The Women’s Art Museum of Canada (WAM) began in 2006 as an initiative to create a national museum. Its goals were to represent Canadian women’s visual artists and promote historical as well as contemporary achievements of these artists. A small museum space was opened in Edmonton in 2015, and the work of building a collection began in earnest. WAM nurtures an inclusive environment through its research, educational and interactive activities such as exhibits and workshops, and informative programming that focuses on the needs of women from different communities.
For over sixteen years, WAM’s members and volunteers have demonstrated their dedication and commitment in realizing a space where women could see themselves in history, not just as footnotes or short anecdotes, but as vital participants and contributors in this cultural sector. WAM aims to exhibits works by women from Canada’s ten provinces and three territories, and to provide access to these works throughout the country. Although still quite small, the museum has recently been awarded Recognized Museum status from the Alberta Museum Association, the body representing Alberta’s museums.
Currently WAM is featuring a digital project titled And Me for International Women’s Day 2023. Photos are taken of visitors and employees of local businesses and organizations in an embrace. These photos are featured on a colourful background and displayed on the museum’s large screen digital display.
Two exhibitions are featured in March, one by Rayma Peterson from Alberta and a digital one by Madhu Kumar from Saskatchewan. Rayma’s work reflects a botanical theme of plants that grow in Canada as well as an overview of the techniques from her art teaching career. Madhu’s work centers on immigrant women and the challenges these women face in building new lives in Canada. Her large and striking portraits reflect the harshness of leaving everything behind and of having to adapt to new surroundings.