(John Paskievich, Untitled, from the series North End, Winnipeg, 1976 silver print on paper, silver halide 35.3 x 27.7 cm Image: 30.2 x 20 cm Collection of the Winnipeg Art Gallery; Acquired with the J. Elmer Woods Fund G-82-38)
Winnipeg’s North End occupies roughly 12-square kilometers built around the central Main Street artery north of the city’s vast urban railyards. In the early 20th century the neighborhood became an index of multicultural immigration, working class identity, and by the end of the first decade accounted for nearly half of the city’s entire population. Today the North End continues to be home to diverse cultural backgrounds, including the largest urban Indigenous population in Canada.
John Paskievich is a Ukrainian-Canadian photographer and filmmaker. He was born in a Displaced Persons Camp in Austria just after the Second World War before moving to Winnipeg, where he grew up in the North End in the 1950s and 1960s. In the early 1970s, after studying photography in Toronto, Paskievich began turning his camera to the community of his youth, its inhabitants, wide streets and boulevards, warehouses and corner stores.
Comprising 50 black-and-white photographs ranging from the 1970s to the 2000s, John Paskievich: The North End is the largest display to date of the artist’s work at the WAG. In addition to celebrating the career of an important artist, the exhibition is also timed to coincide with the 100th anniversary of the 1919 Winnipeg General Strike, a pivotal event in Canadian history with deep roots in the city’s North End.
Curated by Andrew Kear, WAG Head of Collections & Exhibitions.