Canada

From the First Colonizing Nations to the First Nations Colonized

The Canadian Pavilion resembles a hut with a tree growing through the middle, dwarfed between the imposing neo-classical structures of three of the most powerful countries in the world: Britain, France, and Germany. This positioning metaphorically suggests Canada will always be subject to its colonial past.

In 1958 the Italian government granted Canada the land and built the pavilion as part of Italy’s reparations to Canada after WWII. Born from British and French imperialism, Canada continues to impose colonial rule over its First Nations communities. The global “Idle No More” movement initiated by Canadian First Nations leaders, comprising the First Nations, Métis, and Inuit peoples and their non-Aboriginal supporters in Canada, brings to the forefront the devastating impact of Federal and Provincial policies and legislation on Inherent Aboriginal and Treaty rights and the increasingly ghettoized living conditions experienced by many remote Aboriginal communities in Canada.

The infrastructure of Venice is reminiscent of the colonial threesome from which Canada was born. As a national symbol, how does the pavilion’s architecture perpetuate an erasure of Canada’s colonial history and its present oppression of First Nations people?

Anonymous

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Pavilion

Organizer/Commissioner:
National Gallery of Canada & Canada Council for the Arts
Curator:
Josée Drouin-Brisebois
Budget provided by the state:
C$ 250,000 (€ 187,520)
Open Call?
No
Selection procedure:
The artist was chosen by a five-person selection committee including the curator. The curator of the 2013 representation of Canada at the biennale is a curator at the National Gallery of Canada.

Curator

Name:
Josée Drouin-Brisebois
Gender:
Female
Born:
Canada, 1972
Lives and works in:
Canada
No. of participations in the venice biennale:
2

Artist

Name:
Shary Boyle
Gender:
Female
Born:
Canada, 1972
Lives and works in:
Canada
No. of participations in the venice biennale:
1
Represented by galleries in:
Toronto

Politics & Economics

State System:
Federal parliamentary constitutional monarchy
Ruling Political Party:
Conservative Party
Population (World Bank, 2011):
34,483,975
GDP per capita (World Bank, 2011):
$50,344
Gini Index (Inequality level) (World Bank, 2010):
31.8
Unemployment (World Bank, 2011):
7.4% of the labor force
Net OECD ODA Aid Donated (2011):
$5,677,600,000
Military Expenditure (SIPRI, 2011):
$22,547,000,000

Alliances


Commonwealth
G8
G20
International Criminal Court recognized
NATO
OECD
WTO

Conflicts

Country independent since:
1931 (recognized independence from Britain)
Last Major Border Revision:
1949 (Newfoundland joins Canada)
Colonial History:
Former British and French colony
International Court of Justice cases:
3
Global Militarization Index (BICC, 2011):
89
Nuclear Force?
No
Ongoing Conflicts and Disputes:
Separatist aspiration in the predominantly French-speaking province of Québec seems to be waning after the 1995 referendum received a small majority against autonomy and Parti Québécois lost the 2003 provincial election. Territorial disputes over the Artic with the United States of America and Denmark. Concerns about the role of Canada in the War on Terror and the transfer of prisoners.
Participation in Multinational Missons:
NATO missions in Afghanistan and Kosovo. UN peacekeeping missions in Congo, Cyprus, Haiti, Israel & the Middle East, Ivory Coast, Darfur, and Sudan.