Riopelle Dialogues Projects

Canadian Artists from Sea to Sea

By: - Apr 03, 2023

Riopelle Dialogues:
Nine cultural mediation projects soon to be deployed across Canada

Artists from sea to sea will bring Canadians to discover or rediscover Jean Paul Riopelle's legacy as part of the artist's centenary celebrations in 2023

The Jean Paul Riopelle Foundation, in collaboration with the Department of Canadian Heritage and Culture pour tous, is proud to announce the Canadian artists who have been selected to realize 9 cultural mediation projects as part of the Riopelle Dialogues Program, one of the most ambitious cultural mediation programs ever seen in Canada.

The winners, recently selected by a committee chaired by the Honourable Michèle Rivet, C.M., as part of a Canada-wide call for projects, will benefit from a grant as well as customized support to help them create, in communities from coast to coast, projects that will allow Canadians of all ages to discover or rediscover Riopelle's oeuvre.

This new program, one of the major projects of the official celebrations of the 100th anniversary of the artist's birth happening this year, has been made possible thanks to a 1.3 M$ grant from Canadian Heritage.

All projects will be completed in the upcoming months. The Canadian public is invited to follow the realization of each project in real time on




Projects Across Canada




? Territory: Echoes and Dissonances
Artists: Mathieu Gagnon, Mathilde Forest, Craig Commanda & Jobena Petonoquot
Province: Ontario

This project aims to bring together a group of visual artists, both Indigenous and non-Natives, to create works that will reflect a rediscovery of the local urban landscape of the Ottawa-Gatineau region, of its dissonances and its possible futures. This collaboration will be marked by meetings and workshops with citizens, as well as allies, and guided by specialists in local history and toponymy. The project will be organized in collaboration with the Mauril-Bélanger Social Innovation Workshop, an organization working for social justice and transformation. Four creators will be supported to experiment and integrate elements from this research field, the result of which will be a restitution in the public space. This will be done as much by updated traditional practices as by using technological tools, emphasizing both a material and immaterial relationship with nature. The project will be carried out by focusing on the specific characteristics of each artist in a dynamic of knowledge exchange.

? Automatic Landscapes: Exploring the Art of Jean Paul Riopelle through Artificial Intelligence
Artists: Juan Ramirez & Laura-Beth McDonald
Province: British Columbia

Through a series of workshops with schools on Vancouver Island, British Columbia, students will use descriptive language and artificial intelligence (AI) to create art inspired by the work of Jean Paul Riopelle. Centered around the themes of nature, Indigeneity, and migration, artworks will be showcased in a large outdoor art exhibit at the Malahat Skywalk, a 600-meter-tall treewalk. The exhibit will feature large-scale images set within the natural landscape, allowing visitors to walk through and view the Riopelle-inspired works while learning about Riopelle's life and the students' work.

? Art Mawoi’mi
Artist: Kassandra Simon
Province: Newfoundland and Labrador

At the crossroads between Riopelle's oeuvre and Indigenous cultures, this gathering will allow to freely express movement through paint, creating a mural to honour a new sacred space: Mawoi'mi (powwow) grounds for the Benoit First Nation in Newfoundland and Labrador.

? Sans Titres / Without Titles
Artists: Ryan Gray & Dawn Shepherd
Province: Nova Scotia

This project aims at co-creating, with Nova Scotia communities, performances integrating visual arts and circus arts inspired by the works of Jean Paul Riopelle and to hold community dialogues around the "Ode to Nature" theme.

? Territoires des rêves (Dream Territories)
Artists: Patricia Lortie & Sabine Lecorre-Moore
Province: Alberta

Territoires des rêves by the Conversation Collective is a temporary and participatory art installation anchored in nature. For the duo Patricia Lortie and Sabine Lecorre-Moore, the choice of a tapestry will allow them to tie together the dreams of Alberta's francophone, Indigenous and anglophone communities. Travelling from Northern to Southern Alberta, they will visit five schools where they'll offer workshops on writing on fabric and then collect the students' dreams. In response to the Riopelle Foundation's call to "go towards nature", Lortie and Lecorre-Moore will install the partially finished tapestry outside on a structure made of wood. The work will be exhibited for a few weeks in the sculpture park of the Kiyooka Ohe Arts Centre (KOAC), a public space combining art and nature, and the people of Alberta will be invited to complete the installation by adding their own dreams to it.

? Riopelle, the Artist on the Wing of a Northern Migration
Artist: Marie-Hélène Comeau
Territoiry: Yukon

This project will give members of the French-speaking community of the Yukon the chance to become familiar with Riopelle's oeuvre by focusing on the subject of migration, and more specifically, on the changes in identity that people have experienced when they left their place of origin to settle in the territory. This reflection will be done through creative work in a workshop context of reflection, sharing and listening. These workshops will take place in two stages. First, there will be the creation of individual artists' books (painting, collage and creative writing) based on the migration history of each participant in order to prepare everyone for the final creation. This creation will take the form of community canvases inspired by Riopelle's masterpiece L'Hommage à Rosa Luxemburg illustrating the migratory birds of his adopted land..

? Artist Residencies at Académie Sainte-Famille
Artists: Rotchild Choisy & Caitlin Wilson
Province: New Brunswick

A series of artist residencies will be hosted in one of the two former dormitories on the 4th floor of the Académie Sainte-Famille Social & Cultural Centre in Tracadie-Sheila. Lasting two weeks each, the residencies will include a community workshop day to which representatives of different social groups will be invited. Caitlin Wilson's prints are created using a combination of woodcut and intaglio methods. She explores her home province of New Brunswick by car, hiking, canoeing and even snowshoeing and documents her observations in drawings to the point of becoming completely absorbed by the ecosystem around her. Rotchild Choisy is interested in the perception of interpersonal relationships that people share with their environment. The contrast of colours, gesture, textures and the reinterpretation of Haitian and African symbols are important in his creations. Symbolism and allegory are also used to criticize intercultural, social, and political relations.

? Kanitau-unahitshesht. Homage to the High Trapper
Artists: Amélie Courtois, Benoît Côté & Marie-Renée Bourget Harvey
Province: Quebec

This Homage to the High Trapper/Kanitau-unahitshesht is an inverted reference to Riopelle's famous masterpiece L'Hommage à Rosa Luxemburg, the "high trapper" – Kanitau-unahitshesht in the Ilnu language – a nickname coined by André Breton, leader of the Surrealist movement. To create the series of paintings in L'Hommage à Rosa Luxemburg, Riopelle took long walks on Isle-aux-Grues and Ile-aux-Oies and collected various objects and fauna and flora samples. He would then place these objects on wooden boards and stencil them with spray paint. The youth of Mashteuiatsh, in the region of Lac-Saint-Jean, will be called upon to apply a similar process to various objects from their immediate environment found on their Indigenous community's territory to create their own artworks.

? Trois Entretiens (Three Encounters)
Artistes: Agathe Piroir, Hélène Dorion, Joséphine Bacon, Chantal Ringuet, Jamasee Pitseolak, Peter Krausz, Catherine Farish, Olivier Bodart et Monique Martin
Provinces & Territories: Nunavut, Price Edward Island, Quebec & Saskatchewan

This project aims at creating a dialogue between poetry and visual art, materialized in an artist's book on the themes of nature, indigeneity and migration explored by Jean Paul Riopelle in his lifetime. Under the leadership of Agathe Piroir, this project brings together Nunavut, Prince Edward Island, Quebec and Saskatchewan through artists Hélène Dorion, Joséphine Bacon, Chantal Ringuet, Jamasee Pitseolak, Peter Krausz, Catherine Farish, Olivier Bodart and Monique Martin. Each artist will meet with citizens in his or her province or territory around themes dear to Riopelle. All the prints and poems will be exclusive and available in limited edition. This work will be exhibited in several places: at Bibliothèque et Archives nationales du Québec (BAnQ), at the Musée des métiers d'art du Québec, at the Atelier-Galerie A. Piroir, as well as at the Biennale internationale d'estampe contemporaine in Trois-Rivières. 

Detailed descriptions of these projects and biographies of the selected artists are available online on :