The Montreal Museum of Fine Arts (MMFA) Foundation is pleased to announce a new sponsorship with Scotiabank, in association with Jarislowsky Fraser.

This commitment from Scotiabank and Jarislowsky Fraser of $1 million over three years supports a three-part agreement that enables the Museum to establish its first Curator of Indigenous Art and create an internship program for Indigenous students in all arts-related fields of study. Also under the terms of the agreement, Jarislowsky Fraser will become the Presenting Sponsor of the MMFA’s Members program.

“Art plays an important role in our society – connecting us to each other, providing an important lens into our shared history and inspiring us to see the world through different perspectives,” stated Maxime Ménard, President and CEO of Jarislowsky Fraser.

“Arts and culture have long been central to both Scotiabank and Jarislowsky Fraser’s engagement in the community. We are proud to announce this new sponsorship agreement and to work with The Montreal Museum of Fine Arts to promote and elevate our collective understanding of our cultural heritage.”

A new curatorial position in Indigenous art at the MMFA

Indigenous Art

Mattiusi Iyaituk (born in 1950),
My Mother Talks about Caribou, 2005.
MMFA, purchase, the Canada Council for the Arts’ Acquisition Assistance Program and the Serge Desroches Bequest. Photo MMFA, Christine Guest

For years, Indigenous artists have been writing a new chapter in the history of Canadian art. The generation of Indigenous artists who have established professional careers over the last two decades has revolutionized the Canadian cultural scene by redefining the role art plays in the shaping of a collective identity and by expanding what that encompasses. This new agreement enables the creation of a Curator of Indigenous art position, the first of its kind at the MMFA and further strengthening the Museum’s
engagement with this aspect of our country’s art.

“The establishment of a curatorial position in Indigenous art is fundamental to the Museum continuing to be in the vanguard of showcasing the work of all Canadian artists. With the creation of this key position, the MMFA ensures it will remain a leader in the acquisition of Indigenous artworks, organization of exhibitions, research on the history of Indigenous art and introduction of cultural mediation programs for many different audiences. The curator of Indigenous art role will be essential in the Museum’s development and for ensuring its support of a driving force in Canadian art. The individual who will hold this new position will play a critically important part within the Museum in further crystallizing the institution’s commitment to inclusion and accessibility. We are very pleased to have Scotiabank and Jarislowsky Fraser support this historic initiative,” explained Stéphane Aquin, Director of the MMFA.

A new internship program for Indigenous students
The second part of the agreement between the MMFA and Scotiabank enables the creation of an internship program for Indigenous students in all arts-related fields of study. Interns will gain valuable experience with the Museum’s curatorial department, enabling them to learn about museum careers, the institution’s day- to-day realities, research and the process involved in mounting exhibitions.

This internship program will educate and inspire a new generation of curators and museum professionals who will become leaders of change and ensure better institutional representation of Indigenous art and communities.

Support for the Museum’s Members program
Under the third component of this agreement, Jarislowsky Fraser will become the proud Presenting Sponsor of the MMFA’s Members program. As Presenting Sponsor, Jarislowsky Fraser will support the exclusive events and offerings available to the close to 100,000 loyal Members – art enthusiasts who participate in the MMFA’s programs year after year and make an active contribution to the fulfillment of its mission.

Danielle Champagne, Director General of the MMFA Foundation, said, “It should be remembered that the MMFA was founded in 1860 by Montreal collectors and art lovers who wanted to share their passion with the entire community; those close connections have remained over the years and the same sense of loyalty can still be found among the Museum’s members, who contribute very substantially to this great institution’s self-funding. The young people aged 30 and under, the adults, families, donors and collectors
making up the Museum’s some 100,000 members come from all backgrounds and form a core group of faithful representing approximately half of all visitors annually. We are therefore very honoured that Scotiabank and Jarislowsky Fraser have agreed, for the first time in the Museum’s history, to sponsor this membership program.”

The MMFA welcomes this important new relationship with Scotiabank and Jarislowsky Fraser, which now become Major Patrons of the Montreal institution.

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