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RYERSON IMAGE CENTRE

SPOTLIGHT CANADA: FACES THAT SHAPED A NATION
April 28 – ongoing
Ryerson Image Centre, west façade

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SPOTLIGHT CANADA: FACES THAT SHAPED A NATION

Image caption: Detail of Spotlight Canada: Faces that Shaped a Nation [Wayne Gretzky, Viola Desmond, Leonard Cohen, David Suzuki, k.d. lang]. Courtesy of the Ryerson Image Centre, Ryerson University

On the occasion of Canada’s Sesquicentennial, the Ryerson Image Centre honours the country’s culture with Spotlight Canada: Faces That Shaped a Nation, a photographic mural highlighting key figures who helped establish our national identity through their endeavours and resilience. These 14 portraits, arrayed across the RIC’s west and north façades, mark the arrival of a new promised gift to Ryerson University—nearly 25,000 photographs of Canadian personalities and events from the 20th century, preserved in The New York Times Photo Archive. Acquired by real estate entrepreneur Chris Bratty and donated as an act of cultural repatriation, the Rudolph P. Bratty Family Collection further establishes the RIC as an important destination for the study of press photography.

This historical panorama (including images of Margaret Atwood, John Candy, Leonard Cohen, Viola Desmond, Chief Dan George, Wayne Gretzky, Yousuf Karsh, k.d. lang, Marshall McLuhan, Oscar Peterson, Mary Pickford, Buffy Sainte-Marie, David Suzuki, and Pierre Elliott Trudeau) symbolizes the diverse generations who have exemplified Canadian achievement. When the RIC first opened in September 2012, the building’s façade depicted important North American and European cultural icons. These portraits were drawn from the Black Star Collection of photojournalism, which, despite its rich representation of 20th-century history, includes few images of Canada. The recent arrival of these Canadian photographs from The New York Times Photo Archive provides an ideal opportunity to exchange the first mural for a new one—a glass vista that celebrates the primacy and eminence of our nation’s own history and culture.

Curated by the Ryerson Image Centre

Designed by Kelsey Blackwell

Presented in partnership with the Scotiabank CONTACT Photography Festival and Ryerson University

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