MOV debuts “City On Edge – A Century of Activism”

MOVVancouver has a long history of protest and activism, this month the Museum of Vancouver (MOV) examines this legacy with the new exhibition; City on Edge: A Century of Vancouver Activism.

The new photo-based exhibition will be on display at MOV from September 28, 2017 to February 18, 2018. The multi-media collection features 650 photographs of demonstrations, occupations, riots, blockades, and strikes from the early 1900s to the present day. Events like the race riots of 1907 to the recent Kinder Morgan protests.  In addition, visitors will find large digital projections, short films, and animated sounds of protest rallies and choirs, inviting the public to engage with and think about the impact of grassroots activism in their lives and the times when the city showed up, stood up, and rallied for change, or exploded in anger.  

Haney Students
1930s Haney Students Strike
credit: Stan Williams – Vancouver Sun

“Images of street demonstrations are uniquely gripping and beautiful. They highlight the agency of people in challenging the status quo and effecting social change,” explains Viviane Gosselin, City on Edge Co-Curator and Director of Collections & Exhibitions at MOV. “Several events depicted in the exhibition remind us that laws and policies that we often overlook today are the result of citizens taking their concerns to the street.”

VW
VW
credit: Ralph Bower – Vancouver Sun

“The photographs reveal a wide range of social and political issues throughout Vancouver’s history,” adds Kate Bird, Co-Curator of City on Edge. “Some protests, especially those regarding affordable housing, urban development and heritage protection are hyper-local, while the peace and environmental movements reflect a more global activism. The powerful act of marching together with a shared purpose gives people a sense of community engagement with their city, province, country, and the world.”

Museum of Vancouver (MOV) is located at 1100 Chestnut St, at Vanier Park. City On Edge: A Century of Vancouver Activism runs September 28, 2017 until February 18, 2018. Permanent exhibits run continuously throughout the year.

Museum of Vancouver brings an Unbelievable new exhibition

After digging through their vaults, the Museum of Vancouver (MOV) is ready to unveil a new and “Unbelievable” exhibition. Unbelievable is a quirky new exhibition curated from the Museum’s own collections, on display at MOV June 24 – September 24, 2017.

Diving deep into the vaults of MOV, Unbelievable assembles iconic artifacts, storied replicas, and contested objects for an exploration of the role stories play in defining lives and communities – and what happens when we question the tales we’ve long relied upon. “Stories are how we create our community and nation. They are literally a matter of life and death, possessing the power to bring us together or tear us apart,” explained Gregory Dreicer, MOV’s Director of Curatorial and Engagement and the creative mind behind Unbelievable. “A shockingly diverse collection of objects will provoke laughter, nostalgia, and fear. What unifies them is not the physical objects themselves – but the contradictory and unbelievable stories that surround each of the treasures on display. We are taking people deep behind the scenes – in order to explore the creation of stories and how they define our past, present, and future.”

A carved wooden bear with open jaws. Collected at Nootka Sound by Midshipman Thomas Dobson on HMS “Discovery” under Captain George Vancouver 1791-1795. Dobson was brought onboard as a Spanish translator.
A carved wooden bear with open jaws. Collected at Nootka Sound by Midshipman Thomas Dobson on HMS “Discovery” under
Captain George Vancouver 1791-1795. Dobson was brought onboard as a Spanish translator. (MOV Collection)

The first large Unbelievable object that visitors will encounter is the Thunderbird totem pole. It appeared in controversial filmmaker Edward Curtis’ 1906 work In the Land of the Head Hunters. The totem pole has since been replicated in fiberglass, as well as re-carved to stand in Stanley Park – but the original has been tucked away within MOV’s vaults. The pole’s complex histories lay the groundwork for an exploration of stories, symbols, and struggles that follow.

Unbelievable will also include a search for other contemporary ‘totems’, each with contrasting stories about a point in time in Vancouver. These include the original ‘R’ from Arbutus Street’s ‘The Ridge’ sign (a replica now adorns condos); a full-scale bronze-cast model of Stanley Park’s derivative Girl in a Wet Suit; and opposing and battling Quatchi costumes from the 2010 Olympic Winter Games – one an official costume, the other an anti-mascot built by protestors.

Elephant foot table from prominent Vancouverite, Alexander Bruce Robertson’ taxidermy collection now housed at the museum. Mr. Robertson hunted the elephant himself while on safari in Africa, and the table was probably prepared at RJ Pop, a local taxidermy store Mr. Robertson used to mount his animals.
Elephant foot table from prominent Vancouverite, Alexander Bruce
Robertson’ taxidermy collection now housed at the museum. Mr.
Robertson hunted the elephant himself while on safari in Africa, and
the table was probably prepared at RJ Pop, a local taxidermy store
Mr. Robertson used to mount his animals. (MOV collection)

The artifacts will also illustrate the tangled threads of narrative around Vancouver’s relationship with First Nations communities. Pieces include a carving given to George Vancouver’s crew, a large mask of a bird depicting the European-brought disease of smallpox, and Pauline Johnson’s ‘Indigenous’ dress, a fantasy garment for a cultural celebrity with a vivid imagination.

Finally, more surprising items ask visitors to create their own stories about unique artifacts found within the MOV collection, such as a side table crafted from an elephant foot, a chair cobbled together from cattle horns, and favourite pieces of garbage salvaged by the City of Vancouver’s sanitation workers. This interactive component of the exhibition will encourage visitors to share their thoughts about how each object came to be, and then later present them with the opportunity to compare their narrative to MOV’s documentation of each artifact.

Inspiration for Unbelievable originated last fall in the wake of the American election, which highlighted an astonishing aspect of human nature: people reject facts that don’t fit their story, even if the information is true. MOV concluded an exhibition exploring the notion of truth – including the museum’s role as one of Canada’s most trusted institutions – could not be more timely or relevant. Essentially, lack of trust, the reach of the web, the crisis in journalism and democracy have sparked Dreicer to embark on a quest for stories to believe in. “We live in an age of information where alternative facts and absolute falsehoods have run rampant.” continued Dreicer, “In an era where nothing can be taken at face value, MOV wanted to create an exhibition that raises questions. With Unbelievable, we ultimately hope visitors will walk away awed by the power of story – with a different understanding and possibly skepticism – about the tales they encounter and the stories they tell themselves.”

Unbelievable run June 24 – September 24, 2017 at Museum of Vancouver at 1100 Chestnut Street.  Visit museumofvancouver.ca for more information on Unbelievable and the rest of the exhibits at the MOV on now.

Traces of Words coming to MOA

Traces of Words : Art and Calligraphy from Asia is a new exhibit opening May 11th at Museum of Anthropology (MOA).

From Sumerian cuneiform inscriptions and Qu’ranic manuscripts, to Afghan graffiti and digital creations from Japan, Traces of Words: Arts and Calligraphy from Asia honours the special significance that written forms hold across many diverse cultures in Asia.

The multimedia exhibition will examine how artists have reinterpreted written words as visual expressions.  Texts in many styles represent physical traces of time and space, evoking the ephemeral and eternal.

traces of words at MOA
Hisao Yugami, Mikazuki???, Crescent, 2015Sumi ink on gasen paper mounted on wood panel, 14 x 18cm ·3186/4

“All creatures leave traces of themselves as they move through life; but words, whether spoken, written, imagined, or visualized, are traces unique to humans,” explains Dr. Fuyubi Nakamura, MOA Curator, Asia. “Some words disappear, while others remain only in memory or leave physical traces as writing or text. These traces are the theme of the exhibition.  In it we explore the powerful duality that emerges when the written word becomes a medium or canvas.”

The exhibition represents an enormous diversity of calligraphy, painting, digital and mixed media works.  

traces of words at MOA
Leaf from a Qur’an manuscript in Kufic scriptPossibly Iraq, Iran or Syria, 9th centuryVellum and ink, 23.5 x 32.5 cm ·2988/1

Through paper, silk, clay, woodblock and digital projections, Traces of Words invites visitors to experience and sense the works, and gain an appreciation for the cultural significance of Asian writing beyond reading and writing.

Works on display within the Traces of Words exhibition come from across the continent; including Thailand, Afghanistan, Tibet, Japan and more.

Traces of Words: Art and Calligraphy from Asia at MOA runs May 11 to October 9, 2017. Visit moa.ubc.ca/traces for more information on the art and artists in the exhibition.

Capture Photo Festival Launch & Inaugural Lind Prize

capturephotofestFriday evening the 3rd Annual Capture Photography Festival got underway with an opening exhibition at the Roundhouse Exhibition Hall. The show featured the finalists for the inaugural Philip B. Lind Emerging Artist Prize, presented by Presentation House Gallery.

The Philip B. Lind Emerging Artist Prize is a new award, supported by Rogers Communications to recognize Mr Lind’s retirement after 45 years of service with the company as well as his passion for Vancouver’s art scene.  The call was put out to local post-secondary institutions to invite instructors to nominate students in their visual arts programs for the Lind Prize.  Of the 20+ nominees, a short list of 8 students were selected by the jury, with each of them presenting their works at the Capture Festival Opening event.

The shortlisted students are Kerri Flannigan, Emily Geen, Anna Shkuratoff, Brandon Poole of UVIC, Polina Lasenko of Emily Carr University, and Curtis Grahauer, Vilhelm Sundin and Lauren Tsuyuki of Simon Fraser University.

Photo 2016-04-01, 18 39 40The Philip B. Lind Emerging Artist of 2016 is Vilhelm Sundin (photo, right), who receives $5000 towards the production of a new work to be shown in 2017 at the future Polygon Gallery in North Vancouver

The Lind Prize nominees show runs at the Roundhouse Exhibition Hall until Friday April 8th.

Friday Find: Mashup at Vancouver Art Gallery

Until June 12th, the Vancouver Art Gallery is completely taken over with a single exhibit MashUp: The Birth Of Modern Culture.  This ground breaking exhibit covers not just all four floors of the VAG but covers a century of modern culture.

Like the Renaissance or Age of Enlightenment before, the 20th Century has seen a shift in creative thinking, not confined to convention or medium, artists have changed the way we look at culture. The resulting MashUp of media, techniques, and movements has permeated every aspect of our modern culture.

From Pablo Picasso’s revolutionary works in the Early 20th Century, to The Post-War artists like Andy Warhol or Jean-Luc Godard, MashUp move from top down through the century.  Continuing down to the Late 20th Century on Floor 2, we’ll find familiar creators of our Modern Culture, like Brian Eno and Bryan Ferry. Last, or first, depending on the order of your visit, the Ground Floor brings us to the hackers, remixers and MashUp masters of today with the centrepiece work by Barbra Kruger taking over the rotunda.
The_VAG_MashUp_The_Birth_Of_Modern_CultureEverywhere you look from top to bottom, MashUp: The Birth of Modern Culture, has amazing, iconic works on display.  Make sure you stop by the Vancouver Art Gallery for a visit, or two, or three, before the exhibition closes on June 12, 2016.

Entertainment for everyone at PNE 2015

The Fair at the Pacific National Exhibition is always loaded with free entertainment and this year’s line-up is loaded with even more than ever.

In addition to the great Hot Summer Night Concerts series the Mosaic Music Series at the Chevrolet Stage packs even more entertainment. Enjoy acts like The Zolas, Lee Aaron, Headpins, Bif Naked, Barney Bentall, Five Alarm Funk, Royal Wood, Platinum Blonde and more daily at 7 and 9pm.

For family fun, Mermaid Tales – A Musical Journey Under the Ocean takes place daily at 12:30, 3 & 5:30pm at ToonCity Stage

Live at the Pacific Coliseum nightly at 7:30pm, The Broadway Musical Peter Pan staring Cathy Rigby as Peter Pan is free with admission to the Fair or $20 for reserved seating

Looking for a little sing-along and a beer, stop by Dueling Pianos at the Plaza Beer Garden at 6:30 and 9:15pm

Of course, no visit to the PNE is complete without Super Dogs! The President’s Choice Super Dogs perform daily at Daily at 12, 2:30 & 4:30pm in the Pacific Coliseum

These are just a few of the great events in store at the PNE, check the full listings online at pne.ca

PNE Hot Summer Night Concerts 2015

summer-night-concerts-145It’s almost summer and the Pacific National Exhibition is gearing up for another great Fair.
One of the big attractions of every Fair at the PNE is the amazing line-up of entertainment and this year is no exception.
The PNE Hot Summer Night Concerts line-up is packed with star-power including great acts from country, pop, rock and R&B.
Free concerts take place every night* of The Fair, the Hot Summer Night Concert series take place at PNE Amphitheatre starting at 8pm.
*Sept 6, Mad Decent Block Party is a ticketed day-long multi artist EDM festival

This year’s Hot Summer Night Concerts are:

Sat, August 22 – Colin James
Sun, August 23 – Clint Black
Tue, August 25 – Sloan
Wed, August 26 – The Beach Boys
Thu, August 27 – Daughtry
Fri, August 28 – The New Pornographers
Sat, August 29 – Tom Cochrane & Red Rider
Sun, August 30 – Colbie Callait & Christina Perri
Tue, September 1 – Lee Brice
Wed, September 2 – Pat Benatar & Neil Giraldo – 35th Anniversary Tour cancelled replaced by Dennis Deyoung & the music of Styx
Thu, September 3 – Boyz II Men
Fri, September 4 – Daryl Hall & John Oates
Sat, September 5 – Brett Kissel
Sun, September 6 – Mad Decent Block Party (ticketed)
Mon, September 7 – Loverboy

All shows are included free with Admission to The Fair but a limited number of reserved seats for each show are on sale now.

The Fair at The PNE opens August 22nd and runs until September 7th at Hastings Park.