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Meet Ian Dejardin: McMichael's New Exec. Director

Tuesday, 14 March 2017 13:25

Senior Arts Editor Mark Wigmore with new McMichael Canadian Art Collection Executive Director Ian Dejardin for a candid conversation on Scotland, Canadian Art, Jazz & Knitwear!

It should be noted that the JAZZ.FM91 Arts Reports are sponsored by the McMichael Canadian Art Collection. Come for the art, the trees, and the trails. Start your visit at

Speaking of which, Ian Dejardin is the new Executive Director at the McMichael! The Scottish-born Art Historian, PhD, and wildly successful Gallery Director is set to take the reins at the Canadian Arts institution in April. Here’s an example of Ian’s art history prowess and public speaking charm.

Now, there may be a few raised eyebrows that this UK out-of-towner has been given the keys to the Canadian Art kingdom, but Desjardin sees an advantage. In recent years he has staged wildly successful Group of Seven shows at his Dulwitch Picture Gallery south of London. It was a risky move for the European hub, but one that attracted huge attention from an untapped and under-educated market.

When Ian brought his Dulwitch Emily Carr exhibit to The Art Gallery of Ontario in 2016, it was the Canadian reaction that surprised him most. It would seem that his fresh eyes on the Carr canon garnered new local excitement for an artist that has been celebrated for decades.

Last August it was announced that Ian would leave his long time London institution to embrace the Canadian art he has championed. He will take over at the McMichael officially in April, but will continue his relationship with Dulwitch by way of an exciting new exhibition on Group of Seven alum Davis Milne.

Ian's new position follows what could be called a year of transition for the Kleinberg mainstay. New McMichael Curatorial & Collections Director Sarah Stanners introduced a healthy amount of abstract and new Canadian art to the offerings last year. Dejardin will continue to look for ways to celebrate the Group of Seven in a modern context.

Mark Wigmore sat down with Ian Dejardin at the McMichael for a conversation that covered Canadian art, jazz, Scotland & knitwear!

To learn more, click here.

Senior Arts Editor Mark Wigmore is heard at 8:40 a.m. and 4:30 p.m. on weekdays during the JAZZ.FM91 Arts Report. And don’t miss his arts and culture interview and entertainment magazine program, Arts Toronto, Sundays between 8-9 a.m.

To get in touch with Mark it’s

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