Exhibit shows results of artists’ deployment with the Canadian Armed Forces

February 17, 2020 – Defence Stories

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From left to right, BGen Marc Bilodeau, representing Military Personnel Command, the six artists from group 8, Simone Jones, Emmanuelle Léonard, Rosalie Favell, Aislinn Hunter, Philip Cheung, Andreas Rutkauskas and Caroline Dromaguet, Acting Director General of the Canadian War Museum.

The Canadian Forces Artists Program (CFAP) exhibit was launched at the Canadian War Museum on February 13, 2020. The show features works by six civilian artists chosen in 2016 to deploy with the Canadian Armed Forces (CAF) through 2016, 2017 and 2018.

Since the program was launched in 2001, this 8th group was the first to deploy entirely on Canadian soil, witnessing the CAF in action during search and rescue operations, avalanche control, and multinational military exercises. Several artists had the opportunity to travel to Northern Canada, allowing them to discover the remarkable work of the Canadian Rangers in this vast territory. Together, the resulting art contributes to our understanding of what it means to serve with the Canadian military at home.

"The artists from Group 8 have been able to maintain the high standards of their predecessors, adapting to various unfamiliar situations with admirable imagination. Their interest in the daily activities of our men and women in uniform, and willingness to share in a part of these activities, has allowed them to better understand the reality of what it is like to be there, to serve with the Canadian Armed Forces," said Brigadier-General (BGen) Marc Bilodeau, representing Military Personnel Command, in his remarks at the kick-off of the exhibition.

The exhibition will be on display until May 18 in the Display Corridor at the Canadian War Museum.

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BGen Marc Bilodeau, representing Military Personnel Command, addressed the audience at the opening of the exhibit on February 13, 2020 at the Canadian War Museum.

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The CFAP - Group 8 exhibit features works by six civilian artists chosen in 2016 to take deploy with CAF. This was the first group to deploy entirely on Canadian soil, with an emphasis on Canada's North.

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Anita Vandenbeld, Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of National Defense, was also present at the launch of the CFAP - Group 8 exhibit at the Canadian War Museum on February 13, 2020.

The CFAP offers Canadian artists the unique opportunity of being included in a deployed group of CAF members, giving the artists a perspective of life in the military. For seven to 10 days, they are part of the team, sharing meals and lodging and going out in the field wherever operational conditions allow as part of their research for their project.

The first artists were deployed in 2002 to Op APOLLO in Afghanistan, Camp Mirage in Dubai, and Royal Canadian Navy ships in the Arabian Sea. Since then, new groups of artists are selected every two years.

The origins of this program dates back to 1916, during the First World War, when artists, mostly among the Canadian Expeditionary Force, were encouraged to capture the Canadian war effort on the battlefield, behind the front lines, and on the home front through paintings, sculptures, and prints. More than 800 works of art were created and some exhibited in 1919 in London, New York, Toronto and Montreal.

A modified version of the program took place again during the Second World War. Between 1968 and 1995, the Canadian Armed Forces Civilian Artists Program was established to capture the work of military personnel in action at home and abroad. This program allowed artists to explore the Cold and Gulf War and Canada's involvement in peacekeeping missions.

For more information about the exhibition, visit the Canadian War Museum website.

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