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Through its mandate the CAG is concerned essentially with the encouragement of a greater appreciation of contemporary art. We are actively involved in making opportunities for people who would not otherwise have the enjoyment and benefit of working with visual art. Our learning activity celebrates the importance of personal experience and we aim to create accessible environments that allow people of all ages to learn. Various interpretative prompts – curatorial texts, guides, participatory activity, artists’ writings, and filmed interviews – encourage imaginative audience engagement and talks, tours, off-site projects, workshops, residencies and seminars are structured to build ongoing dialogue, providing opportunities for diverse learning activity to develop.

The Contemporary Art Gallery acknowledges the ongoing support of the many volunteers and Board Directors who assist in the development and delivery of our learning programs.

Founding sponsor of our education, learning and outreach programs:
Connor, Clark & Lunn Investment Management Ltd.


Learning Resources

Bo Ha, Chris Mills, Diego Romero, Elizabeth Ellis, Megan Low, Natalie Murao, Robert Psutka, Sophia Wolfe

Re-visions brought together eight emerging artists from diverse backgrounds in visual, performing and literary arts. Unique perspectives combined into a larger collaborative multi-screen piece, the shared objective being to highlight the dynamism inherent in the processes of rapid (re)building as Vancouver evolves, remembering a recent past while gesturing towards an imagined future.

Read on for a report by emerging artist and Re-visions participant Elizabeth Ellis:

“In November 2014, a group of artists met at the CAG to begin an intensive learning program to produce a new media installation for TELUS Garden with the guidance of mentors Josh Hite, Brian Lye, and Jem Noble.

We spent a couple of months researching through studio and gallery visits, workshops, and artist talks. After generating some ideas, we set out as a group and began experimenting with different documentation tactics throughout the city. We walked through urban spaces and improvised along the way. We tried same-space shooting, giving each other instructions, and exploring methods rooted in psychogeography. We continually revised our ideas but were overwhelmed with the amount that we had, as a group of eight. It felt like there were unlimited directions to pursue.

We also had lectures given by artists in the city and during a final talk at the CAG, artist Laiwan reminded us to deeply listen: to be in-tune with the phenomena that’s personally interesting, and to expand our visual and emotional vocabulary—linking metaphors and creating language. This advice motivated the group to share what we were each invested in. Artists with dance and performance backgrounds approached the project focusing on movement, through the choreography of the camera body and the collection of images. Others considered integrating city archives and found footage, while some explored concepts around urban space and telecommunications. The challenge then became how to weave seemingly disparate ideas together into a collective piece. How did we experience the city space as individuals and yet also as a collective?

As we looked through each contribution in the editing stage, patterns emerged and a new language started to collectively form. We realized that what we initially thought were disconnected ideas actually echoed our diverse experiences of the city. Our process and works entangled with one another, and for me, this was one of the most rewarding aspects about the collaboration.

Thanks to our mentors, Cineworks, and the Contemporary Art Gallery for your generosity of time, dialogue, and support throughout this valuable learning opportunity.”

—Elizabeth Ellis


Re-Visions: Improvisation & Collaboration - Telus Garden Building Project

Tidal Dérive

In September, the CAG welcomed New York-based artist Marie Lorenz back to Vancouver as an artist-in-residence at the Burrard Marina Field House Studio and to complete her project Tidal Dérive.

The project, a multi-day dérive in a handmade driftwood boat along the Fraser River (Hope to Richmond) and between the Southern Gulf Islands was from September 1 to 8, 2015. Studying tidal charts of the area, the artist used tides and currents to direct and drift the navigation of ocean and rivers. This simple act of journeying along the contemporary ecosystem and industrialized commercial port of Fraser offered a different and unfamiliar experience of space for city residents who travel over these bodies of water daily. The experience of floating, of movement controlled by natural forces, adds a specific dimension to one’s own observation: the viewer made aware of their own balance and form as they absorb the details of their surroundings, creating something new from something familiar.

The journey was live-streamed for the land-bound audience to follow, providing a mediated representation of the visceral experience of the expedition. See the video below for highlights from the journey.

Over the past two years Marie Lorenz has participated in a sequence of residencies at the CAG Burrard Marina Field House resulting in the development of a new Pacific-based series of projects centred on the launch of a handmade boat constructed from driftwood found along Vancouver’s coast line. The boat has since travelled to Northern California where Lorenz completed “tidal derives” in San Francisco with Southern Exposure and most recently along the Russian River with Look Up Gallery in Guerneville, California.

Since 2002, Lorenz has been exploring the waterways of New York City in boats that she designs and builds, her work combining psycho-geographic explorations with highly crafted, material forms that explore the intertidal zone. She envisions a city harbour as a giant centrifuge, spinning things in the tide and redistributing them around its shore; reorganizing things that we value and representing things that were thrown away. The tide examines the nature of each object with its own incomprehensible order; Lorenz’s driftwood boat a way to gather and record evidence in collaboration with the tide.


Marie Lorenz - Tidal Dérive

Burrard Marina Field House artist-in-residence Maddie Leach speaking at the ‘spaced symposium’ Perth, WA, Australia.

Reflecting on the spaced 2: future recall projects, the spaced symposium presented a day of discussions addressing the relationship between museums, contemporary art and communities.


Video | Maddie Leach - Spaced Symposium - courtesy of spaced 2

Maddie Leach | Mandurah – courtesy of spaced 2: future recall

spaced 2: future recall, the second edition of the spaced program, presented newly commissioned artworks by fourteen contemporary Australian and international artists who lived and worked for extended periods in Western Australian rural and remote communities throughout 2013-14, developing works based on an engagement with local residents, histories and landscapes.

Thank you to spaced 2, Perth, WA, Australia for sharing the video.
See more about ‘spaced 2’ here:


Video | Maddie Leach | Mandurah - courtesy of 'spaced 2: future recall'

A CAG video featuring Keg de Souza, Burrard Marina Field House artist-in-residence, she discusses her projects made during her residency earlier this year. Watch out for Keg’s return for a follow up project in July.

Keg de Souza
July 20 to August 3, 2015
Australian artist de Souza continues work towards a series of public events in 2016 exploring food culture as a metaphor for urban displacement. In April, de Souza’s handmade inflatable dome became a temporary space at the Burrard Marina Field House for a public picnic engaging Canadian colonial narratives via a consideration of national food traditions. Meeting with local chefs, food activists and residents de Souza prepared a truly Canadian feast as a source for an afternoon of unfolding dialogue that the artist mapped directly onto the inflatable’s flooring. A starting point for the discussion was the ephemerality of the event itself — the only remnant left behind an intertwining of disconnected dialogues, mapped together with dirty dishes, crumbs and more questions posed. After the meal was eaten the structure deflated, the temporary community dispersed. De Souza will be hosting a second event in July, continuing to use food as an avenue to discuss local spatial politics.


Video | Keg de Souza

Artist Shannon Bool discusses her work and the process of making the sculpture ‘Michelangelo’s Place’ installed at the entrance to the CAG from May 1 to June 28, 2015. Film by Brian Lye.


Video | Shannon Bool