Thursday, April 30, 2009

Save the Canadian Museum of Contemporary Photography !

The Government has announced that the CMCP building at 1 Rideau Canal in Ottawa will be taken over by Parliament for office space and meeting rooms. The CMCP is the only museum in Canada devoted to the photographic image. It was created in 1985 after intense lobbying by the photographic community and opened its $16M state-of-the-art facility in 1992.
We are firmly opposed to this arbitrary decision, delivered by the Government and National Gallery without warning or consultation. This is not just a photographic community concern. The loss of this public art space concerns us all.

To join the fight to save the CMCP, please take a moment to sign the petition:

For background information on this announcement, please visit:

Please circulate this petition through your network with apologies for cross-posting.

Michel Campeau: "It is imperative that the CMCP be returned to its former status among international institutions dedicated to photography. The building that was designed for the CMCP when it was founded must house it once again. To accomplish its mission, it is urgent that a francophone curator be hired to fill a vacant post. An increase in the budget is also needed for the CMCP to maintain its operations, acquisitions, and influence."

Donigan Cumming: "The loss of the Canadian Museum of Contemporary Photography has sparked a national effort to stop this government's systematic erasure of Canada's cultural heritage. As established Canadian creators, we need to send a strong message to Ottawa. The CMCP was created by artists coming together and making their views known. We can do this again. We owe it to the next generation."

Vera Frenkel: "The Harper government's appropriation of CMCP premises for routine office use follows on its grab for party receptions of a beautifully renovated building designated for the Portrait Gallery of Canada. Colonizing cherished and hard-earned cultural resources for bureaucratic bumph on the one hand and private parties on the other signals that the fog is rolling in. What is it that these jokers don't understand about this sentence: 'Canada's most powerful ambassadors are its artists.' Or this: 'Every citizen is entitled to experience Canada's visual history.' The collections of the CMCP and the Portrait Gallery are being hidden from view; a criminal deprivation, in my opinion, of a citizen's right to know who we are through the inspiring work of our great artists, many of whom are internationally admired photographers. This extraordinary double blunder is already embarrassing Canada elsewhere and together with other foolishly destructive decisions will cost this government the next election."

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