I Will Relate to You

An exhibition mining one family’s experiences and archival treasures to explore the little known story of Jewish life in northern Ontario by Toronto-based artist Meichen Waxer.

Type of Exhibition: Art

I WILL RELATE TO YOU, Meichen Waxer, 2024. Photo: Brittany Carmichael


An artistic ode to the general stores that sustained a family and the unlikely Jewish communities of northern Ontario

A new multi-media exhibition mines one family’s experiences and archival treasures to explore the little known story of Jewish life in the far north of Ontario. Toronto-based artist Meichen Waxer has been recuperating a relationship to the place where her family traces its roots in this country – the small Jewish community of Kirkland Lake. Beginning in the early 20th century, Jewish immigrants settled in pockets across northern Ontario and Quebec, fleeing increasing discrimination and persistent pogrom attacks in eastern Europe and the Russian Pale of Settlement. For the FENTSTER window gallery, Waxer creates an original installation informed by accounts in her late grandmother’s journals and inspired by the general goods store that her great-great-grandmother started in the north. I Will Relate to You came together much like the original store itself: pulling in friends, repurposing and borrowing objects. The installation is accompanied by a historic capsule exhibition on the onetime Jewish communities around Kirkland Lake accompanied by images from the Ontario Jewish Archives.

To learn more about the Kirkland Lake Jewish Community and the installation, click here

Presented by FENTSTER and the Ontario Jewish Archives with the support of the Kultura Collective

Curatorial team | Donna Bernardo-Ceriz, Na’ama Freeman, Evelyn Tauben

Installation | Paul Boddum, Sal Lovink McKinnell, David Waldman

Embroidery team | Sam Mogelonsky, Hanna Schacter, Noah Gano, Ellen Bleiwas, Na’ama Freeman, Rachel Miller and Meichen Waxer


The artist would like to thank her bubbie, Jessie as well as all the former residents of Kirkland Lake and their descendants who she has interviewed as part of a larger research project funded by the Canada Council for the Arts: Peter Waxer, Stephen Aidlebaum, Belle Kizzel, Marc Gurevitch, Henry Abramson, Aliza Sanchez, Raphaela Abramson, Boaz Abramson, Aryeh Abramson, Ethel Abramson, Sol Mednick, Helen Winkler, Ann Leibovitch, Harvey Korman, Esther Verred, Isaac Katz, and Morris Langer. Others who made this journey possible and added love and care: Roxanne Luchak, Jon McCurley, Tanis Fink, Katherine Waxer, Orly Zebak and Howard Kizzel.

Presented by:

A Kultura Collective Member

In partnership with

Ontario Jewish Archives

Start Date:

April 25, 2024

End Date:

September 23, 2024

View it 24/7

Downtown Toronto

FENTSTER @ Makom, 402 College Street, Toronto


If accessibility options not listed, please contact the venue to confirm


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