artist: Dana Claxton

Bachir/Yerix Presentation Space
October 11 – October 28, 2023
401 Richmond St W

Co-Presented with Vtape

Dana Claxton is an award-winning, multidisciplinary artist in video, film, performance art, installations, and photography. The Dreaming is a survey of her video works, which deals with anti-colonialist tactics and Lakota mysticism, ideologies, and aesthetics mixed with her observations of our current contemporary culture.

Winston Xin is a Malaysian-born artist and curator living in Vancouver. Xin was involved in the Toronto fanzine movement of the 1980s, along with Hal Kelly &  Angela Ciavarella – they published The Trash Compactor zine about disposable cultures. Xin was also a writer for the Canadian indie music magazine Exclaim.  

He moved to Vancouver in the 90s, wrote for Xtra West, and joined the  Out On Screen: Vancouver Queer Film & Video festival as part of their collective and as a programmer. Xin has also worked as a Video In  Studios (ViVo) programmer and co-founded Asian Heritage Month Vancouver. His video shorts and curated programs have been shown nationally and internationally.  He currently sits on the board of OnMain and has been Dana Claxton’s editor for over 25 years. Xin’s artistic and curatorial practice revolves around the intersection of queerness and race.

Dana Claxton is a critically acclaimed artist who works with film, video, photography,  single/multi-channel video installation, and performance art. Her practice investigates indigenous beauty, the body, the socio-political and the spiritual.

Interview – Dana Claxton

We would like to acknowledge Vtape, our co-founders. We value all the work VTape has put into imagineNATIVE and their continuous support. Thank you!

Artist: Theo Jean Cuthand

YYZ Artist Outlet Gallery 
September 30 – December 16, 2023
401 Richmond St W

Through conversations with several Indigenous people who have lived in Saskatchewan, where the population is 13.5% Indigenous, Cuthand follows the common thread of experiences with anti-Indigenous racism. Cuthand discovers personal stories illuminating the difficult moments of trying to thrive in a racist province, from encounters with the police to issues in the workplace.

Theo Jean Cuthand has been making short, experimental narrative videos and  films since 1995 about sexuality, madness, Queer identity and love, and Indigeneity. He holds a BFA from the Emily Carr University of Art and Design and an MA in Media Production from Toronto Metropolitan University. He is a trans man who uses He/Him pronouns. He is of Plains Cree and Scots descent and is a Little Pine First Nation member.

The artist would like to acknowledge the assistance of the Canada Council for the Arts for this project.

Artist: Alanis Obomsawin

Art Museum at the University of Toronto
September 7 – November 25, 2023
7 Hart House Circle

‘The Children Have to Hear Another Story’ celebrates the life work of one of the world’s most acclaimed Indigenous documentary film directors, Alanis Obomsawin. Organized by Richard Hill and Hila Peleg, the exhibition features unprecedented access to Obomsawin’s films and the archives related to their production. The decade-by-decade survey also includes her artworks, prints, and music along with ephemera, documents and media coverage that provide new insight into her work and her decade-long activism. Listening to Indigenous voices and making visible the struggles for rights and recognition in the face of the generational effects of colonization, Alanis Obomsawin’s work continues to mobilize against the hauntings of cultural erasure, testifying to the resilience and recovery sustained as much by children’s voices as by the warriors who stand the ground for their land. In this capacity, she has been at the forefront of transformational change in Canada and internationally.

 Alanis Obomsawin (b. 1932) is a member of the Abenaki Nation. She has written, directed and produced over 56 films, and, as a singer, writer and storyteller, she has performed in universities, residential schools, prisons and festivals across North America and Europe. She is the recipient of numerous awards and honours, including the Governor General’s Performing Arts Award for Lifetime Achievement (2008), and she became the first female film director to receive the prestigious Edward MacDowell Medal (2023).

The Curators:

Richard William Hill, Smith Jarislowsky Senior Curator of Canadian Art at the Vancouver Art Gallery, has worked as a curator, critic and art historian for three decades. Hila Peleg is a curator and editor based in Berlin and Tel Aviv. She has curated interdisciplinary cultural events and exhibitions in public institutions internationally and is the founder of the Berlin Documentary Forum.

Credit Line:

The Children Have to Hear Another Story: Alanis Obomsawin is made possible through a partnership between Haus der Kultural der Welt, the Art Museum at the University of Toronto, and Vancouver Art Gallery in collaboration with the National Film Board of Canada, and by the generous support of the Canada Council for the Arts, the Embassy of Canada, Berlin, and CBC/Radio Canada.

This project has been made possible in part by the Government of Canada.

Art Crawl After Party | Hosted by The AGO

The AGO will host a closing reception for our final stop, featuring guided tours and artist talks of select Indigenous artists and performances by TechnoTihuacan, video artist Roberto Fatal, and DJ Bianca Oblivion in Walker Court.

Live Performance by: TechnoTihuacan

TechnoTihuacan is a live multimedia work created and performed by video artist Roberto Fatal and DJ Bianca Oblivion. The performance uses video DJ technology to edit together a feature-length, immersive experimental film live in front of the audience.

Technotihuacan explores the intersectional story of Latinx Indigenous contemporary life, including border politics, de-colonialism, queer sexuality, Afro-Latinx visibility, pop culture, spirituality, Two-Spirit and Trans identity. These videos, a mix of original creations and curated works, are synced with techno/cumbia/merengue/vogue music remixes that respond to and support the digital visuals. TechnoTihuacan uses DJing, video mixing, and remixing to sew together the often-fractured narratives of Latinx life into a cohesive, large-scale video mural.

Art Gallery of Ontario
317 Dundas St W, Toronto, ON M5T 1G4
October 18 2023, 8:00 PM – 10:00 PM