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Visual Arts

Visitors flying into Vancouver are often surprised to discover a virtual museum of native art at the airport: totem poles, elaborate wooden masks and intricate wood and metal carvings, all tucked amid the check-in counters, customs booths and departure lounges.  This is no accident: Vancouver is serious about its art. 

The postcard perfect city on the Pacific's edge has a thriving and surprisingly diverse visual culture. First Nations artwork, both traditional and contemporary, is just the start.  A succession of pioneering artists has enriched the cultural scene over the years, from legendary Emily Carr and her expressionist canvases of British Columbia wilderness to architect Arthur Erickson, who defined an entire style of modernist building. 

Today, visitors can take in Vancouver's art at Western Canada's largest public art gallery, at edgy contemporary institutions or even inside the studios of working artists.  And museum lovers will find spaces dedicated to First Nations history and world cultures, Vancouver's rough-and-ready frontier days and modern life - not to mention plenty of kid-favourites, including hands-on Science World and the Vancouver Aquarium

Outside, Vancouver's unique architecture - a mélange of styles from Victorian to modernist, from towers of steel and glass to lush urban greenscapes - offers a provocative visual backdrop, and one that's quickly evolving as new high-rises spike the skyline.  Meanwhile, an ever-rotating ensemble of public art - both locally made and internationally renowned pieces - rewards travelers who take to the streets.
 
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Bill Reid Gallery presents Xi xanya dzam: Those who are amazing at making things

  • April 05 - September 04
  • Bill Reid Gallery of Northwest Coast Art
  • 639 Hornby Street
    Vancouver, BC V6C 2G3
  • Admission: Included with Gallery Admission
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Contemporary Art Gallery presents Song of the Open Road

  • April 01 - June 18
  • Contemporary Art Gallery
  • 555 Nelson Street
    Vancouver, BC V6B 6R5
  • Admission: Free
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